Thursday, April 18, 2013

Holiday Lettings Commission Only Listing

Holiday Lettings recently announced an option to list your vacation rental for free and pay only a commission on bookings actually received through the Holiday Lettings website.

I decided to try out the option and listed my 2 Bed Apartment in Nice France . Overall, I have been quite impressed with the results. Over the last 3 weeks, I have received 7 enquiries, 2 of which converted into confirmed bookings.

The sign up process is quite easy: you simply add your property details in the normal way. You can choose how you will be paid (I opted for paypal). You can also adjust your policy on when/how much of a deposit the renter pays and what happens on cancellations etc.

It is Holiday Lettings who actually collect the money from the renter in accordance with your payment terms. However, you don't actually get paid until 48 hours after the guests arrive at your apartment. For some Owners, this might be a concern, although I have found that letting Holiday Lettings look after collecting the payments actually removes an element of hassle to the booking process. Holiday Lettings email you when the renter has paid the deposit and also when they have paid the full balance, so you are kept informed without having to do the chasing yourself.

Holiday Lettings charge a commission of 3% on bookings received, which seems fairly reasonable. However, you should be aware that they also add a Booking Fee of 5% , so you need to either make your renter aware that they should pay this fee or absorb the cost yourself. (I made the mistake with my first booking of quoting a price without the booking fee and had to absorb it myself.) Also, VAT is payable on the commission and booking fee, which adds about 1% more.

To cover these costs, you may want to consider pricing your vacation rental slightly higher than on other listing sites. I'm still considering how to handle that.

Once other thing to watch out for: Holiday Lettings anonymise the email addresses of those who send you an enquiry. (They give them a Holiday Letting.co.uk address). This is presumably to prevent you from contacting the renter directly and avoiding paying the commission.

However, for the first couple of enquiries I received, the emails went straight into my Yahoo email SPAM folder!

Luckily, you can also elect to have Holiday Lettings send you a free Text Message to notify you that you have an enquiry. I had availed of this option and so knew from the text messages that there was an enquiry waiting.

I notified COHR subscribers of the Holiday Lettings offering and received a lot of positive response. Having said that, there were also a couple of people who had some technical issues, plus some who said they would simply prefer to stay with an annual fee.

That said, although it is early days, I must say that I think this is a good, low risk option for getting additional bookings.

If you have used Holiday Lettings commission based listings, I would appreciate your comments.






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