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How To Find Rentals For Your Holiday Home

Mar 9, 2008
In May 2006 I bought my first holiday home south of Orlando in Florida. We decided to buy in Florida because of the proximity of the theme parks and the good weather all the year round.The reasoning was that we could use the house a few weeks a year ourselves and then rent the house out for a good proportion of the rest of the year.

When we bought the house the sales agent assured us that we would have no trouble in renting the house out and that he in fact had many clients already doing the same thing with good occupancy records.

When we had completed on the house we started to look around for rental agencies to help find us bookings and also manage the house in our absence. The first that shocked us was the fees that the rentals company wanted for managing our holiday home and if that were not enough they wanted top heavy extras for cleaning and maintenance. We decided to bite the bullet and give them a go; we waited and we waited but no rentals.

After a few months and several heated telephone calls we were told that they had secured our first rental. Great we thought until we discovered that they had booked them in the same two weeks in the summer that we were going to use the house ourselves.

In fairness to the rental company, they did eventually get a couple of rentals but the only problem was that the second rental trashed the house before leaving and their deposit in no way covered the cost of the repairs.

We then decided to take the house away from the rental company and just use it ourselves and rent it to family and friends. This partly solved the problem but we discovered that we still had a shortfall in our running costs and that we needed to bring in some reliable rentals that we could trust to match the short fall.

At first we tried to build a small website of our own and thought that we would be able to secure more bookings in this way. This was before we knew about Search Engine Optimisation, key words and web rankings! We had a great small home made site but nobody ever saw it and more importantly we go no extra bookings.

In desperation we began looking at the internet for ways of advertising our holiday home and again quickly discovered that the companies offering the service were all wanting a lot of money to advertise on their sites. That was when I took the bull horns and decided to build a proper holiday home rental site specifically for the private holiday home owner who wanted to rent his home3 out direct to the end user.

I knew that there were thousands of holiday home owners out there who were in a similar position to me and I reckoned that they would jump at the chance to advertise their holiday homes on a professionally built site free of charge. And so that it what I have done; I have built a user friendly free to advertise on holiday home rental site. That way the home owner has nothing to loose; if they get few rentals it has cost them nothing and so they will consider it a bonus. However if they get a lot of rentals they will consider it a complete success.
About the Author
Andrew Gibson is MD of Direct Holiday Bookings. It is one of the fastest growing on line travel websites. To see an example of why Direct Holiday Bookings is growing so rapidly have a look at Holiday Villas
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