Dave had worked in the boat hire business and in a four star hotel. We’ve stayed in great hotels and rented cottages and villas ourselves. So when kitting out our house we considered what we would like if we were renting - a real home from home in comforts but with a touch of Spain.
So what did we learn from our first season of renting out house-by-the-pool.com? Well, first was that most renters are lovely people who appreciate a well presented comfortable property and respect it, the community and the key holders. Most! There was a small element that did none of these. When we came to do the inventory at the end of summer we discovered some were happy to take ‘mementoes’ of the house home with them and some were happy to claim they hadn’t broken anything.
Why did they want our towels or our pillow cases? Glad to say it was a minority. A couple of others broke a glass or mug and replaced it with two, which was kind and unexpected.
What we hadn’t realised when we first began advertising the house was that we would be able to fill it ten times over in August, so we could be fussy about who we had stay. We had already decided no hen, stag or student parties, but from here on we spoke to everyone and asked questions. The next year we turned away two or three enquirers and still filled the season. If a person wasn’t respectful to us the chances were they wouldn’t be respectful to our keyholder, our neighbours or the house.
That first season was a steep learning curve. We discovered guests like and expect British TV, internet access, a games console (and games), air conditioning in every room, a coffee maker and a hair dryer. They don’t like sweeping the floor, taking out the rubbish or using their own beach towels instead of the bathroom towels on sand!