The first thing you need to consider when you’re buying a second property is what are you buying it for – solely for personal use, solely as an investment to rent out, or maybe a combination of the two?
Most buyers will want to use their property for a portion of the year and rent it for the rest. This makes the property search harder, as you’ll have to engage both the head and the heart.
Make sure your agent knows you’re planning to generate rental income from your property and that you discuss the most popular property types and the most popular locations for short term (or long-term) rental, to ensure you make the right decision.
Location is key! The closer to the beach and amenities it is the better, as it will tick more boxes for more people. Easy access to the airport, and to public transport, will also give you an advantage over more isolated properties.
Once you’ve chosen the right location, you need the right space and facilities on the development to give you more selling points to set you apart.
Then you need to get ready to market the property correctly, as expert Stewart Wild from Marbella Lettings explains: “Whether you’re planning to rent your property short-term or long-term, you need a really good, registered agent. Make sure they have their own office, they've got a website, they've got an email address and they're legally registered, so should you have any issues you can go back to them at any point.
Then marketing is key. Make sure that that the agent is promoting the property in as many geographical areas as possible and that they are listing them on rentals portals such as Booking.com, Airbnb, etc. They also should be marketing it to their database of clients and being proactive to find you tenants. Then it’s down to you, as the owner needs to go that extra, extra mile to make sure it's prepared as much as possible.”
You need to bear in mind that the short-term market in particular is a very competitive market. This means you've got to have your property stand out in terms of presentation, location and it's got to be priced correctly. But I always say that you do need patience as well, as it can take a year or two to gain momentum, have a rental history and build up a loyal following of return bookings.
During that time owners should be proactive and push it themselves with friends, family and work colleagues, in order to bump it up listings, get reviews and create a strong platform to build on. Once you start getting on a roll, receiving good reviews and ensuring visitors have a good experience, it starts to be self-fulfilling and you should be busy for the most popular holiday periods from April to September.
The key is to tick as many boxes as possible for your guests, present your property beautifully and make sure you definitely offer international TV and high-speed internet.
Stewart Wild agrees that “one of the biggest requirements of anyone now is internet. As soon as people come in the door they ask: "What's the WiFi code?".
Brexit and lockdown has changed our mentality and has allowed people to work from home and people are thinking, well, if I can work via Zoom now let's buy a place in Spain, or rent long-term, and enjoy the perks of working from home whilst close to the beach. For those long-term rentals, or simply people who need to work while they are away, good internet is critical.”
Now more than ever, people need to consider how they can maximise their income in any way that they can and long-term rental in particular seems to be a good choice for the next year at least.
Tourism will return to Spain, but it’s going to be a slow return to the peak, so in the meantime if covering your costs and making income is your main goal, we’d recommend switching your rentals strategy to long-term for the next 12 months at least and then re-evaluate next spring.
*Sean Woolley is the founder and director of leading real estate agency Cloud Nine Spain. You can watch the interview with Stewart on YouTube or find out more about them at www.marbellalettings.com
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