Seasonal rental is an activity that more and more owners are putting into practice to make their second home profitable. But are they all prepared for the market difficulty? Visibility, ad management and reservation management are more complex points than they seem. Homerez aims to help homeowners address these issues with the utmost simplicity.
With the end of summer 2022, tourism professionals are pleased to have experienced a high season that lived up to their expectations. Visitors flocked to the country’s most popular tourist sites in droves, whether travelers from France or elsewhere (41% of tourists were of foreign origin).
Those who have benefited the most from the fallout from the pandemic are seasonal rental platforms such as Airbnb or Abritel. Many regulars of hotels or campsites have preferred to opt for the solution that allowed them to enjoy a comfortable, fully equipped and family property.
One could then wonder if investing in seasonal rentals would not be ideal for making a profit from your second home or a rental property in a very touristic area. At Homerez, the teams are more than in agreement but tend to warn us: today, owning a vacation rental is a lot of investment!
How was Homerez born?
A major finding in vacation rentals is that all owners tend to underestimate the fierceness of competition.
First of all, they don’t realize that the number of vacation rentals on the various platforms is increasing year after year. Between 2019 and 2022, the number of short-term rentals throughout France had increased by 20%. The resumption of tourist activity after several months of confinement has inspired many owners of second homes and investors of all kinds.
However, the different platforms tend to favor ads according to criteria that may seem opaque. Listing your property only on the most popular sites often results in being placed at the bottom of the search results and holidaymakers will have already been able to select another address before even seeing our ad.
In addition, travelers have increased their criteria regarding the quality of goods. The latter require maximum comfort, with rentals equipped, well decorated and very well maintained. They also have many tools to compare prices between several rentals quickly.
Another important criteria that causes landlords to miss many bookings is that the vast majority of inquiries are for stays of three days or less. However, the majority of owners refuse to take reservations of less than a week, which prevents them from appearing on many searches when holidaymakers prepare their stays.
This observation is what prompted Kamal Bounajma and Loïc Dupont to found Homerez. The purpose of the platform is to give you the possibility of being quickly distributed on the different platforms with ads optimized in 6 languages to appear at the top of search results. According to one of the two founders “Being only on Airbnb or Abritel, it worked when the market was in its infancy. Now, the number of platforms has exploded and tourist offices, labels like gite de France and even Google maps allow you to make reservations online. To fill its calendar each year, it will be necessary to be present on the maximum of available spaces.
What the Homerez service can do for you
At first glance, the service might look like any rental agency: a selection of properties, mainly in France, Spain and Italy. As well as the ability to list your own property.
Only the owners actually benefit from a significant plus. At Homerez, your ad is generated in 6 languages with the criteria and characteristics that you fill in, then it is automatically broadcast on more than twenty platforms.
The details of the Homerez offer
The advertisements are found on the most important vacation rental sites (Airbnb, Booking.com, Homeaway, etc.) But not only, as Kamal Bounajma, Co-founder of Homerez, explains to us: “The seasonal rental market, and above all, consumer habits are very varied depending on the country. The French sometimes go looking for rentals on platforms for which this is not the main purpose, such as Leboncoin or ParuVendu.fr. Such behavior is also found on the English or Italian market.” Adding then: “We have built our partnerships with the aim of showing ads on platforms where the majority of owners would not have considered posting.”
But that doesn’t just spread: “The principle is that the owner can manage everything from home,” explains Antoine Letourneux, technical manager at Homerez. “A change or update on Homerez is repeated on each of your listings, the time savings are invaluable and owners don’t have to think about which listing to remember.”
In addition to advanced and ergonomic technology, Homerez also wants to maintain a human connection. Customers are accompanied during their registration, and an account manager supports them in managing their ad and their reservations. The service also offers full management of traveler selection and payment methods via a 100% secure system. For Maud Laurent, head of the customer relations department, “if we contented ourselves with having technical assistance, we wouldn’t have any added human value compared to competing platforms. We want to show that day after day, we follow our clients to help them manage a profitable activity and understand the market with a professional approach”.
To top it off, the service is supplemented with numerous elements to help owners ensure the maximum number of reservations: possibility of setting up promotions quickly, personalized website for each ad, etc. Advisors persevere to get as many reservations as possible from the properties they are responsible for “Two important points to ensure that we obtain reservations are the prices and the speed of response” specifies Loïc Dupont, Co-founder of Homerez, “Our engineers have developed a technology to offer the most profitable rates, consistent with market seasonality, for each property. Our customer service will fully support reservation requests so that they are processed as quickly as possible. In the event of a problem with the traveller, we take charge of the negotiations to resolve the incident, even if it means exchanging directly with the managers of the partner platforms, with whom we have privileged contacts”. In short, Homerez presents itself as a thoughtful solution to manage your rental business like a pro.
A multi-successful company
The platform has won over thousands of owners in France and has over 10,000 signatories across Europe. This places it among the European leaders in short-term rental management, and even in the top 10 worldwide.
The company has evolved a lot since its beginnings in 2014. Today, although it has retained its start-up spirit, the platform has nearly thirty employees. Most of the teams are fluent in several languages, both for owners’ account managers and for traveler service managers.
The company generates hundreds of thousands of room nights each year and has just had its best year in terms of revenue. According to Loïc Dupont: “In 2019, our team had double the number of staff, but the pandemic went through it and we suffered the same slowdown as the entire tourism sector. The recovery, noted in the summer of 2022 by professionals in the field, gives us a lot of hope for the future of the company, we have double or even three-digit growth and we have been able to reform teams of experts very quickly. ”.
Much harder and longer without the platform
To really validate the contribution of the platform, try to have the same result by doing the task yourself. It will not take us long to realize that it is not only very tedious but that the risk of error causes entanglements that we would gladly do without.
First, writing an ad on a single booking platform in French only takes a particularly long time, but trying to create the same ad in 5 other languages by relying only on Google translations is not very convincing.
Things get complicated when you have to create this ad on a second platform. At this time, the management of reservation requests requires a lot of time and rigor. Requests can pile up on the same dates, forcing some to be refused and sometimes having to pay cancellation fees.
In addition, it is also necessary to pay attention to the prices displayed, which must be updated and rewritten for each site, to block the dates occupied on each calendar, to be careful that no information is missing on the advertisements. In short, creation and management can end up taking several hours every day with only 10 ads online and only in French.
It seems obvious that without Homerez broadcast and synchronization technology, considerable time is wasted just to correct announcements. And since Homerez is non-binding, the solution presents no risk.
For the most interested, you can easily obtain an estimate of your potential rental income by making the request on their site.
Content designed and offered by Homerez. The editorial staff of Le Figaro did not participate in the production of this article.
We wish to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding content
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