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Maximising rental bookings post Brexit

After years of procrastination and uncertainty, Brexit has officially happened and the UK is no longer in the EU. Now begins a period of transition, where little will change over the next year or so, giving politicians, businesses and citizens living in parts of the EU to get everything in order.

Travel rules will not change during the 2020 transition period. After the 1st of January 2021 travellers from the UK to EU countries will need to have 6 months left on their passport and have a passport which is less than 10 years old. They are also being told to make sure they have health insurance to cover travel as the EHIC card may no longer be valid. However, they do not expect any difference in airport security procedures or delays. Find out more

It is unclear how travel will be affected and certainly to date we haven’t seen any change in booking numbers from the UK, but it is possible that for the 2021 season that UK tourist numbers will drop. In order to safeguard our owners from feeling the effects of this, we have been widening our net to market to other countries within Europe.

We have an exclusive partnership with Novasol, Europe’s biggest holiday home rentals company in place. Novasol has a network of 11 individual language websites where they promote their portfolio of nearly 30,000 privately-owned properties. They also feature the best properties in travel catalogues and they distribute these to over 15,000 travel agents to support web bookings. They are very strong in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, France and Italy, all tourist markets who love Southern Spain.

It is free for our owners to register with Novasol and have their properties featured on their websites and in their catalogues. Novasol also give you your rental feels in advance and their holiday guests pay for departure cleaning and laundry and contribute towards utilities. If you haven’t registered with Novasol yet, we’d recommend you do so sooner rather than later to ensure you have alternative streams of rental clients, just in case the post Brexit landscape is not as favourable.

Another way that we can help you maintain high rental income from your property is to offer you access to the long-term rental market. This is very strong on the Costa del Sol at the moment, with very high demand for quality long-term rental properties and a limited supply. This is pushing rental prices up, making it a more attractive option for homeowners. Another benefit of long-term rentals, is that it doesn’t fall under the same regulation as the holiday rental market, and once you have a tenant there is little to do day to day.

We have long term rental packages that can help support landlords to manage their properties. We have a basic package if you are in the area and happy to be hands on. Alternatively, our all-inclusive package includes rent collection, access to emergency maintenance service, property set up, taking care of your tenant’s requirements throughout the tenancy and support with legal aspects such as checking references, contracts and utilities transfer. We also have a dedicated long-term rentals website where you can promote your properties and we can support you with finding the right tenants for you.

So don’t worry about the possible effects of Brexit, we have options to maximise your rentals, no matter what the final outcome may be. We are also confident that the Brits’ love of the Costa del Sol will be hard to shift and that they will continue flocking to our sunny shores, even if there is some more paperwork required to do so.

If you would like our property management and rentals management support for your Costa del Sol property, please contact us to discuss your needs and request a quote.

2020 Travel trends and how to respond to them

The travel industry is constantly changing and travellers are looking for very different things now than they used to be. It is important to understand this if you are renting out your property, as by keeping up with the trends, you can make changes to appeal to more travellers, thereby securing more bookings.

Here are just a few of the travel trends to expect in 2020 from Forbes, with our advice on how to capitalise on them for your Spanish holiday rental property to maximise bookings in 2020.

 

  1. Dual location holidays

According to Virtuoso, there’s a trend to visit one country, but stay in two destinations which have very different characteristics. This maximises the experience, without doubling up on the flights and the expense of travel. Property owners on the Costa del Sol can capitalise on this by promoting their proximity to cities such as Granada, Seville and Jerez. You can also share that we are just a 2 hour train ride away from Madrid, so for a two centre holiday combining culture, sun and cosmopolitan charm, the Costa del Sol is a great choice. 

Another way to promote your property to these kinds of travellers is to explain the diversity in this very small area and to say that every day can be different for visitors to the Costa del Sol. One day you could be enjoying the art galleries of Malaga, the next you could be walking the Caminito del Rey, then you can stroll along the seafront promenade in Marbella and enjoy the glitz and glamour of Puerto Banus. Tell visitors that they are just an hour from the famous Ronda gorge and that they can visit bodegas and try locally produced wine while they are there. Make sure they also know that they can whale watch in the Straits of Gibraltar, take a cable car to the top of the Rock and even spend a day kitesurfing in Tarifa. A holiday on the Costa del Sol epitomises variety and offers something for everyone.

 

  1. Reducing impact

Short haul flights and alternative methods of greener transport are growing in popularity. This is good news for the Costa del Sol, as we are easy to reach by car from the rest of Europe and are just a short flight even from Scandinavia and the UK. If people want to travel by train, we have the AVE from Madrid to Malaga and then a train line connecting Malaga with Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola. Make sure travel options are listed on your promotional materials and inform people of alternatives to flights where available.

 

  1. Mini-breaks

The trend for more trips through the year, but for shorter periods is expected to grow in 2020, as people juggle their holiday allowance and family responsibilities with their wanderlust. To appeal to this market, drop your minimum stay period to 3 days for example to allow people to visit for a long weekend. As the Costa del Sol is so easy to reach, you could attract repeat bookings with this policy and potentially increase your off-peak bookings as well.

 

  1. Travelling with pets

We all know that people love their pets and millennials don’t want to leave them at home when they travel. If you are happy to allow pets to stay in your property and can recommend good walks, dog parks and activities for pets and their owners you can open up a whole new market. Offer advice on when dogs can be on the beaches, leave details of vets and groomers and you’ll have very happy customers of the two and four legged variety.

 

  1. Vegan friendliness

There are more vegans, vegetarians and meat reducers who want their travel options to cater to their dietary requirements and support their lifestyle. If your property has easy access to vegan restaurants, markets selling organic fresh produce and you don’t have furniture or furnishings made from animal products, you can appeal to this market.

 

If you would like more advice on how to harness the 2020 travel trends to increase bookings, or would like to try and rent out your property short or long term, please speak to us.

We have been offering quality property management for property owners on the Costa del Sol since 2003. We have dedicated websites for short term and long term rentals and an exclusive agreement in place with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes and arrangements with travel operators in the UK and Ireland to feed bookings to our owners. You can rely on us to reduce the stress of owning your Costa del Sol property, help you make extra income and allow you to enjoy your property while knowing it is being taken care of by the best people in the business.

Find out more about HomeCareontheWeb and how we can help you to earn more rental income on our website, or contact us today.

Promoting innovation and gastronomy at the World Travel Market

From the 4th to the 6th of November one of the world’s most important travel fairs took place in London. The Costa del Sol Tourist Board had a strong presence at the event, promoting the area to travel companies and tour operators to boost tourism and overcome the possible Brexit effect. They welcomed members of the Tourism Forum of the Costa del Sol to join the stand to represent as many types of businesses as possible and show the strength and breadth of the tourist offering here on the Costa del Sol.

According to a report in the newspaper the Diario Sur, the President of Tourism Costa del Sol signed agreements with experts in Big Data to ensure that the area continues to innovate and respond to tourists’ demand. Responding to the trend in gastro tourism, they showcased Malaga’s incredible local produce with an exhibition at a Spanish restaurant in Chelsea. The aim was to make alliances with travel companies looking for alternatives to traditional bucket and spade holidays and show that this area offers so much more than just beaches.

Also at the event, the British Association of Travel Agents and airlines including British Airways, TUI and jet2.com put many minds at rest by stressing that English tourists are still attracted by the tourist offering in Andalucía and on the Costa del Sol. They said that the British public are adapting to the uncertainty around Brexit but still travelling. He only expressed concern about whether the elections will make any impact on the traditional booking time for summer holidays in December and January.

The President of Tourism Costa del Sol stressed that “Andalucia is prepared to face any eventuality” regarding Brexit and other global changes and they are working hard to future proof the tourism sector. He is predicting a rise of 3.3% in tourism in the coming year and believes that British tourism will continue to grow, but that he is aware that they need to attract new travellers and promote different aspects of the Costa del Sol.

This is all positive news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol who generate income from holiday rentals. Here at HomeCareontheWeb, we didn’t see a change in the levels of British tourists renting properties through us this year and we have more demand than supply in the long-term rental sector.

We feel confident that the market for holiday rentals and long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol will continue to stay strong. Our aim is to help owners who have property management packages with us to stay ahead of any downward trend with strong marketing both in the UK and in Europe to ensure that we are not reliant on any one market sector. We do this through an agreement with Europe’s biggest holiday home rentals company Novasol. They promote our properties via their 11 individual language websites and 1.5 million catalogues to 15,000 travel agents and this reduces the dependency on the British market for rentals.

If you have concerns about your holiday rental property, or would like to discuss how you can maximise bookings and earn more rental income for the 2020 season, please contact us.

Reassurances for British expats living in Spain

At the start of this month, the British Consulate has been doing pop-up sessions to answer questions about Brexit, living in Spain and how to access healthcare. They were in Torremolinos on the 1st of October and Mijas on the 3rd of October, trying to reassure people that their rights were protected.

The British government pledged that pensioners who are currently entitled to use the Spanish health service, will be funded to continue to receive healthcare in Spain for at least 14 months, until the end of 2020, regardless of what happens with Brexit this month. This has reassured many who were unhappy following the Health Secretary’s announcement that there would only be six month’s worth of cover for British expats living in Spain.

The advice remains the same, register with your Town Hall, apply for residency if you haven’t already and hopefully your rights will be recognised, even if the UK comes out of the EU with a no deal. There have been difficulties with getting residency appointments in some areas due to the amount of UK nationals applying, but the British Embassy Madrid announced on their Facebook page that extra staff have been put in place and suggested people try again to get an appointment.

If you want to buy a property in Spain, this should not be effected by Brexit, as you don’t need to be an EU citizen to buy here or invest in Spain. Property expert Susana Lajusticia has said there’s no reason why it would be different or more expensive to purchase property, nor should it effect your ability to rent out your property, as long as you comply with the rental laws in your area. The only thing that she says could change is taxes, as rates for EU and non-EU nationals differ. However, the UK and Spain have Double Treaty Agreements related to income tax for example, so hopefully it will be possible to make similar agreements after Brexit to allow for more stability and security for property owners. Read the full article

As a business we didn’t see a drop in holiday rentals from the UK this summer as expected and the number of long term rental clients from the UK has remained pretty much unchanged since the 2016 vote. We hope and believe that no matter what happens on the 31st of October, that Spain and the UK will come to arrangements to ensure that British residents of Spain can continue to live there and to make it as easy as possible to travel here. Tourism from the UK is too important to Spain to block this and so they should be incentivised to make a deal.

As many of our team are from the UK, but have lived and worked in Spain for many years, the uncertainty is unsettling. However, like migrants the world over, our status and rights will be subject to the changing political climate of our adoptive county (and country of origin). The one constant is that the rules governing our status change! Consequently, the best advice we can offer is to keep informed and respect the rules of the county that has welcomed us.

If you have any questions about how Brexit will affect you, as a property owner in Spain, renting out your property, or perhaps as a long-term rental tenant living here full time, please contact us and we’ll do our best to inform you of the latest situation and advice.

Spanish tourism increases on the Costa del Sol

It was reported in the Euroweekly News that more Spanish tourists travelled to the Costa del Sol this summer. Marbella and Estepona in particular saw a big upsurge in Spanish tourist numbers, with Estepona experiencing an increase of nearly 70% in tourists from within Spain comparing this July to July 2018.

According to the newspaper, this increase was also seen in other tourist areas on the Costa del Sol. “Marbella saw an increase of 20.9 per cent to 30,089 Spanish tourists, while Torremolinos experienced year-on year growth of 18.4 per cent. Antequera saw a 15 per cent rise, Malaga capital 13.1 per cent and Benalmadena 7.7 per cent.”

Marbella had its best July for 13 years, with a small increase in average room prices as well. Estepona experienced its busiest July on record in the town’s hotels, according to the Sur in English.

These figures are for the hotels in the area, as property management experts who help hundreds of property owners generate rental income, we have also seen an increase in Spanish tourists booking holiday rental properties. This is a great source of potential rental income for our clients, in addition to our large numbers of Northern European and British clientele. We haven’t seen the predicted Brexit effect this year, with the same amount of bookings from the UK as in previous years, so this is a very positive upward trend.

The increase in Spanish tourism reflects the improving economic conditions in the country which have been seen over the last five years or so, as Spain recovers from the financial crisis. It was reported in El Pais that unemployment fell in Spain in the second quarter, which would boost tourism and spending in general. Here on the Costa del Sol, there has been significant investment made in the hospitality sector, which is generating employment and more interest in the area from businesses and tourists alike.

This is all good news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol who are looking to generate rental income. The holiday rental market already generates $1,437 million and is expected to grow by 4.2%, resulting in a market volume of US$1,694m by 2023 according to statista.com. We have seen steady growth in the holiday rental and long-term rental demand, as well as an extension of the typical high season and more off-peak bookings.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for more properties to meet the demand and as property management and rental experts we can take the stress out of rentals. Please contact us to discuss renting out your property. You can also download our free guide with our secrets of successful holiday rentals to find out more about how it works and decide if it’s right for you.

La Cala and the Costa del Sol is building again

You can’t miss the reappearance of cranes on the horizon and the new developments which are springing up along the Costa del Sol. As we are based in La Cala in Mijas Costa we’ve been noticing it here more than ever and are delighted to see how many jobs are being created and the renewed interest in property in the area. There hasn’t been this much activity since the golden age of real estate at the beginning of the millennium and its being driven by demand from foreign buyers, as well as the reactivation of Spanish buyers.

A third of all the new development projects completed in Andalucia between March 2018 and 2019 were in the Malaga province according to the Sur in English. They add that two reports from a real estate firm and a valuation firm confirm the good health of the real estate industry in the Malaga province, both in terms of new properties being built and the increasing property prices. The Tinsa report showed that property prices here in Mijas have increased by 15.3%, but the company’s commercial director stressed that there’s a long way to go to reach the top prices seen in 2007. He also noted that lending controls and more gradual price increases protects the Costa del Sol from the real estate bubble that burst due to the financial crisis. Read more

The confidence in the Costa del Sol being shown by property buyers is being echoed by businesses who are investing in the area and creating more for the tourism sector and jobs for residents. Greek hotel chain Ikos are investing 150 million euros in a hotel in Estepona which is due to open in May 2020.  The Four Seasons group are opening a luxury hotel and private residences on the beachfront of Marbella, making an investment of 650 million to make this project a reality and there are many more businesses investing in the Costa del Sol.

We are very happy to see building projects spring up all around us in La Cala, as we’re seeing a large growth in demand for long term rentals throughout the year and holiday rentals in the peak season from April to September. La Cala is desirable because of its great beach area, community feel, nice restaurants, bars, amenities and the large weekly market. Tenants and holiday makers like the proximity to Fuengirola and Mijas Pueblo, the short trip from the airport and the great golf courses and leisure facilities nearby.

Our holiday rental clients love apartments in the La Cala Golf Resort, Dream Gardens and La Cala Azul. They like to be close to the beach, or within walking distance of the centre of La Cala, as well as developments with nice communal pools and gardens. Contemporary styling and open plan living is also popular, as well as great terrace space and opportunities for outdoor eating and socialising. Inland golf properties are also popular, as guests like the quiet, the views and the chance to be within walking distance of a golf course.

We are actively seeking more holiday rental properties in La Cala de Mijas to meet demand, so if you own a property, or are buying one of the new off-plan developments and thinking about renting it out please talk to us. The sooner we can list your property and get it promoted on our website, social media and out to our partners, the sooner we can get it rented out. Pop into our office in La Cala and let’s discuss how we can help you earn rental income.

Preparing your home for rentals

Here at HomeCareontheWeb we are property management and rental experts, with more than 15 years’ experience caring for our clients’ homes as if they were our own. Some clients simply like us to keep an eye on the property and deal with any issues that may arise while they’re away. However, the majority of our owners also want our help with generating income by renting out their property.

So, we wanted to share a few steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your home before you can start to rent it out and generate rental income.

  1. Decide whether to go short or long term

The first step in preparing your home for rentals is to decide what kind of rentals you want to do – short term holiday rentals, or long-term rentals. The long-term rental market is really booming and there is a definite shortage of supply, which is pushing prices up. However, this is most suitable for owners who don’t want to use their properties and are simply using it as an investment. Some contracts have breaks for the summer months to allow owners to holiday there themselves, but tenants usually want a 12 month contract. To find out more about long-term rentals download our free guide Home Owners Tips for Long-Term Rentals

If you want to use your property, but aren’t here often and can be flexible as to when you holiday, then short term rental is a good idea. Although there is a lot of competition in this field, properties rent well over the peak summer months, but tend to be empty outside the season, so you can use the property yourself. There is now regulation in this industry and you need to register your property, inform the police station when guests arrive and pay tax on your rental income, but this is still a good way to maximise the investment in your property.

Download our Secrets of Successful Rentals Guide to learn more about renting out your property.

Once you’ve decided how you want to rent your property then you need to prepare your property for when guests arrive.

  1. Make sure guests are informed

Create an information pack which helps guests to enjoy their stay to the full. This includes contact information for you or your property management company, instructions on how to operate things like the air conditioning, washing machine and dishwasher and any rules and regulations you would like guests to abide by. This information pack should also contain information about the local area, so your tenants feel right at home and know everything they need to so that living in your property offers the best possible experience.

  1. Protect your valuables

Guests will look after your property to the best of their ability, but it’s best not to leave important things at risk. Pack away any items of value (sentimental or financial) and any delicate items you wouldn’t want broken and store them in a safe place. Many landlords buy new but easily replaced packs of cups, plates and glasses from Ikea so there’s no sentimental value and if things get broken it really doesn’t matter.

It’s also a good idea to remove any highly personal items such as photographs and keepsakes and make your property neutral, as this will help guests feel right at home.

  1. Clean, clear out and tidy

Clear your cupboards and fridge and make sure you have all the essential items for a short term or long term tenant. Then deep clean everywhere and perform any small maintenance tasks you may have been putting off to make sure everything is perfect for your guests’ arrival.

Organize cleaners who can handle the change over after guests leave and gardeners, if necessary, to keep your garden in good condition for guests and make sure the property is secure. Appoint someone to keep hold of your keys so that cleaners, gardeners and maintenance people can get access. Then you are ready to welcome your first guests and start generating income.

If this all sounds like too much work, call in the experts!

HomeCareontheWeb can take care of all of this for you. Our experience and multi-skilled team makes this easy, and we have processes in place to remove the stress from you. We are able to find you rental clients, taking bookings, handle payments and deposits and organize all the people needed to keep your property in great condition for you and your tenants.

Please browse our website to find out more about our property management packages and our rental management services, or contact our helpful team to find out more.

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to an excellent year ahead.

What was your New Year’s Resolution? If you own a property on the Costa del Sol, then getting more rentals in 2019 should be right there alongside going to the gym, getting a new job, or spending more time with the family.

If you are only getting a few rentals each year, that’s thousands of Euros of lost revenue which is just passing you by! There are lots of ways to generate more income from your property, whether it’s improved marketing, maintenance to make the property more attractive to your target groups, or simply better images. Download our secrets of successful rentals guide for ideas and inspiration on how you can improve your performance.

Our job as property managers is of course to take care of our clients’ properties, but increasingly the demand is more to generate rental bookings and handle them for our clients too. To make this easy for owners and rental clients, we have developed a holiday rental website where holidaymakers can browse, book and pay online. You can monitor bookings through your owners’ area and we will handle everything that the guests need to have a great holiday, without bothering you.

We have developed partnerships with travel agents and tour operators in the UK and Ireland, as well as with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes to drive bookings to our clients’ properties. Our large team of customer service, maintenance and management experts looks after the clients so they come back for more, generating valuable repeat bookings, and you don’t have to lift a finger!

So if your New Year’s Resolution was to get more rentals this year, you know what to do! Talk to the property management experts at HomeCareontheWeb, sign up for a property and rentals management package and start earning more rental income from your property.

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

If you own a Costa del Sol property and you rely on holiday rentals to generate income, you will be pleased to hear that the local authorities are working hard to promote the Costa del Sol and expand the tourism sector. It would be easy to rest on its laurels, as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, but they know that the competition from other holiday areas is fierce and they need to keep exploring different markets to remain current and keep popularity high.

Following a summer packed with attractive events to draw in tourists to the area, there were a number of high profile events in September too, which aimed to extend the traditional tourist season and appeal to a different type of traveller.

Malaga Fashion Week created the longest haute couture catwalk in Europe, by converting the important shopping street Calle Larios into a fashion mecca. The two-day event attracted designers from around the world and around 15,000 fashionistas watched the shows each day.

Gibraltar also attracted the crowds on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September with the MTV Gibraltar Music Festival. This amazing event brought nearly 30 music groups to Gibraltar, with internationally renowned artists such as Stormzy, Two Door Cinema Club, Rita Ora, Chase & Status, Sister Sledge, Suzi Quatro and The Boomtown Rats. This attracted lots of tourists to stay on the Western Costa del Sol, to enjoy a sunshine holiday and then take advantage of the buses to go to and fro the festival each day.

To increase tourism from the United States, Marbella Town Hall has been contacting luxury travel organizations and in September signed an agreement with Virtuoso, the largest network of luxury travel agencies in the States. This should boost the number of luxury travellers coming over with big budgets to spend. Find out more

The Andalusian Council, the Junta de Andalucia, is also looking for ways to reach new audiences and to extend the season. They have budgeted nearly €10 million to promoting and developing tourism inland, with a focus on cultural and off-peak tourism. This will be a real boost to inland areas such as our stunning white villages, which have underdeveloped tourism sectors. Find out more

The tourist boards for each area and the local Town Halls will also start the rounds of tourism fairs that promote the destination amongst tourism professionals and encourages them to send their clients to the Costa del Sol. One of the new initiatives they are preparing to present at the most important Spanish Tourism Fair in January, is a platform to help tourists visit the places where popular films and TV series have been filmed.

All of these activities will boost tourism throughout the year and help property owners benefit from the lucrative holiday rental market and earn rental income. This is where our professional property management and rentals team come in. We can take the stress out of renting out your property, market it to maximise your bookings and manage every step of the process, so you don’t have to. Get in touch with us today, if you want to rent out your property for the next season, or need some support to increase your current bookings and make it easier for you

Looking back on a fantastic summer

Looking back on a fantastic summer

It’s September, the weather is cooling down, the crowds are heading home and we’re reflecting on a great summer. 2017 was the best year yet for our property management and rental clients with more bookings than ever.

Here’s our summer in numbers –

  • We managed 3379 bookings
  • Checked in over 14,000 guests
  • Carried out more than 4,000 cleans

And we still have much more to come!

The Costa del Sol is a great year round destination and we’re seeing the an extension to the traditional high season, with more people choosing to visit in September and October when the weather is great but prices for flights and accommodation come down. There is also more interest in Christmas bookings, as people look to experience a different Christmas away from home, where a walk on the beach after your Christmas lunch is a reality.

We have over 1,000 more bookings for the rest of the year so far, and we expect to see more bookings coming in for some autumn and winter sunshine.

Are you renting out your property? Did you get as many bookings as you hoped? If you weren’t happy with the numbers of bookings, or found it hard to manage arrivals, departures and deal with problems during your guests’ stay, please contact us and find out how we can help you.

HomeCareontheWeb are property managers with over a decade of experience on the Costa del Sol and we know all the secrets of successful rentals. We have a large team on the ground looking after properties, as well as marketing experts promoting the properties to boost rentals. We can deal with any problem and maximise every opportunity, so trust in us to take care of your property while generating you income. Find out more about our property management and maintenance services on our website, or contact us for a quote.

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