Posted on 21 November 2016
Suppose you could own a home in the French or Swiss mountains and it actually made you money? With mountains being popular tourist destinations for at least two seasons of the year, ski property is an even bigger money-spinner than rental property in seaside resorts.
Letting your ski property isn’t just a great source of income in winter when people are skiing. In the spring the mountains come alive with wildflowers and the melting snow rushes down in dramatic torrents and waterfalls – wonderful for canyoning, kayaking or just country walking. In the summer the cool of the high altitude and the opportunity for outdoor activities suits those who don’t want to roast on a beach. The new British Prime Minister Theresa May spent her summer hiking in the Swiss Alps – potentially setting a trend for next summer? Even in the autumn, mountains have a special appeal, particularly for leaf peepers and wildlife watchers, as they prepare for the arrival of the snows once again.
So what should you be thinking about if planning to subsidise your ski property with holiday lets?
Don’t be cheap! Getting repeat custom saves so much on marketing that it makes sense to equip your property to a decent standard from the off, with top-notch bathrooms, kitchens and furnishings. Don’t forget the special needs of ski property rentals too – plenty of ski storage, good heating systems, and quality towels and bedding to create that sense of hygge.
Keep it legal. Before you buy, go to your local town hall to inform them of your intention to let. They will be able to advise you of local rules and also advise on pricing. Make sure your insurance policy covers holiday lets. You can read all about buying French property here.
Cut out the middle man? You can save on a letting agent and manage the bookings yourself even from a long distance, but if you are in Britain you will certainly need someone to clean and maintain the property in the Alps. Fortunately, you will normally have no trouble finding someone to look after it; if there is one common characteristic of the British abroad it is that they’re always looking for work that doesn’t require them to speak the local language! Of course you can also get a local French person to help with cleaning and management.
Think of renting like the first time you went skiing – all over the place the first time but soon you were gliding along without a care in the world!
Promote, promote, promote! Keep your finger on the button regarding local and wider advertising. You can make your own website with very little effort. Don’t forget the obvious customers – family, friends and colleagues who will know and trust you already. Just make sure they know they have to pay! If you are being paid in pounds you’ll save the hassle and expense of changing currency, but if you’re being paid in euros, make sure you get a good currency company.
Just do it! Once you have successfully rented out your property a couple of times, the whole process should become far easier. Think of it like the first time you went skiing – all over the place the first time you set ski on snow, but soon you were gliding along without a care in the world!