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Confessions of a Property Manager

Hi, I'm Lisa and in my blog I'm going to be spilling the beans on what it's really like to be a property manager in Spain looking after other people's properties. Your wouldn't believe some of the things that I see and happen to me. I'm going to be telling you all about it!

Rental Enquiries
16 March 2008 @ 13:12

I have to admit the rental enquiries have slowed down lately, which can be a worry. They are still coming through but not to the quantity that I would like, some apartments are proving to be more popular than others and are really winning the race in rental weeks booked. Other apartments are seriously suffering due to location but now it seems that holidaymakers are being more specific on what they want even in the good locations. The apartments with low grade furniture are being overlooked for the ones with style.
 
So what is going on… the absolutely awful GBP/Euro exchange rate for starters… it is currently the lowest it has EVER been. 1.24 on the streets of Gibraltar the other day. I remember the days it fluctuated around the 1.4 - 1.45 rate. Also I was reading an article in the Resident paper yesterday about the Credit Crunch, how the problems in America have affected other global economies and basically banks are tightening their belts, the word is don’t spend – pay back debt.   So against the backdrop of economic uncertainty I have to find a way to rent our holiday apartments to maximum capacity! 
 
Luckily we do have a stream of returning clients – thank goodness, but how to bring in new clients when the British market has slowed down. I was lying in bed thinking about this, this morning. How sad is that, Sunday morning, should be a day off and I am contemplating how to bring in more enquiries!! I am going to research the European market – simply because there is no exchange rate issue to worry about. We have an owner who is Norwegian and she rents out her property privately as well as via us, but I have to say she does very well. We currently do have enquires from the French and very occasionally the Spanish but not enough, so agenda for next week – research!..


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16 Comments


Joe said:
17 March 2008 @ 07:59

I have a couple of properties of my own that I rent out and things do seem more quiet around this time of year compared to last.

Good idea to market to other nationalities I just wouldn't know where to start.

Look forward to read your findings ;)


Steve said:
17 March 2008 @ 22:10

Do you really think the euro rate is having such an effect? I wouldn't have thought most people just coming on holiday would even be aware of the change in the euro.

I wonder if all the bad press about Spain is a factor too?


Mercedes said:
18 March 2008 @ 09:37

Hi, we are from Belgium.
Here it is the same. We have a bungalow at the Belgian coast, and there we have the same problem. Last year, every period was let before 31/3/07 Not now.

In Spain, it is also very quit.

We hope to better times.


Quince said:
18 March 2008 @ 12:38

Hi Everyone

I note all your comments but would like to say that I have enquiries and bookings coming in constantly. Those that I cannot accommodate I give the rental to friends on the same urbanisation and others who placed their details on my site. Happy Renting Quince


Jane Breay said:
18 March 2008 @ 13:13

It is certainly looking poor and I think the strength of the euro is definitely a big factor, but perhaps the biggest of all is the HUGE oversupply of properties all trying to let.

If you want to get after the Spanish you have to advertise on their websites and be able to respond in Spanish. There are areas that they love to go, and happily for us Mojacar is one of them, but it is a VERY short season as most of them still take their hols in August.


mercedes said:
18 March 2008 @ 13:32

Quince, can I ask you, in witch urbanisation you are staying?

I'm new here, and still got a lot to learn.


Lisa said:
18 March 2008 @ 20:15

Hi Quince

Good to hear that you are renting your apartment well. I took a look at your site and you have furnished your apartment very well, also included some great extras, it is a shame that some of my owners haven't followed your example. I have some great apartments which are doing well but I have to say it is a lot harder with the ones who have not given the time and budget to the furniture and furnishings! The enquiries coming through for the top apartments are ok but I am finding it difficult with the not so good ones - there is so much choice out there that the apartment has to stand out.


Lisa said:
18 March 2008 @ 20:25

Hi Quince

Good to hear that you are renting your apartment well. I took a look at your site and you have furnished your apartment very well, also included some great extras, it is a shame that some of my owners haven't followed your example. I have some great apartments which are doing well but I have to say it is a lot harder with the ones who have not given the time and budget to the furniture and furnishings! The enquiries coming through for the top apartments are ok but I am finding it difficult with the not so good ones - there is so much choice out there that the apartment has to stand out.


Tessa said:
19 March 2008 @ 18:23

Hello Lisa,

Have you tried the Swedish market? I'm Swedish and can't say I've seen much advertised on Spain. Much more on Thailand - the place loved by the Swedes. But, with rising environmental awareness people will, perhaps, try not to travel so far. Then Spain might be an alternative.

Just curious to know if you've tried the Swedish market.

Regards,
Tessa


Lisa said:
19 March 2008 @ 20:33

Hi Tessa

I haven't tried the Swedish Market but would certainly be interested in trying it. What is the most popular holiday site for advertising?
If you are interested in helping out with the translations perhaps you could email me and we can work something out?


Tessa said:
22 March 2008 @ 22:05

I'd be happy to help


Fiona said:
23 March 2008 @ 11:58

Hi there everyone,
I've got an apartment in Spain too and I'm a lot quieter this year than last. I have to say that some of the problem is competiting with others who just drop their rental rates to a ridiculous amount in order to get people in. I feel it makes it worse for everybody else and if there was a fixed rate then people would benefit.

Yes you are probably right about the exchange, plus people in UK & Ireland and Europe are feeling with squeeze with the increase in interest rates. People are scared this year to go out and spend. Well that's what I think.

Fioan.


Jill said:
28 May 2008 @ 09:11

Hola

My houses on the Costa de la Luz are ahead of last year on bookings for the summer.
I have had Dutch,Spanish and a group of Swedish golfers in my houses.
Tessa,I would be interested in receiving any comments on how to tap into the Swedish market.The area is very popular with the Swedes in the winter, who appear to drive down en masse?
Many thanks.


Estepona said:
28 May 2008 @ 10:00

We have seen a slow down in rental enquiries too this year. So a month or so ago we got to work putting the property in many other places compared to our normal websites avenues, which had done so well for us over the years.

Try local newsagents windows in your home town. So low cost magazine advertising in the uk. Add you property to a website you didnt have it listed on before. Lets face it the most exposure you get the more likely you are to fill your property. Also be prepared to discount, there is a lot of competition.


Mark said:
11 July 2008 @ 16:53

This is our first year renting our 1 bed property, which I think is a bit of a niche at attracting couples, as the builders locally will now only build 2 beds.

We advertised on holidaylettings and received nothing. We advertised on a Spanish website and within about 6 weeks, all of August was filled and all but one week in July. As you say, with all our guests being "locals", there is no worry over the exchange rate.

Our first guests are in this week and they have told our keyholder and our booking agent how happy they are with it. Let's hope everyone else feels the same way about it :0)


Norma said:
03 December 2008 @ 10:27

Hi, my sons have a Spanish mortgage on our apartment in Campoamor Golf Course, beautiful apartment, but in 4 years the interest rate has gone up from just under 3% to 6%. Can anyone help with a cheaper mortgage, they are only paying the interest at the moment too.
HELP.


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