By turning vacant houses, cottages or rooms into attractive, self-catering spaces for paying guests, property owners can quickly start earning a passive income and truly make their assets work for them.
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“Anyone can register their accommodation with an online aggregator, and be hosting visitors within hours,” explains Tom Williams, Chief Operational Officer at e-commerce travel specialists SafariNow.com. “Although there is a perception that only registered or ‘formal’ accommodation providers can use aggregators, this is simply not true – anyone can register if they have the right credentials,” he continues.
Property owners can avoid the high costs and administration headaches associated with working through local rental agents by simply choosing the right online channels. One huge benefit is that listing with a major aggregator immediately boosts your online visibility. Aggregators in turn give owners access to an established, and captive, database of trusting customers.
How to get your property listed online
Select one or two online aggregators using visitor traffic as a key factor in the selection process.
Then find a way of standing out in the crowd. “For example, package your accommodation with some sort of activity, such as a whale watching weekend in Hermanus, or learning to surf in Muizenberg,” says Williams.
When it comes to the practicalities of the actual listing, he says photographs and clear, but detailed descriptions are very important in getting noticed.
“You can have the most beautiful holiday home to let, but if the photographs are poor, you will have a low success rate,” he explains.
It’s also essential to give yourself enough lead-time to ensure that the accommodation is booked for seasonal holidays.
According to Williams the average lead-time varies between ten days for spontaneous trips, to 40 days for more established periods such as school holidays.
Reducing the risk
Payment processes and fraud will always be major concerns. To get around this, Williams advises property owners to use a local aggregator and one that facilitates the entire payment process – with minimal associated costs. “You need to ensure that the aggregator will support and look after you if things go wrong,” he adds.
Turning your property into a steady source of passive income – with minimal risk and hassle – is all about finding the right partner. By choosing a trusted online aggregator, you can ride the wave of budget travel by simply renting out your unused property or rooms.