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alternate forms of advertising
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: alternate forms of advertising Reply with quote

Just out of interest - last year I placed a number of cards in newsagents' windows around Essex, Suffolk and North Devon. I've had 2 bookings from them. I also placed an ad in the local Uni monthly mag, and so far have had one booking. All of these have been shoulder periods too, so well worth it.

On the other hand I've invested a fair bit in Golfing magazines to no effect whatsoever, so I don't recommend that.

TC
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Rocket Rab



Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 2259

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: alternate forms of advertising Reply with quote

Topcat wrote:
Just out of interest - last year I placed a number of cards in newsagents' windows around Essex, Suffolk and North Devon. I've had 2 bookings from them.


Well done, you, for thinking "outside the box" - or do many people use good old newsagents' windows? If you can get a booking (or even two), you certainly have an excellent return on your cost-of-advertising outlay! Very Happy And not much lost if you don't.
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Margaret



Joined: 16 Jul 2007
Posts: 3579
Location: Bavaria and Mid Wales

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have tried this, although on a smaller scale - just a couple of towns - and got nothing. Sounds like it's worth trying again, on a larger scale. It is normally very cheap!
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I spent about 40 on the newsagents (though that's including the tenner that my son pocketed and then forgot to put them in the shops in Okehampton!), plus petrol and a couple of afternoons driving round. On each occasion I put them in for 6 weeks - costs vary from 30p per week to 75p per week, and it was the 30p per week ad that got me both bookings! But you need to pick your area. I'm planning to do it again, but I shall be more selective this time. I also made some small posters that my son DID put up in a lovely local restaurant and also in the offices of the company he works for, but they didn't generate anything.

The Essex Uni entry costs about 20 a go, but it goes on their alumni's website as well as in the mag. I am thinking of trying a couple of other Unis.

TC
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davey2187



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have placed posters in our local chip shops and have 2 x 2 weeks and 1 week booked through this method, also first advert in the free Sunday Times yesterday and hey presto enquiry yesterday afternoon, great stuff
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Margaret



Joined: 16 Jul 2007
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Location: Bavaria and Mid Wales

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'..pick your area...' What do you think makes a good area?
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the Sunday Times still doing the free thing, then? I'll give it another go. I got an enquiry last year from it, but we were booked at the time.

How to pick the area, Margaret? Well I think you need to consider your most likely market. We're quite expensive for our part of Spain, and also it's a quiet area, so I should have only picked places where people live who are likely to be able to afford it. But I did, I think, throw money away by trying any post-office or newsagent I happened to pass, which I think was pointless and won't do again.

TC
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Jenroy



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Zambrone, Calabria, Italy

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Parish Magazines Reply with quote

We are in the process of setting up our own rental home, which is currently under construction near Tropea in Calabria. We were advised through this forum to prepare information in readiness for the great day by assembling all of the details and, when the photographs were ready, then we could launch our own website and use the various listing sites. As photographs were not going to be ready until after the villa was completed and fully furnished the preparation went on the back burner.

In the meantime I thought whether there was a medium I could use that did not need a photograph and thought I would try a little annual advert in the local parish mag and commissioned some artwork (the advert was cheap, but not so the artwork) and put it in ahead of anything else and carried on, not thinking that it would elicit any response. Well the first issue went out on 1st February and last night the phone rang with an enquiry from a local - can you tell me about the villa? Do you have any brochures? Do you have a web site? I explained that the villa was in the process of being built, but would not be ready for renting until May, but that did not seem to deter the enquirer.

Panic set in as whilst I am assembling all the info it is not yet in a form which can be presented. So now everything is very focused on preparation.

Has anybody else been in this position?

Any advice available?

Sorry I got carried away, but there is possible a moral in that if you do live in a village type community, where there are parish magazines sent out then, once the artwork is paid for the adverts are very reasonable and do extend the marketing effort.
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenroy, I think we've ALL been in this position at some time!

My advice would be to carry on getting your stuff ready, try and get loads of photos of the area to start with, and then add apartment photos as soon as you can. I'd start advertising on the listing sites about 4 - 6 months before you're ready. People will ask to see photos of the apartment, but will understand that it's not finished yet. Some will steer clear, others will be happy to take a punt knowing that everything will be sparkling and new.

And DO NOT assume that the builder's dates for completion are set in stone! Even giving myself 4 months after the original completion date to accept the first tenants, it was still a life and death race to the finish, and my first tenants were still a bit disgruntled even though I had given them a lot of warning that the dates they wanted were close to the line. Just assume that everything will take longer than you think! My experience in Spain is that the developer hands over the property in a pretty filthy state, and with bare wires hanging, so even if you have booked a furniture package you are unlikely to be able to move it in for at least a week.

TC
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to add.

But one day you'll have the thrill of moving in, and it will all be yours (or maybe half will belong to the bank, but they're not likely to want to move in, or even help shift furniture).

I stayed in a nearby hotel for 5 days after completion, so that I could buy lights, organise an electrician, get it cleaned, do the snagging list and sort out furniture. But once I'd moved in I couldn't keep still - I just kept walking from room to room and out on to the balcony, I was so thrilled!

TC
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tree-peony



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 1308
Location: gozo

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TC that all sounds very familiar! Except we had no water or electricity for a while either! For a change it wasn't the developer's fault and he actually lent us an apartment to sleep in while we built furniture an unpacked Smile

....and I STILL wander round grinning like the proverbial cheshire cat Very Happy

Jenroy, I put "construction" photos of the apartment up on the website as well as lots of photos of the area and we actually had 3 bookings before it was complete, but I did leave a month between the date of completion and the first booking.

hope this helps Smile
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Eileen2



Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 336
Location: Arillas, Corfu

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenroy,

Although we only had a general information page about our area and a 'building progress' page we listed our property with H.Lettings in Jan 2006. Fortunately our building company was a small outfit so to 'shoogle' them along we gave them the date of our first booking as 2nd June. By March we had taken all our bookings for the first season, 15 weeks in total. It did mean a constant flow of emails to our guests with updates on the progress along with photos.

We deliberately set the prices lower in that first year to attract business. Out of our first season we have 3 families who are returning this year for their 3rd year in a row. When our prices were raised for the second year these re-bookers were given a 10%discount to ease the pain!

Our biggest disaster was that the pool would not be ready for the first 4 days of our first arrivals holiday. As soon as we realised this I rang them from Corfu (3 days prior to their arrival) to break the bad news. I was quivering!!! Phew..they took it in their stride, I offered them a refund which they gladly accepted. As we were leaving on the flight our guests arrived on I met them at the airport to hand over their refund. They were all young and delighted to have extra spending money, especially as they would still have 6 days of holiday with a pool.

It was manic that week before our first guests arrived...we had to run for our flight with our work clothes on Embarassed but it was fun and what a great feeling of achievement. As tree-peony says we were exhausted but grinning on that flight like cheshire cats!

I've had little success with any type of printed advertising, our first guests saw us in the holiday supplement of a daily newspaper, but apart from the ZILCH! Sad

Good luck everyone just starting out...it's a great buzz...eeks I'd love be able to afford to do it again!

Eileen.

Holiday Villa Rental in Arillas, Corfu,
Greece


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Musetta



Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 1892
Location: Campania, Italy/NJ, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't want to be a cynic...but there are really so many things that can delay a house closing (!) and in So.Italy...triple your chances Wink you could be good to go and everything smoothly and ontime...but really, really TOO stressful
(I think) to actually TAKE bookings before you own the place (!)

I would thank them for their interest and tell them you will give them a ring when the property is finished and give them the dates at that time if they are still interested...

honestly...I have owned my home for a year now (started the buying and renovation process a year before that) and, although I did have some guests last year, it is not until NOW that I think I have things so that they can run fairly smoothly...i.e. all the bits and pieces bought...great housekeeper I can trust (the most difficult thing to find!!)...local contractors/service providers I now know and can call if there's a problem...extra keys made...payment methods and rates set, terms and conditions that I feel comforatable about....tax situation here accounted for...list goes on and on and on Wink

Have all your advertising ready to go(my mistake...I closed in Jan. and stayed there a couple weeks and then didn't have any advertising ready to go until end of May - should have done it back in Feb!!)...but I REALLY wouldn't advertise that it is for rent until you have closed on the property and stayed there for a week yourselves so you know what needs to be done and bought!
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to start advertising before it's built, or you may not get any bookings at all that year. But a month after completion, even the genuine completion, is still very tight. That's what we did, and it was a bit nerve-racking. I think what I forgot (I was out there on my own for the first two weeks) was that you can't be out buying and ordering, AND waiting in for deliveries all at the same time. Especially when they don't come as promised, so you have to wait in again.

That's why everything takes so much longer than you expect. And furniture can take 3 months to arrive, so you need to be thinking about ordering that well in advance as well - difficult when you haven't seen the place I know.

It's fun really, honest!

TC
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mpprh



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
Posts: 888
Location: Languedoc, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: alternate forms of advertising Reply with quote

Topcat wrote:
Just out of interest - last year I placed a number of cards in newsagents' windows around Essex, Suffolk and North Devon. I've had 2 bookings from them. I also placed an ad in the local Uni monthly mag, and so far have had one booking. All of these have been shoulder periods too, so well worth it.

On the other hand I've invested a fair bit in Golfing magazines to no effect whatsoever, so I don't recommend that.

TC


The cyber equivalent is posting on a local forum in your target area ?

Peter
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