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Bulgaria Property Owners: Rentals

Price. You don't want to undervalue your property but you do want the bookings. Owners often compare their own property with another similar local one. However, owners should be comparing not only within the Bulgarian market but with the European wide holiday market.

Look at your prices and don't be greedy. A quick search on the internet showed a property here in Bulgaria at 360 euros a week, compared with a similar property in Crete at only 240 euros.

Undercut your competitors prices if you need to. It is better to have the property full than empty as your costs remain nearly the same whether you have renters in or not. Additionally the property itself will benefit from being used and you may get good referrals.

Internet Site. If you have some great comments from visitors in your guest book, add them to your site. A recommendation from others could just tip the balance in your favour. Take a critical look at your internet site; better still get a friend to do this.

Do you sell on benefits or features? Visitors do not want features, they want what benefit a feature will give them. Re-read your site and see if you only give visitors features. If this is the case, rewrite with the benefits instead.

Emphasise how cheap their holiday will be when they get here as this is one of the major advantages to a Bulgarian holiday compared with elsewhere.

Advertising. It is no good having the most wonderful website in the world if people cannot find it or do now know about it.

It is time to think carefully about advertising and marketing this year. It is the one thing on which you cannot afford to cut costs. Those who are experienced in the game know the importance of continuing to be noticed, especially online. With 70% booking online advertising on the web is critical and these days is not expensive.

Owners can advertise on at least two rentals sites for less than one week's rent. You may get decent repeat business but you still need to advertise to maintain a supply of new business.

Target Market. Who are your clients? Can you target new markets? There is great potential outside of the British holidaymakers. Central European tourists are coming to Bulgaria in increasing numbers, so it may well be worth targeting this market.

Alternatively, why not attack the local Bulgarian market. You could benefit from the fact that many Bulgarians holiday in their own country. Owners could have their site translated into another language or do it for themselves if they speak a second language. A word of warning, avoid Google translate for languages as the translation leaves a great deal to be desired!

Set the scene for a year-round market to increase the number of letting weeks by informing potential guests about off-peak activities and things to see and do.

Booking Process. Be geared up to respond to enquiries - and quickly. Holidaymakers these days expect a fast response, at least within 24 hours. If you do not respond quickly and correctly, they will give up on you.

In today's market there is no excuse losing business because you failed to respond. Some people hate email, so make sure there is a phone contact too.

The Property. Take a good hard look at your property and assess it honestly. Then write up your blurb using catchy phrases without being untruthful. Whilst good images are always important, video is playing its part in attracting the customer this year.

The Keys. The first step to your visitors' holiday is how they pick up the keys. Think about holidays you have experienced when you've been worried sick about arriving. You need to make sure this part of their holiday experience is seamless. If this part fails, then the whole holiday could become a nightmare for them and you.

In today's economic climate, owners need to be prepared to be pro-active and put in the effort to please the holidaymaker at every stage through their holiday.

You may not be the cheapest but if you go for quality, service, attention to detail and offer something different, you'll be sure to have a successful season.