April 04, 2011

How to rent out a holiday home

"How to rent out a holiday home?", I asked myself just recently.

Although we bought the "palazzo" already five years ago, I never really thought about "HOW" to rent it out. When I re-organized my blog a little bit by putting up "pages" (the taps below the headline), I called one page as "Guest Residence". Aha! Yes, I would love to share our little gem with visitors! But how to find the interested traveler? Online?

A friend recommended me to look at a cottage in Southern France. They rent out via VRBO. Aha!

A few google keywords and a bit of surfing later, I found the following:
  1. VRBO.com - Vacation Rental By Owner - aims mainly towards the US market, 7 rentals were available in Calabria, 2 of them in Pizzo.
  2. Ownersdirect.co.uk - aims more to UK and Canadian customers with half of the rentals in Canada and only 818 in Europe, mainly in Italy (470), thereof 152 in Southern Italy, thereof only 3 in Calabria, however none in Pizzo.
  3. HomeAway holiday-rentals.co.uk - is mainly focusing on UK costumers with 16,724 self-catering holiday homes in Italy, in Calabria there are 116 rentals registered, thereof 8 rentals in Pizzo.

After that analysis, I know less than before.

I have more readers from the US than from the UK, but would more traveler from the US come to visit Calabria than from the UK? - From several UK airports and even from Toronto, Canada there are direct flights to Lamezia, which is only 20 minutes drive from our holiday home. Pizzo gets lots of visitors from the UK.

I have not yet inquired the fees of the different sites, which will not make a big difference, I guess. But the VRBO site looks most appealing to me, I have to admit.

Have you ever rented a holiday home? How did you find it? What was your experience? Which rental portal would you consider? Your comments are very much appreciated! Grazie mille!

Thanks for reading until here! I will share this French cottage finds. I downloaded these photos just to show my family, how beautiful a rental can (or should?!) look:

What a beautiful guest bedroom!
I can't believe that someone makes a rental sooo nice!
But I think this is what we need to do!

Another bathroom with a natural stone wall - and the cast iron bathtub looks just like ours!

Angelo, CC, please note, a simple clothes rack can do! I like that!

Last but not least, the kitchen:
Simple country style BUT with stunning stainless steel appliances!
And a wrought iron gate that leads to a garden - we have that too!

Love that cottage!!! Great renovation work, complimenti ! It's located in South of France and renovated by a family based in Seattle. The cottage and its village are featured in a blog called Stephmodo by Stephanie. She not only writes about practical and pretty things, but also has filed the renovation project of "La Maisonette", which can be rented via VRBO here or via the link on her blog.

photo source: Stephmodo
All three platforms mentioned above are owned by homeaway.com and were acquisted in 2006 and 2007)
Update May 2013:
Our Guest Residence is ready for rent! If you plan to visit Calabria in the South of Italy, you should include our lovely village Pizzo! The best time to visit is May-September. But April and October can be very pleasant too. If you like to spent here a few more days, maybe you want to stay with us? Please contact me directly for availability and price at writing.Suzie(at)yahoo.com.
Update October 2013:
After more research and my own first experiences with holiday lettings, I wrote these posts:


  1. In Canada, if I want a vacation rental I would use VRBO.

    1. Thanks Razmataz, for letting me know!

  2. Buongiorno,
    I have to update you, I signed up with holidayletting in August 2013!
    It seems an easy site for owners. I am using their free program. In total they charge 8% commission, while booking.com charges 15% for vacation rentals.
    And I feel more free in communication with potential guests. Then of course I have my own page, but I think for the beginning, I like to go officially via holidaylettings. It provides "peace of mind" payment via tripadvisor for the guests - and it controls beside availability my income and deadlines :-)

    Please share your experience with online bookings!