Your buy-to-let property investment can only operate at its maximum capacity if managed properly. It's helpful to think of your real estate as a small business and apply the same management principles to your property as you would to the hospitality industry. The two most important components to take care of is bricks-and-mortar maintenance and your client relationships. Property in good nick attracts holidaymakers and quality service encourages them to return the following season.
Before deciding how to manage your property investment, make sure you've met all the necessary tax and legal requirements. Notify your mortgage lender that you're renting your property and take out public liability insurance to protect you and your property against any possible claims/damages caused by tenants. We'd also advocate chatting to your tax consultant to find out how much you can claim on certain rebates for maintenance, marketing costs, security and insurance.
To keep your property in excellent shape, you either need to assume responsibility or pay a property manager or company to handle things on your behalf. Seeing as though you're thousands of miles away and in a different time zone, it makes sense to employ someone on standby to deal with emergencies, do repairs and scout tenants, etc. We'd strongly recommend outsourcing management, so you won’t have additional investment admin cutting into valuable family time. Here are a few handy tips on how to find the right candidate and effectively market your property investment:
Chat with other property owners in your area and find out who's satisfied with their property management before searching online or making any phone calls. Once you have a shortlist of reputable companies, you can correlate it with an online search and see who ranks the highest. Doing thorough research will save time and help you put together a strong list of suitable candidates to interview.
When interviewing, you should address all the quintessential details from work experience to management style. Ask potential candidates how they communicate with landlords, what their procedures are to deal with complaints and repairs, and how they determine rental value. You're entrusting the management responsibility of your property investment to them, and you need to feel 100% certain of their capabilities. If you find a sound company that ticks all the boxes on paper but you feel uneasy after speaking to them, then don't hire them!
Clarify Rules and Responsibilities
State your expectations and non-negotiables from the start. If you don't want pets or smoking in your venue, then you must notify your property manager. You also need to be clear about the times you'd like to use the property to avoid double-bookings and let them know how often you expect maintenance updates.
The only way to ensure absolute clarity and protect your investment is to draw up a clear contract stipulating how payment terms, cancellations, breakages and complaints will be dealt with. It's your property manager's responsibility to ensure your tenants’ stay is as pleasant as possible.
There's no point in renting out a beautiful home and then losing clientele through bad management due to misunderstandings or breached agreements. We'd encourage you to draw up the contract together, so you're both on the same page.
A property that's booked all-year round is appealing to the eye and the bank balance. Holidaymakers are drawn to competitive rental pricing, recommendations and most importantly, welcoming visuals. If you upload high-quality photographs of magazine quality, you automatically attract potential clients.
It’s cliche, but in the case of holiday rentals, a picture is definitely worth 1000 words. With beautiful imagery, you can easily manage the marketing of your property by setting up a website and promoting it through booking platforms and social media.
A buy-to-let foreign property investment takes minimal effort to run if you employ capable management and market it well giving you time to focus on your family and grow other investments.
For detailed knowledge on why the foreign property market is so lucrative or which type of property suites your family, you can download our ebook, A Foreign Property Investment Guide. If you’re wanting to add a real estate asset to your financial portfolio then be sure to see our villas in Calpe, they’re positioned on Spain’s popular coastline and are well-suited to holidaymaker rentals.