• (02) 9194 4411
    • 3 Pillars – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Adrift – Pet-friendly – 5 min Walk to Bay – Rustic Charm
    • Alkira – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Aloha – Short Drive to Berry & The Beach – Fireplace and Firepit
    • Amaroo – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach – Outdoor Fireplace
    • Anacapri – Pet Friendly – Opposite Beach – Fireplace
    • Anglesey – Pet Friendly with Pool & Tennis Court – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Annabel’s Place – Pet Friendly with Fireplace
    • Aqua Beachfront – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Arklow – Pet Friendly with Ocean Views
    • Ayana – Pet Friendly – Directly Opposite Beach – Fireplace
    • Azure Absolute Beachfront – Pet Friendly with Stunning Views
    • Baci Al Mare – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Bahia – Pet-Friendly – 10 Min Walk to Bay
    • Bailey’s Retreat – Pet Friendly Waterfront – 10 Mins Walk to Beach – Fireplace and Firepit
    • Banksia – Stunning New Absolute Beachfront
    • Bathers – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Bay Blu – Pet Friendly – Waterfront
    • Bay Gem – Pet Friendly with Spa
    • Bayview – Absolute Waterfront with Jetty – 5 Mins to Hyams Beach
    • Beach Central – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Beach Please – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Beachcomber @ Currarong – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Currarong Rockpools
    • Beachway – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Beachwood – Firepit – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to the Beach
    • Blue Wren – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Drive to Beach
    • Bluetongue: Pet Friendly with Spa – 4 Mins to Beach
    • Bluewater Jervis Bay – Pet Friendly with Spa
    • Boho – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Bonnie’s Bliss – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Bower’s Nest – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Breathe – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Burra Beachy – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Burra Days – Pet Friendly – 5 mins Walk to the Beach
    • Buwadi – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Callala Beach Walk – Beachfront with Fireplace
    • Callala Calm – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Callala Cottage – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Callala Dreams – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Callala Sunrise – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Callie’s Retreat – Pet Friendly -3 Min Walk to Beach
    • Calming Waters – Pet Friendly – Community Pool
    • Calypso – 4 Mins Walk to Beach – Community Pool
    • Camellia – Pet Friendly – 3 Min Walk to Centre of Berry
    • Carramar – Fireplace – Absolute Waterfront
    • Clara’s Coastal Cottage – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Clearwater – Absolute Beachfront – Walk onto the beach from the garden!
    • Coastal Capers – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Coastal Oasis – Pet Friendly – 6 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Coastal Palms – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Coastaway – Pet Friendly – 3 Min Walk to Beach
    • Coca Callala – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Come Wot Mey – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Cork Valley Farm – Escape to 35 Acres in the Country
    • Crystal Bay – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Cunjevoi – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Curley’s Sunsets – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Curleys Outlook – Pet Friendly Waterfront
    • Da Roost – Family Luxury with Sweeping Coastal Views
    • Delamere – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Eagles Point – Water Views & Spa – Pet Friendly
    • East Side Sands – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Eclipse – Absolute Beachfront with Stunning Views
    • Enchante` – Pet Friendly – Absolute Waterfront – Fireplace
    • Endless Summer – Absolute Beachfront – Pet Friendly
    • Fintry Beach House – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Fishery Road Cottage – Newly Renovated – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Fleur de Chalet – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Ginger’s – Pet Friendly – 4 Min Walk to Beach
    • Golden Sands – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Grey Gables – Pet Friendly with Pool & Spa
    • Gumnut – Pet Friendly – 8 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Hanalei – Pet Friendly – Directly Opposite Waterfront
    • Havenwood – Pet Friendly – Spa & Community Pool
    • Hayes @ Jervis Bay – Multi Award Winner – 4 Mins to Beach
    • Hidden Orchard – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • HighTide – Pet Friendly Beachfront
    • Husky Sands – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Idle Hours – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Illaroo – Absolute Beachfront with Spa
    • Indigo – Pet Friendly – 7 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Innisfree – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins to Beach
    • Island Retreat – Pet Friendly with Swimming Pool
    • Jack’s Culburra – Absolute Waterfront with Fireplace
    • Jervis Bay Beach Shack – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Just Beachy – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Karelda – Pet Friendly – Absolute Waterfront – Stunning Views
    • Keppel – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Kingfisher – Pet-Friendly – 10 Min Walk to Beach
    • Kirkland – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • La Belle Vie – 1 Min Walk to Basin Walking Track
    • La Vista – Water Views & Mountain Vistas
    • Le Shack – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Bay – Wheelchair Access
    • LegaSea Lodge – Pet Friendly Beachfront with Plunge Pool
    • Lemon Drop – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Little Bimbi – Pet Friendly Waterfront
    • Magnolia Cottage – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Drive to Hyams Beach
    • Malda’s Retreat – Pet Friendly Absolute Beachfront with Spa
    • Meeseeks – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Middle Sea – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Mirigaan – Pet Friendly – 8 Min Walk to Beach
    • Monterey Heights – Pet Friendly – Ocean Views
    • Morton Sonas – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Nalu – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Nautilus – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Bay
    • Neptune – Pet Friendly Absolute Beachfront with Stunning Views
    • Nest – Pet Friendly – 2 Min Walk to Beach
    • Ocean Dunes – Absolute Beachfront with Fireplace
    • Oceanside – Pet Friendly Absolute Beachfront
    • On The Lake – Pet Friendly Waterfront
    • Ours & Yours @ Culburra – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Pagoda @ Culburra – Pet Friendly – Short Walk to Beach & Bay
    • Palms – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins to Beach
    • Panorama @ The Lake – Pet Friendly
    • Parkview – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Pax & Coral – Pet Friendly with Amazing Spa
    • Peppertree Jervis Bay – Pet Friendly Beachfront with Sea Views
    • Periwinkle – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Pipers Spot – Pet Friendly with Swimming Pool
    • Reflections – Pet Friendly Waterfront
    • Replenish – Pet Friendly with Spa
    • Rest – Pet Friendly with Outdoor Bath – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Rockpool – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Rockwall – Pet-Friendly – Fire Pit
    • Roskell Retreat – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Salt & Pepper – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Drive to Hyams Beach
    • Salt Water Breeze – Pet Friendly with Spa
    • Saltbush Cottage – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Salty Shores Jervis Bay – 3 Mins to Beach
    • Sanctuary Blue – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins to Hyams Beach
    • Sandy Feet Retreat – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Sandy Paws – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Sandy Rays – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Saoire – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Sapphire Sands – Pet Friendly – Community Pool
    • Scribbly Gum – Pet Friendly – 15 Mins Drive to Hyams Beach
    • Sea and Sun – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins to Beach
    • Sea La Vie – Pet Friendly with Fireplace and Swimming Pool & Spa
    • Seagrass – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Seahaven – Pet Friendly with Ocean Views- 2 Mins to Beach
    • Seas the Day – Pet Friendly – Ocean Views
    • Seaview – Pet Friendly with Stunning Views – 1 Min to Beach
    • Serene – Pet Friendly with Swimming Pool
    • Shiloh Shores – Pet Friendly with Fire Pit – 5 Mins to Beach
    • Shores – Pet-Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Sirius Retreat – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to St. George Basin
    • Sole e Mare – Pet Friendly – Community Pool
    • Solymar – Adjacent to Beach – Pet Friendly
    • Spinnaker – Family Getaway – 2mins Walk to Beach
    • Spoondrift – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Summer Salt – Fireplace – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Summer Waters – Swimming Pool & Community Pool
    • Summerlea – Pet Friendly with Swimming Pool
    • Sunbaker – Pet Friendly Awards Finalist – 4 Mins Walk to Culburra Beach
    • Sunfish – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Sunsets – Pet Friendly – 10 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Surfside – Waterfront with Stunning Views
    • Surfspray – Pet Friendly – Absolute Beachfront
    • Swell – Pet Friendly with Swimming Pool – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Tangerine – Pet Friendly – 3 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Thalassa – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • The Anchor – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • The Cabin – Waterfront with Fireplace – 5 mins to the Bay
    • The Coast Beach – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Bay
    • The Crescent @ Currarong – Pet Friendly Beachfront
    • The Dairy @ Cavan, Kangaroo Valley, Stunning Views
    • The Deckhouse – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins to Beach
    • The Palings at Culburra – Pet Friendly Masterpiece
    • The Palms Villa – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins to Beach
    • The Relax Shack – Pet Friendly – 8 Mins Walk to Beach
    • The Treehouse – Pet Friendly – 2 Mins Walk to Beach
    • The View @ Culburra – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • The Villa @ Culburra – Pet Friendly – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • The Waterfront House – Pet Friendly – Absolute Waterfront
    • Tilly’s Retreat – Pet Friendly – 3 Min Walk to Beach
    • Time and Tide – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Tranquil Surf Oasis – Pet Friendly -2 Mins Walk to Lake
    • Tranquility – Pet Friendly with Fire Pit – 5 Mins Walk to Basin
    • Unwind – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
    • Villa Franco – Pet Friendly – 8 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Villa Mare @ Culburra – 4 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Villa Zelma – Pet Friendly – 4 Min Walk to Beach
    • Wagtails – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Wander Inn – Pet Friendly – 15 Mins Walk to Jervis Bay
    • Watermans – Absolute Beachfront – Pet Friendly
    • Watts Haus – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Whitewash – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins Walk to Beach
    • Wildwood – Pet Friendly – 5 Mins to Beach
    • WindanSea Cottage – Pet Friendly – Ocean Glimpses
    • Woollamia Weekender – Pet Friendly – Plunge Pool
    • Yelo @ Culburra – Pet Friendly – 1 Min Walk to Beach
The Top 10 Mistakes of Holiday Rental Owners

The Top 10 Mistakes of Holiday Rental Owners

Time and again I see holiday home owners making critical mistakes that are limiting their holiday home’s growth. In the following article, I name and shame what I believe are the top 10 mistakes.  Responding too slowly or not at all!

Possibly the most common problem for holiday home owners are either responding too slowly (greater than 12 hours) or not responding at all. Obviously not responding at all is a sure fire way not to get a booking, but the reason for not responding at all is typical that the owners’ calendar has not been updated when they receive a booking and therefore they see no point in responding to the enquiry. This is a very frustrating experience for the customer who may send several enquiries and receive no response! Speed of response is also a competitive differentiator. If you can respond to a customer quicker than anyone else (we recommend within 30 minutes using professional templates as well as a phone call) your conversion rate will dwarf your competitors.

Getting pricing wrong

There are many factors to pricing (which we will discuss later in this section) but there is nothing more frustrating or off-putting for a customer than to check a price on the system and then receive a totally different price in the quote from the property. This is typically the result of disorganized owners who struggle to understand how to put pricing into booking systems.

Arguably worse than getting the pricing wrong is when a holiday home owner prices the property too high or too low. Pricing too high is often an ego driven response where the owner thinks their property is better than competing properties and leads to extremely low enquiries and conversions. Low priced properties run the risk of making themselves look like budget properties thereby attracting the wrong standard of clientele. Whilst these properties are likely to book out, they are missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in rental income due to underpricing.

Poor photographs

Photographs are the lifeblood of a holiday rental property listing. Whilst guests may choose not to read the property description text, they will always look at the photos. Why then, do so many owners post fuzzy, amateurish photos on their listings? The fact of the matter is that they underestimate how impactful professional quality photos are. Whilst taking photos with a smartphone or digital SLR will give you photos that are “good enough” to list, having professional quality photos elevates the property to an entirely new level of appeal. For an incredibly low investment (Typically $1-200 dollars) professional photos represent one of the best returns on investment you can make. Given that every real estate agent in the world has access to a professional photographer you should have little difficulty finding one!

An owner says…
“We took photos with our digital SLR and we sat back, smugly admiring how good we thought they were. When a special offer for professional photography came along through one of our channel partners we decided to give it a go, more as an experiment than anything else. We were gobsmacked when we saw the quality of the photos compared to ours (which suddenly looked dark and uninviting in comparison).”

Poor Descriptions

There is a reason that websites today have tightly written professional text that conveys what they are offering in a few sentences. It’s because of the incredibly short attention spans of customers. As a result, descriptions of properties have to convey the required information to the guest quickly before they lose interest (usually only a few seconds). Typically property owners will write too much than too little, resulting in duplicitous paragraphs of text that swim in adjectives, rather than conveying the basic information that guests are looking for. Property descriptions should always be short, snappy and give the guests the basic information that they need such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, number of beds, facilities and distance to local attractions.

Using a manual process

Rather than using online payment systems many owners still favour a laborious process of replying by email to guest enquiries, sending bank details, making guests sign numerous forms, waiting for payment to clear then sending them instructions. A manual process takes up a lot of time for both the owner and the potential guest who is looking for a simple online booking experience where they can pay and book instantly! These manual processes are an irritation to guests and owners utilizing them are at risk of guests putting them in the “too hard basket” and going to their competition.

A Guest says…
“We booked a holiday home that was managed by a real estate agent. When we agreed to book we were asked to complete 3 A4 sized forms then pay the deposit and the final payment in two separate transactions. Even when we did the real estate agent refused to send us any details about the property until 24 hours before we checked in. It was a tedious process and very frustrating given that the website we had enquired through had a very easy to use online booking system (that the real estate agent refused to use).”

Not listing on effective websites

There are a multitude of websites that holiday home owners can list their properties on. Not all are good – in fact it may surprise you to know that very few are! Now when we say “good” what we are referring to is the ability for these websites to not only to generate inquiries but to be able to accurately depict your property. Holiday rental websites typically fall into two categories: 1. Those that charge an up-front fee (often with gold / silver / bronze pricing options) and those that charge a % of the total guest rate (sometimes split between guest and owner, as with Airbnb & Tripadvisor).

An owner says…
“In our first couple of years of having our holiday rental property we were somewhat naive and signed up for almost every new holiday rental website that came along-usually for some sort of $99 special upfront payment. After seeing a few of these websites come and go with no return on investment we decided never again to list with a website that charged an upfront fee. We now only list out property with those websites that offer a success based (percentage) fee structure.”

Taking “the budget option”

We often hear people say “Oh it’s just a holiday rental, just get some cheap furniture, some lino on the floor and you’ll rent it out no problem”. And we agree…if you want to receive under $100 a night and to be competing with cheap motels with sticky carpets. Sadly many owners fall into this trap thinking that guests will “trash” the furniture and not respect the property. Out of this thinking, the owner goes out and picks up second-hand furniture and cheap items from discount stores. Taking the budget option leads to a budget price point. By investing in better quality fixtures, fittings and furniture the increased price point that you can charge will pay for the better quality furniture and provide you with increased income. Pitching your property as a budget option is a false economy.

Not gathering reviews & feedback

Without an adequate number of positive reviews from guests, a holiday home lacks credibility. But today even popular holiday homes struggle to get guest reviews. Today’s guests have busy, time-poor lives. They are being assaulted on all sides by social media, advertising and overflowing email in-boxes. Amidst this noise of the modern age holiday home owners need to be prompted, reminded and even provided incentives for leaving reviews. Few holiday home owners follow up with guest and ask them to review their property and even fewer have guest books at their properties. Whilst guest books made be seen as a little “old school” they re-enforce a positive customer experience when guests read them. Also, photos can be taken of guest book entries and used as marketing collateral.

Note: it’s not acceptable (and in some countries illegal) to bribe guests to leave positive reviews!

Aside from gaining positive reviews to boost the property, guest feedback is critical to improving. Guests should always be given the opportunity to provide feedback outside of the review process as often guests feel uncomfortable about suggesting small improvements in a review. A good way to obtain guest feedback, but to focus on what’s important is to email your database of guests an annual improvement survey (using an online survey tool such as Survey Monkey). This can also be used as a marketing tool to encourage future bookings by providing the guest with a discount voucher for their next stay upon completion of the survey. The important thing is that you must act upon the feedback you receive!

Poor maintenance & cleanliness

An absolute no-no for any holiday rental property is a lack of cleanliness. If a guest’s first impression of a property is a lack of cleanliness, no matter how good your property maybe it is a difficult hurdle to overcome. Guests don’t want to arrive at a property and suddenly be cognisant of previous guests. Hair in showers, stained carpets, dog hair on floors and smelly bed linen are just some of the factors that may have your guests running for the door or worse, leaving a negative review. There is no margin for error when it comes to cleanliness.

These issues can be overcome by carefully selecting your cleaning staff and by having quality standards checklists in place. These should also be formalized in agreements with your cleaners.

A guest says…
“We enquired about a property who responded to us and said that we could clean the property ourselves when we left for a reduced fee. We were aghast! We didn’t feel that guests were capable of cleaning a property to the standard of professional cleaners. We imagined turning up at the property to find it had been cleaned poorly by guests and that was enough to turn us off from staying there.”

Buying in the wrong location

Sometimes guests have an "if we build it they will come" approach to holiday rental properties. That is, they buy a property in a remote location with no tourism drawcard. They think that because the property is an attractive or special property that guests will come there just for the property itself. The reality is that most guests come to stay at holiday homes because they want to visit a particular area or attraction, rather than the home being the central reason for their stay. Of course, there are "destination properties" which are exceptions to this, but those kinds of homes (think multi-million dollar houses or castles!) represent a tiny minority of holiday homes. Unless the property is located in a holiday hotspot where guests tend to stay for a week or more and where guests are willing to fly or drive long distances, the majority of holiday homes are best located within a 3-hour drive of a major city. Above 3 hours, guests will think twice about driving there for a weekend.

A Guest says...
"Because most properties have a 2-night minimum stay, to go away for a weekend means that we have to stay on a Friday and Saturday night and return on a Sunday. As we are at work until 5 pm we can't leave until about 6 pm on a Friday night. This means that we are restricted to properties within a 3-hour drive otherwise it is too exhausting to drive late into the night."

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