FOR ALL SEA­SONS

Keen to make the most of your hol­i­day let in France all year round? Laura Hab­good ex­plains how to max­imise its po­ten­tial

Living France - - Contents - Laura Hab­good is a Brit­tany Fer­ries’ prop­erty ad­viser with Hol­i­day France Di­rect brit­tany­fer­ries.com hol­i­dayfrancedi­rect.com

Advice on how to max­imise the in­come po­ten­tial of your hol­i­day let all year round

Rent­ing your prop­erty in France to guests can pro­vide you with a reg­u­lar cus­tomer base and a steady in­come, but how can you get the most out of your rental dur­ing the qui­eter, out-of-sea­son pe­ri­ods as well as dur­ing the peak times?

First of all, it is vi­tally im­por­tant to de­fine the low and high sea­son for you and your prop­erty and to think about who your tar­get mar­ket is likely to be dur­ing th­ese times. Dur­ing the peak sea­sons of sum­mer and Christ­mas, your guests are of­ten likely to be fam­i­lies with school-age chil­dren, so it is re­ally im­por­tant your mar­ket­ing dur­ing this time re­flects this and pro­motes the child­friend­li­ness of your prop­erty. Be sure to men­tion any spe­cial fea­tures such as chil­dren’s bed­rooms and games rooms, and to talk about your out­side space and swim­ming pool if you have one – pools tend to be a big draw and fea­ture on hol­i­day­mak­ers’ wish lists.

You should also re­fer to the best child­friendly at­trac­tions near to your prop­erty, in­clud­ing zoos and theme parks such as Fu­tur­o­scope near Poitiers and Puy du Fou in Vendée. A prop­erty that has plenty to see and do in the lo­cal area is likely to be very at­trac­tive to hol­i­day­mak­ers who have chil­dren that need to be en­ter­tained!

Make a point of in­clud­ing pho­to­graphs of any lo­cal beaches or places of in­ter­est with the sun shin­ing, and let your guests know about any spe­cial events or fes­ti­vals that may be tak­ing place dur­ing their stay.

THINK OUT­SIDE THE BOX

‘Out of sea­son’ can usu­ally be de­fined as the pe­riod out­side of the school hol­i­days and your tar­get mar­ket is likely to be very dif­fer­ent dur­ing this time – it could in­clude older peo­ple with grown-up chil­dren, fam­i­lies with very young pre-school chil­dren, cou­ples with­out chil­dren or pos­si­bly a group of adults. House-hunters look­ing for a prop­erty to buy will need some­where to stay dur­ing view­ing trips too, and will prob­a­bly pre­fer to ar­range th­ese out­side of peak sea­son as it will be qui­eter and less ex­pen­sive.

Although the weather may be per­ceived as be­ing colder or wet­ter dur­ing this time, you can still get some lovely sun­shine in France dur­ing the spring and au­tumn (and some of win­ter!). Fur­ther­more, beaches and other at­trac­tions are likely to be much less crowded than dur­ing the peak pe­ri­ods, which will ap­peal to a lot of peo­ple.

You will need to change your mar­ket­ing dur­ing the off-peak pe­riod and tai­lor it to suit your tar­get au­di­ence in order to se­cure the max­i­mum num­ber of book­ings. For ex­am­ple, if you have a fire or wood-burn­ing stove, be sure to fea­ture pho­to­graphs of this on your website or ad­ver­tis­ing por­tal so that po­ten­tial guests will re­ally be able to imag­ine them­selves snug­gled up by the fire. Post reg­u­lar up­dates to your so­cial me­dia ac­counts so your au­di­ence will be able to get a feel for your prop­erty in all sea­sons. You could also con­sider of­fer­ing spe­cial deals for un­de­r­oc­cu­pancy dur­ing qui­eter pe­ri­ods to at­tract cou­ples and young fam­i­lies to your prop­erty.

If you are able to, try to be more flex­i­ble dur­ing the off-peak sea­son and of­fer short breaks or flex­i­ble changeover days to fit in with the needs of your cus­tomer, and to ap­peal to those who, for ex­am­ple, are look­ing for a long week­end in France.

Travel is also a lot cheaper out­side of the peak sea­son, in­clud­ing ferry travel, which al­lows guests to travel with their car and with­out re­stric­tions on the amount of lug­gage they are able to take with them. Be sure to men­tion this in your mar­ket­ing if your prop­erty is within easy reach of a port.

If you of­fer a wel­come/in­for­ma­tion pack at your prop­erty, this will also need to be tai­lored to the type of guest vis­it­ing your prop­erty and the time of year they are stay­ing. This will en­sure that the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to your guests is al­ways rel­e­vant and that the details you give them are up to date.

YEAR-ROUND AP­PEAL

France truly is a place for all sea­sons. Dur­ing Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, the land­scape starts to change and be­comes filled with the beau­ti­ful colours of au­tumn. There are still many hours of sun­shine in France dur­ing this pe­riod, although tem­per­a­tures start to be­come slightly cooler. This is the per­fect time to wan­der along one of the many foot­paths and look at the chang­ing colours of the leaves, or to go hunt­ing for chest­nuts or mush­rooms in the forests. Au­tumn also sig­nals the start of the grape har­vest in France, and the

nu­mer­ous wine fes­ti­vals that take place are an ideal op­por­tu­nity for your guests to sam­ple and pur­chase the fa­mous lo­cal tip­ple.

France’s Christ­mas mar­kets are a big draw in win­ter, and those who are keen to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of a French marché de Noël will be look­ing for some­where to stay, giv­ing you an­other op­por­tu­nity to make the most of your hol­i­day let dur­ing the colder months. Mar­kets are held across the coun­try, and there are plenty of other win­ter­time cel­e­bra­tions too, such as the Fête des Lu­mières in Lyon. It’s a nice touch to decorate your prop­erty dur­ing this time for your guests, and you could even pro­vide a tree for them so they re­ally feel at home dur­ing their Christ­mas break.

The ar­rival of spring brings warmer weather and lots more fes­ti­vals, in ad­di­tion to the Easter break. It’s a good idea to pro­mote any lo­cal events on your so­cial me­dia pages, and be sure to have in­for­ma­tion about th­ese avail­able at your prop­erty so that guests can get the most out of their stay.

Dur­ing the sum­mer months, your guests will be spoilt for choice for what to do. The cli­mate dur­ing this pe­riod is usu­ally warm and sunny, es­pe­cially in the south of France, and it is the per­fect time to ex­plore the many miles of long sandy beaches and rugged coastal paths that France has to of­fer. Fur­ther in­land, there are nat­u­ral parks and open coun­try­side to ex­plore, not to men­tion fields of sun­flow­ers and laven­der that go on for miles on end.

By know­ing your au­di­ence and ef­fec­tively tai­lor­ing your mar­ket­ing, you can turn your French prop­erty into a thriv­ing hol­i­day let all year round!

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