It’s a question of management – especially with Property Management in south west France.
We asked Mark Jansen, owner of Jansen Property Services, to share his experiences and offer some tips for maximising those profits.
Mark Jansen of Jansen Property
At the very least, arrange for the grass to be mown
Mark comments, “A while ago, as part of a maintenance visit, we found that a calf had walked all over a floating pool cover. We knew because of the deposits it had left behind and the hoof prints! The cover had huge cracks so we took photos, obtained repair quotes, dealt with the insurance company and oversaw its replacement.
“Another time” he adds, “we were at a monthly visual check when we saw that an owl had flown down the chimney and made a huge mess inside. We called the owners and they asked us to sort it out. That regular check prevented worse damage and they were free to enjoy their stay when they arrived.”
A second home means a second set of costs and it can be tempting to let things go a little longer than usual. You might ask a company to chlor the pool once a month but if the water level goes too low in that time, you could be buying a new pump. That’s false economy.
“One thing we have noticed”, says Mark “is that burglaries have increased in properties where the the grass isn’t maintained. This is a clear invitation to unwanted visitors. At the very least, think about having the grass mown regularly.”
Happy guests return time and time again
The aim, for any owner, should be to create happiness. A bottle of wine and snacks, with orange juice for children is a great welcome gift, and always have spare linens along with an accurate inventory.
Mark adds “Whatever you do, hang onto the deposit for two weeks after their stay. The last thing you want is for the cleaners to notice something after they’ve left or, worse, for the next tenant to call you with “I thought you said there was a snooker table?” Seriously, it can take a few days before a new tenant misses something and you need to be able to compensate for that.
“Then there are the guests from hell. This is when the cleaning crew goes into overdrive and your expenses go over budget. Make sure your welcome information states that the cleaning cost is based on like for like, not for cleaning or repairs after they’ve trashed it, and that additional costs will be deducted from the deposit.”
“Finally, we know it is very difficult to book more than six to eight weeks via a private website. By using a holiday rental organisation you are more likely to achieve 12 to 14 weeks. Even if the agency takes an equivalent of two weeks income as their cost, that’s still an increase. It is more professional and will certainly pay for itself in the long term.”
For a list of property management companies and services visit our business directory pages at www.thelocalbuzzmag.com/business-directory
First published in the May/June 2019 edition of The Local Buzz.
Images: Jansen Property and Shutterstock