Keyholding is both the most important part of a successful rental and the most frustrating part of your rental! When we first bought the house a lady at the estate agents said she would be happy to keyhold and meet guests when they arrived. The guests would then pay her the cleaning and laundry fee before they left. (It’s important that you show this as an extra on all your ads.) So we paid her an annual fee and thought that we had things sorted. The problem was that she really didn’t have the time to do the job properly and wasn’t flexible enough to fit around arrival and departure times of guests.
Towards the end of the first season she recommended a local business set up as full-time keyholders and cleaners. Run by three people it went very well for the first 2 years. Then one left and another couple joined, but the two couples fell out within months and the business was down to two people. They had more work than they could handle properly and standards dropped so we had a heart to heart. They asked for a second chance and we stupidly agreed. The next season was a disaster!
They didn’t clean to the standard required, didn’t water our plants and the quality of service was going down all the time. When we arrived ourselves at the end of the season I cried at the presentation. It took us two solid days of cleaning for about 10 hours each day to get the house to a standard we wanted and we still had to do our usual twice yearly cleaning of voiles, bed covers, windows, shutters and cupboards and do the inventory. So in October 2011 we sacked the keyholders!
Sacking your keyholders is fine if they are doing a bad job, but it rather leaves you in a difficult position when you return to the UK and you have no-one taking care of the house or preparing it for renters.
Some quick thinking was needed!
Dave and Bev Townsend have two homes, their main one in Norwich and a second home in Playa Flamenca in south Costa Blanca, Spain which they also let as a holiday rental www.house-by-the-pool.com. They run a property finding business offering a free service for those seeking to buy a property in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) or the Mar Menor area of the Costa Calida (Murcia) www.SpanishDreamProperty.com. Bev has family in Spain and they intend to move there full-time in a couple of years.