French property has seen a surge of Brits wanting to escape the city and the rain to enjoy a new life in France. If you’re one of them and have invested in a gite to let out for extra income, we have some tops tips that could help.
We asked some of our leading property owners for any tips they were willing to share with new gite owners. Here is what they said:
Get the proper insurance
There are specific insurance products for gite owners to cover the property, its contents and public liability. Your guests should also have their own holiday insurance that covers them for damage, injury and breakages but it’s your responsibility to make sure your gite is covered.
Remove anything you’re attached to
A gite may be lovely and characterful but it’s also a business. Things will get damaged or broken, it’s just the way gites work. If you’re particularly attached to a piece of furniture or something, don’t have it in the gite.
Even the best-behaved guests have accidents and you don’t want it happening to something you actually like.
Inform the town hall you’re running a gite
The French town hall and the mayor play a much more important part in local life than they do in the UK. It pays to get them on side, make sure they know what you’re doing and to make sure you’re complying with all local laws.
Introducing yourself and telling them you’re running a gite as soon as you take over is a good way to get off on the right foot.
Always provide emergency contacts in your gite
Even if you’re living on site or next door, always provide an emergency contact. A mobile number means you are contactable while you’re doing other things and can be reached if you are needed.
Even if it is never used, having the emergency contact reassures guests and makes them feel valued.
Be flexible in your schedule
It’s all very well having set arrival and changeover days but being flexible also helps. Sometimes flights get delayed, people cannot get specific days off work or some other reason may prevent guests arriving on a specified date.
Being flexible but leaving the final decision to you means you can accommodate guests that otherwise may not book.
It’s not about you
When it comes to decorating and outfitting your gite, remember it isn’t about you but about your guests. Outfit your gite so it appeals to your target market. That may mean choosing colours and furniture you don’t like.
As long as it will appeal to your target market, that’s fine. Remember, it’s a business not your home!
Be accessible but invisible
A good host is accessible when required but invisible the rest of the time. If you’re not offering dinner, activities or anything else, let every guest know they can contact you if they need anything and then stay out the way.
If you offer dinner or activities, make that clear in your literature and when they arrive and then leave it to guests to contact you or not. It’s not personal if they don’t as we all holiday in different ways.
Do you have any tips for new gite owners? Tell us them in the comments if you do!