For those who already own holiday let properties and others who are considering entering this space, knowing how to market your holiday let is critical. We might merely be mortgage brokers with experience in holiday let mortgages, but...don't let that fool you, we know a lot more than you might initially think!
So we hope this little blog really helps you out as it’s important to consider the challenges you will face and how you will tackle them. Working out how to market your holiday let property in the best way, is of course one of these!
What does an independent mortgage broker know about marketing a holiday let?
With expertise in holiday let mortgages, we have a unique perspective. We work with investors all the time and can see what they do well, and sometimes not so well! Yes we deal with the holiday let mortgages and other types of mortgages, but we also know the mechanics behind a deal and the fundamentals of a good business plan.
With expertise in holiday let mortgages, we have a unique perspective...
I can also speak from experience as we have recently started our own holiday let business and as someone who started a financial services business in 2009 at the beginning of the recession I have turned a one-man operation into a growing and successful business. So read on to find out how to market your holiday let from someone who does it!
Overview of the Different markets:
Its really important to understand the different property markets and the types of people (persona’s) who use them. For example a holiday let should not be confused or put in the same category as a buy to let. Although they are both investment properties, fundamentally they are completely different things with different markets.
A holiday let usually aims for individuals, groups or families looking to have a holiday for a short period of time. A buy to let on the other hand is a longer term rental agreement for an individuals, professionals or a family unit.
From a mortgage angle, they are also hugely different and it's important to get it right. You can read more about how they are different to buy to let mortgages here or if you want to find out how to get a holiday let mortgage click here.
Understanding how these different persona groups operate, where they are, what they like, and how to communicate with them is critical for the success of your business.
Map this out so you have a very clear vision of what your persona looks like.
The first step with a marketing plan is to map this out so you have a very clear vision of what your persona looks like. However this is often overlooked but without doing this it is impossible to build a strong marketing plan. You need to understand your target audience to be able to appeal to them.
How do you do this?
You need to be able to describe in detail the persona you are aiming for.
You need to know what they like, the types of holidays they go on, the brands they like, the cars they drive, the hobbies they enjoy, the challenges they face, and much more. You need to dig really deep to get a thorough perspective of your ideal target audience.
In fact, this applies to any business that you may be starting, not just a holiday let business! Just remember this is a business and it’s a competitive marketplace, so you need to be on top of your game!
At the end of this process you will have a very clear vision of your persona and this is really important as it determines your market and helps you focus everything in the right direction.
The difficulty of profiling your persona group!
I know it can be a hard concept to try and understand and some of you will just say it's an impossible task as everyone is different and I want everyone and anyone to come and use the holiday let. But do you really want everyone and anyone? Really?
Will your holiday let in the end appeal to know one? Think about it for a moment; when you are looking at any good business they will have one or many personas they are aiming at and be very clear on their focus. This will drive everything and from a holiday let perspective it could help you focus on what your offering will be, the quality of the fixtures and fittings, whether you provide towels, and much more besides.
A big company like Nike for example will have several persona’s that they are aiming for because they have several product lines, you can read more about who Nike are marketing to here but what you will see is a very clear focus. They are targeting specific groups, not everyone.
In the end it is impossible to appeal to everyone, so don’t waste your time and focus on those who will enjoy and appreciate what you have.
Be clear on your proposition:
Although you might want to offer a certain service, think about whether you or the property are better suited for something else?
Your choice maybe driven by the physical location of your property, the time you have and the amount of involvement you are prepared to give.
If you have never run a holiday let before think carefully as it might be better to have a normal buy to let instead.
Understanding your market is the first step in clearly understanding your business challenges.
Once you have a clear idea of your persona, you can then carefully analyse your business challenges and ask yourself lots of questions: What is the local market conditions for holiday lets? Is it a viable business in the area? Does it attract your target persona and if not do you change it? Who is your competition? How are you going to market the property to the target audience? How much are you going to charge? Who is going to do the cleaning? And so much more…
One of the keys to making a holiday let really work:
There’s a point why holiday letting agents often ask for exclusivity during the peak season, and that’s because they know its easy to get bookings and its guaranteed money for them. The fact is its relatively easy to be busy in the high season, particularly if your property is in a popular location for holiday makers.
However, the key to real success is to be busy in the mid and low seasons. These seasons make up a lot of the available weeks and unless you can get occupancy in these periods then you are losing money.
Think about how you can attract guests in the off season. Your target audience will dictate how you do this and help shape your proposition.
There has never been an easier or better way to market your holiday let property than there is right now. With the rise of tech companies disrupting the market, it has enabled landlords to easily market their own property to a huge audience which only a few years ago would have been impossible. Before you could only rely on holiday letting companies doing this with their exposure and marketing. However now of course you can list for a fraction of the cost with sites like Airbnb, owners direct, and more.
Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider using a holiday letting agent and there are many good reasons to do that. But now like never before the opportunity is far greater, but so is the competition!
Social media marketing:
To add more complexity for that ever-growing pot of things to think about! Social media is a huge platform that can be utilized. If you are not using this then you are potentially missing a trick.
Of course, knowing how to market a holiday let listing on a social media platform well is a science and the occasional post is unlikely to have much weight. However, this is where it is important to map out a social media marketing strategy. The start of which is clearly understanding who your persona is. Did I mention how important understanding your persona is?!
I will keep you all updated with the challenges we face as although I am experienced in business, property investment, development and much more, this is a new venture into the holiday let space!
If you would like to find out more or need help with a holiday let mortgage, just get in touch, we don’t just talk the talk, we do it too