IMPORTANT UPDATE: It’s official, Cyprus closed its popular citizenship by investment program on 1 November 2020. What this means is investors will no longer be able to directly acquire a Cypriot passport by investment.
A new program has taken place, however. The Cyprus Golden Visa provides individuals with an alternative route to permanent residency in Cyprus. Those looking for European citizenship can also apply to the Malta citizenship program, which offers a direct investment route to a Maltese passport.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a holiday rental property, you’ll want to make the best return on investment. The popularity of sites like Airbnb and an abundance of low-cost carriers to destinations Europe-wide mean demand for vacation rentals is higher than ever, making a holiday rental property a great addition to your portfolio. Whether your property is located in Malta, Cyprus, Portugal or Spain, you’ll want to market and stage it perfectly to ensure happy guests and solid returns.
1) Know your market
The first step to getting the most out of your holiday rental property is to know your market. In their own ways, the markets in Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain are all very different and appeal to various target audiences. Are you catering to young couples? Retirees? Families with children? Large groups or long-stay arrangements? Part of what you are able to offer will depend on the size of your property and your location, and you will ideally have worked with your real estate professional to determine these aspects before purchasing.
Once you’ve determined your audience, you can set up your property to advertise and cater directly to them. For young couples, this might mean setting up a romantic patio nook. For families, a couple of storage bins with clean, bright toys will surely be a hit.
2) Stage appropriately
Once you’ve determined your market, you’ll want to stage your property to cater to their needs.
Stylish furniture is a must. People want a bit of the fantasy life when they go on holiday, and a beautiful interior will show well in booking photos. When purchasing furniture, keep durability in mind. Remember, multiple guests will be using the property, so furniture will see a lot of wear and tear.
Ideally, your property will have large windows with plenty of natural light, but even so, bright lighting will help your property achieve that sunny holiday feel. Make sure you have good overhead lighting, as well as lamps. Using LED bulbs will make your property more energy efficient, saving your pocketbook and the environment.
A spotless property is a must. While a clean apartment won’t necessarily get you good reviews, you can be sure a dirty one will create bad reviews. Hire a cleaning service before and after every guest.
Bedding and towels
Make sure you provide your guests with several changes of bedding, including duvets or quilts for colder weather. They will also need plenty of towels as it’s unlikely they will have brought their own.
WIFI and technology
Unless you’ve marketed your property as an ‘unplugged retreat’, you need to outfit it at a minimum with high-speed internet and a quality router. A television with a streaming service like Netflix is also a good idea and looks great on your list of bookings amenities. Make sure to either show guests how to use it when they check in or leave them with a comprehensive instruction manual, including the WIFI password.
Remember to include basic cooking appliances, like a coffee maker, kettle, and staple ingredients like salt, pepper, sugar, coffee and tea. Stock up on toilet paper and paper towels. Depending on your market, there may be other small touches you can include to make your property stand out from the others in your area.
3) Price your rental properly
It’s important to price your rental properly. Too low and you won’t see ideal returns, too high and you may not get many bookings. Many holiday rental properties offer different prices for off-season and peak-season. Consult your property investment specialist who should be able to give you an idea of the comparables in your area and what yields you might expect.
4) Take care of guests
Guests now expect the same level of service or even better service than they might receive at a hotel, so it’s crucial to treat them well. Make sure your service, or that of your management company, goes above and beyond expectations. This is especially important for the first few months until you have garnered a number of good reviews and your property is established. Include a welcome basket, offer recommendations for dining and sightseeing, and make yourself accessible to guests.
5) Protect your guests and your investment
Be sure to protect your guests and your investment. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the property, keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and let guests know where to find the first aid kit. You should also provide a list of local emergency numbers, which may not be the same as in your guest’s home country, and a few phrases they can use to call for help if they don’t speak the language.
Finally, make sure you purchase insurance to cover things like property damage and bodily injury.