Protection and income are the two most sought after qualities by holiday property landlords, a winner at the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales’ (REINSW) 2011 awards said.
“It is important to protect our property owners’ asset, both physically and legally, and at the same time ensure the security of their income,” said Brett Hunter, principal at Raine & Horne Terrigal-Avoca Beach, after securing the 2011 award for ‘Excellence in Holiday and Short-Term Property Management’.
One way his firm has achieved this is through altering their approach to holiday lettings, especially with a busy Christmas period looming.
“The [NSW] Central Coast usually has a bumper crop of holidaymakers at Christmas time, with 100 per cent occupancy of holiday properties.
“Knowing we can’t improve on a 100 per cent result, instead we have focused on helping people extend their stays before and after the Christmas period, as well as assisting them with shorter stays of perhaps three or four days on multiple occasions,” said Mr Hunter.
“We have secured a 20 per cent increase in revenue for our owners every month for the last six months, and this not only proves the strength of the Central Coast holiday market, but also that the targets set by our firm are paying off.”
He added that the award not only recognised the company’s ability to provide good accommodation and memorable guest experiences, but also acknowledged the agency’s back-end processes including customer service, financial management, and leasing systems.
Denise Jillett, principal at Raine and Horne Yamba, on NSW’s far north coast, agrees that providing top quality accommodation and good service are mandatory for a successful holiday letting business.
“It’s all about repeat business,” she told Real Estate Business. She says some of her holiday period tenants have been staying at the same unit for 26 consecutive years.
She said protecting a landlord’s investment was best achieved by thorough and regular inspections of the property and appliances, tenant identification checks and security bonds, amongst other measures.
She added that ensuring property handovers between tenants during the busy Christmas/New Year holiday period – which will be even more important this year as Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Sundays – is also essential to maintaining good relationships with tenants.
Moreover, she believes that having the same cleaner always handling the same property gives them a sense of ‘ownership and pride’ in what they do, boosting quality and again, giving renters a positive experience.
Her agency has a holiday letting vacancy rate of between one and two per cent from New Year’s Day through to January 14 next year. But like Mr Hunter, she said encouraging tenants to consider other, less busy periods often helped retain business.