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Internet Response


nemltd

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A bit of a sauce I know!

What internet search engine would you recommend for advertising your house for holiday rental. Just wondering what sort of response people have had and the cost and service levels I might expect.

We don't have a Gite, more a house, built in 1968. Just finished renovating it and could do with a bit of cashflow!

nemltd

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Not a search engine, but I have been using Homelidays for 5 years now.

It's certainly not the cheapest, but I do get 80% of my enquiries from them, with a very high rate of conversion from enquiry to booking.

The number of enquiries I get from them for July and August allows me to almost pick and choose my paying guests.

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Hi Clair

Thanks for the information. I had a good look at the site 'Homelidays' and it is very user friendly and I noticed the feed back links too.

Most of them seem to be in French, with the odd Dutch and Belgian comment. Having said that, I probably looked at about 20 odd properties out of thousands!

Have you noticed a trend in the nationalities that respond or is it literally just a big mix? The reason for asking is a Property/Management company, (English couple) have said to concentrate on the English market. That was after I suggested I would like to target every nationality, Europe, USA or whoever.

When I search for properties to rent for a holiday in France, and I have asked the whole family to try lots of different ways to search, the most common unsponsored site is Frenchconnections. I was wondering what a French native speaker might put in to the search engine to come up with 'Homelidays', or any other 'holiday in France' site come to that.

I am struggling to understand, regarding the 7 languages that Homelidays present in, how the site remains up there in the search list. How does it maintain the numbers of enquiries over such a large geographical and language base. Maybe it advertises in International French magazines or papers alot?

Anyway, thanks very much again.

nemltd

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We focus on UK holidaymakers and use Holiday-Rentals and Holidaylettings neither are cheap but they produce the results.

Through Holiday-Rentals we have also had great holidaymakers from Ireland, Belgium and Norway.

We used to also use VRBO and had a few great American holidaymakers but we came off that site when they hiked the prices.
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We focus on the French market and use a-gites.com.  TBH the Brits are more trouble than they are worth - generally dirty, complain a lot and want everything just like the UK.  It's only a generalisation but in our experience French visitors leave the place beautifully clean, don't have uncontrollable children trashing everything, don't expect bedlinen to be included and don't demand Sky TV, English food etc etc..

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[quote user="Richard51"]don't expect bedlinen to be included[/quote]Huh !

Since when did bedlinen in a Gite become an unreasonable expectation [:'(]

So French guest don't demand French TV then and what 'demands' for English food are you talking about from self catering guests ?

Are you really cut out for the Gite business ?

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[quote user="AnOther"][quote user="Richard51"]don't expect bedlinen to be included[/quote]Huh !

Since when did bedlinen in a Gite become an unreasonable expectation [:'(]

So French guest don't demand French TV then and what 'demands' for English food are you talking about from self catering guests ?

Are you really cut out for the Gite business ?

[/quote]

We provide French multi-channel satellite TV (with large flat screen TV)

- perfectly reasonable in France.  We also provide a PC (with a French keyboard), fast broadband (wifi - if they want to bring their own

laptop), full range of kitchen appliances (dishwasher, washing machine,

tumble dryer, food processor, deep fat fryer, senseo etc.)  Large gas BBQ outside. It's pretty well

equipped. 

Re the bedlinen - it's the norm for French people to bring their own bedlinen (sheets and pillow cases) -

so most are delighted that they are included or that we offer a discount if

they bring their own.  We also have a local cordon bleu trained chef

who will cater for them if required.  We have had no problem filling

the season.

Re food - Ques such as where can they buy 'proper' sliced white bread, English style sausage and bacon.  That kind of thing...

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[quote user="nemltd"]

Hi Clair

Thanks for the information. I had a good look at the site 'Homelidays' and it is very user friendly and I noticed the feed back links too.

Most of them seem to be in French, with the odd Dutch and Belgian comment. Having said that, I probably looked at about 20 odd properties out of thousands!

Have you noticed a trend in the nationalities that respond or is it literally just a big mix? The reason for asking is a Property/Management company, (English couple) have said to concentrate on the English market. That was after I suggested I would like to target every nationality, Europe, USA or whoever.

When I search for properties to rent for a holiday in France, and I have asked the whole family to try lots of different ways to search, the most common unsponsored site is Frenchconnections. I was wondering what a French native speaker might put in to the search engine to come up with 'Homelidays', or any other 'holiday in France' site come to that.

I am struggling to understand, regarding the 7 languages that Homelidays present in, how the site remains up there in the search list. How does it maintain the numbers of enquiries over such a large geographical and language base. Maybe it advertises in International French magazines or papers alot?

Anyway, thanks very much again.

nemltd

[/quote]

Re Homelidays, I have had enquiries from Spain France, Belgium, the UK, Germany and Italy.

As far as I am aware, they have recently been bought by US-base HomeAway. More details here: Homelidays FAQ

I like the feedback and marking.

Of course, as an owner, the more positive feedback you garner, the more inclined you are to renew so as not to lose the rep you acquire over the years.

I used to advertise with Holiday Rentals. The enquiries came almost exclusively from the UK.

I didn't like having to pay extra for a bilingual advert; the positive thing I found from doing so was the auto-link they had with Abritel (big French equivalent), which would have been quite expensive done separately.

That did bring a couple of bookings, though not enough to justify renewing the ad once the UK-based market dropped off after the exchange rate debacle.

Also Holiday Rental had to be paid for either in £ (not something I choose to do as I have no £ account) or in € using their own conversion rate, which was absolutely appaling.

All in all, not very enticing to me.

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[quote user="Richard51"]

Re the bedlinen - it's the norm for French people to bring their own bedlinen (sheets and pillow cases) -

so most are delighted that they are included or that we offer a discount if

they bring their own.

[/quote]

I agree that it is easier with French guests - and the house is generally left much tidier than with UK guests. However, I'm finding more and more that French guests prefer to have the bed linen provided now, disount or not. Things are changing...

As far as internet advertising portals - what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another. I found Homelidays a waste of time, but other sites still bring in the business. As Cendrillon said, the Laymyhat.com site will give you lots of examples of different advertising portals and how to see which will suit your property the most.

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Agree re laymyhat.  I'm probably a tad sensitive re Brits as the last Brits of the season just left this weekend.  Like the other Brit tenants they have been a pain in the arse since, well, before they arrived  (think Tarquin of Dave fame plus whinging parents).  I'm just relieved that we have only have French visitors now 'til the end of the season!  The listing they responded to was free but maybe it's still not value for money LOL.

Mrs R51

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[quote user="Richard51"]We focus on the French market and use a-gites.com.  TBH the Brits are more trouble than they are worth - generally dirty, complain a lot and want everything just like the UK.  It's only a generalisation but in our experience French visitors leave the place beautifully clean, don't have uncontrollable children trashing everything, don't expect bedlinen to be included and don't demand Sky TV, English food etc etc..

[/quote]

Hi Richard , your views seem to mirror you Avator!

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Hello Richard51

I'm starting to get the picture that all these sites are making money, therefore they all must work for somebody. For example Clair is very pleased with Homelidays and you are clearly not. You do say other sites are bringing in the business, would you mind letting me know which ones they are please?

Because of the varied response here, I think there must be other important factors other than the site that people use. Its interesting when you look through some of the properties on various sites that some have alot less availability than others, i.e. they must be taking more bookings. The question is, why?

I also note that Homelidays boast the average advertiser receives 10 weeks of bookings a year. Would be interested to know if anybody thinks this is good or bad. I was rather hoping I might achieve 12 weeks as a worsed case scenario!

Cheers, nemltd

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[quote user="water rat"]You can't beat Gites de France for attracting the french and belgians. You'll get inspected which is why the french use it as their bible. We are a chambres d'hotes ,but have never looked back since registering with them and it's the same for gites.[/quote]

I don't agree, I think it works better for B&B than gites. Certainly all the gite owners I know who were with G de F dropped them pretty quickly. There are much better, and cheaper French internet sites available to list on.

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[quote user="water rat"]You can't beat Gites de France for attracting the french and belgians. You'll get inspected which is why the french use it as their bible. We are a chambres d'hotes ,but have never looked back since registering with them and it's the same for gites.[/quote]

I always recommend G de F to all my friends because they are much cheaper than ******* run ones and they get the double whammy of completely free french conversation with the hosts and other visitors.

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We gave up with GdF as we were getting very few bookings through them & looking at the stats for our website, very few hits - never in the 10 ten of referrers on our site over the 6 yrs we were with them.   Since joining Likhom & Pour les Vacances this year & dropping Gdf we have doubled the number of French enquiries, have nearly 100% occupancy this quarter & more French guests than ever before.  Having spoken to this years French clientele, they have all stated that they find GdF a little old-fashioned & no-one seems to like their website.  Most importantly your own website must be of a high-standard & in French....
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