Recommended websites for advertising rented holiday villa?

Hi there

We have mostly advertised our property with Holiday Lettings which has been pretty good until this year. We have had very few enquiries through them this year. We also tried Pure Holiday Homes which was pretty useless last year and a bit better this year, but neither sites have really impressed with number of enquiries/bookings.

We are thinking of switching to Owners Direct and dropping the other 2. Does anyone have any recommendations or advice on marketing for us?

Thank you.

i am coming in here a bit late in the day go

that is useful information to know thanks very much

I am a newcomer to SFN so have just found this posting, if it helps anyone out there, I have been with since 2006 THEY ARE BRILLIANT.

As an extra one year I did go along with French Country Cottages who basically wanted to have more rights over my home than I had.

There was a booking created personally by me from sometime before I signed up with them, the people were my Dad's friends who wanted to stay & did not go through their site, FCC had made their booking too for the same week & and FCC made me pay a penalty as their clients were the ones that they said had priority , the penalty was sent to me as I had to cancel their clients.Needless to say you need to be in complete control of your own home. I terminated the contract at the end of the year. Lesson learnt !

I have been called by other Co's who have promised all sorts of things , however I can say without a shadow of a doubt French Connections are the one for me. The price is very reasonable to advertise on their site, they are upto date with everything, the owner has control of the bookings & importantly I have always had results.

Some years have been slower than others for obvious economic reasons, but my holiday let has always been booked ,smaterings now & again in either Easter some years or Whitsun others. July , Aug & fully booked & sometimes the 1st 2 weeks of Sept & half term in Oct have always been ok. As I live on the premises I like to have my home back for the rest of the year.

This year with an excellent advertising campaign with French Connections who selected our Property to be forwarded to the Sunday Times, who duly ran the article in their Travel pull out" Summer best deals for £100 a person" 15th of April.

I was fully booked in 3 days flat for the whole of June, July and Aug, I have bookings pending for Sept & am taking them into next year, I could have booked out the 2 & 3rd week in Aug several times over.

Even the Editor of the Travel section is coming to stay with me.

This is what a really good Company can do for you off their own back, the team at French Connections I have to say were fantastic, I could not have thanked them enough. TOP SERVICE for advertisers even without the Sunday Times article I would heartily recommend them.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. So much choice out there, I hope we pick the right one for us.

All the best to you all with your bookings.

Ali Owners Direct are just too big...

There is no discrimination either...

What type of property do you have?

I do feel that every rental owner needs to find their market.

Owners direct aim at the world and everyone in it.

Saturated in the property which belongs to an average family rental...

Therefore if you have a beachside villa near Nice with white marble and

pure silk sheets it will get lost in the crowd....EVEN if the rental price

is right.

Find a niche.

But it is not a doddle...AND everthing evolves so keep on looking and conentrating

on the subject.

For me it is not about trying to get thousands of people to is ab out getting

the right people...the people who will enjoy the region and what we offer.

After all we moved from London to the countryside and put all our eggs into this beautiful

basket in order to create what we have. What we have is a taste of the French Life style with

our own twist....a bove average cooking and the ability to show others how it can be done. Maybe

that sounds big headed...but some of you have trained yourself to be great property developers or

bankers or whatever....we have developed our talent in the culinary world.

we have our own website as well and the web master told us how to get it more hits...near or on front page etc... but honestly...we are sure we have never got one booking from the 2 years...

We have found that Owner's Direct is very good but HomeAway and Holiday Lettings have not been so good this year. I have also tried facebook and ebay to get our profile seen and one or two bookings have come from these options.

I have used Owners Direct for a few years. They seem to always pop up on the first page of Google search. This year we had a flurry of activity for bookings during February and since then its been very quite. It doesnt worry me too much as our gite, (which is small and only suitable for a couple), is booked for about half the summer. Luckily I am not dependant on the Gite for my livelihood. Many advertising sites are expensive and don't necessarily pull in the renters.

everywhere is down this year according to friends...and our own experience. We have an apartment in St Cyp, Languedoc and by the time last year we had about 24 weeks booked...this year its around half that......Diamond Jubilee, Olympics, economic situation in Europe...hoping next year better....anyway...we use Owners Direct and found them superb...they do the advertising and we get enquiries for bookings from them..we do the bookings...we used to use interhome who basically do the lot...but we had only 6 weeks bookings in a year with them...

That's great feedback Peter - thanks! I asked you on purpose as a consumer as there are loads of "professionals" willing to give advice (which is great) but ultimately you are my target market so, to me, your feedback is the most meaningful.

Glad you like the graphics for the equipment - it was fiddly to put together but well worth the effort - and I like too :-)

Bonne chance with the renos!

Keep in mind I am a consumer, not an ad professional.

I love the lounge image the most. Great job on giving me tons of info on the area, in case I get cabin fever....

Your graphics for the equipment, I like it a lot. Very quick info to see if we can bring the Chihuahua.

In the sum of all things, if I were to visit that area, your website would get bookmarked for a potential booking.

Hi Peter,

As a potential customer, I'd appreciate your feedback on my website - would your first impression encourage you to explore the site further?



Hi Ali

We actually joined HL using their £1 offer this year and we've received as many bookings through them as we have done with HomeAway. We are fairly new to this though. Looking on other forums it seems that generally bookings are slow this year and people seem to have varying success with different letting sites - none of them seem to be consistent. Have a look at the Lay My Hat Forum which is aimed at holiday let owners - I think you will find similar topics on there, though I'm I'm sure people on here will be equally helpful.

I am trying to use FB for marketing though I'm not sure how successfully that will be! I am struggling to get my number of "likes" up. Only time will tell I guess :-)

I'd like to comment from a renter's perspective if that counts. We came to France for the first time into a rented Gite last summer and now, during the renos of our house are onto our third.

We surfed high and low for accommodations, must have visited every website and personally I found that no matter where we looked, if the first impression of a site sucked, we did not keep looking at their Gites. My favorite site maybe not perfectly suitable to your needs, is a long term rental site. Rent a place in France it is called.

The Gite we currently rent, we found on Owner's direct. But we did a lot of digging. Many other Gite letting sites, to me from a renter's perspective, were too unwieldly to sort through or narrow down areas. Here is a link to the Gite we are in.

If I were to get into the letting business, I would seriously look at non traditional sites for advertising as an option in addition to the regulars. A site maybe that is focused on the area one is located, or an activity that is common there.

Advertise where 80% of the competition does not.