So with the first bookings in the diary we sent our son and his girlfriend out to the house in the Easter uni break to try out the house. We arranged with our keyholder that he would be treated just as a paying guest, and in return for his free holiday he had to do a full assessment of the house and set-up. Amazingly he was very complimentary on what we had done and the information we provided. He was able to make a few suggestions. That first year we also had two friends visit, one with her grandchildren and one with her teenage son. The feedback we received was really useful and we were confident we were going about things the right way.
Advertising is an expensive business and we trialled several online sites. Costs for these varied from several hundred pounds a year to free, and completing all the information for each site was time consuming. In the end our bookings came almost entirely from just two of the sites, none at all from the free ones. It pays to use a site ranked high in the search engines.
We also used, and still do use, our own web site with lots of extra information www.house-by-the-pool.com
Since those early days we have made many changes, sought feedback from every renter and listened to suggestions. We have changed most of the furniture inside and out, installed air conditioning in every room, replaced kitchen equipment, installed satellite TV and wifi internet and much, much more.
Finding the right keyholders is critical and has been a long-running issue. We’ll cover that in other posts. We changed fiscal/legal representation as our original firm were insistent that we didn’t need to declare our rental income in Spain as nobody else did. Our new representation were happy to help us stay legal and help with the tax declaration.