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Don't get washed up: follow our five tips for rental success

Don’t end up all at sea: follow our five tips for rental success

I’ve been in the Nice property rental business for 15 years. Just when I thought I had made every lock and local instruction foolproof…I get a call at 2am wondering where the night pharmacy is or why the key doesn’t work.

By interviewing dozens of property owners I’ve managed to ascertain what I can purchase cheaply today that will equal more bookings tomorrow.

If these five must-buys don’t save you – or make you money – I’ll buy you a glass of Côtes-de-Provence on the Cours Saleya.


Purchase one: Combination key lock box

Price: €25

It’s that sinking feeling. Your guests have run out to buy one last baguette before their afternoon flight, slamming the door behind them. And they’ve forgotten whose responsibility it was to take a key. They are on holiday after all.

That snafu may be the guests’ fault. But it’s you – or your rental agent – who must deal with the frantic phone call. If stress ensues, an unwillingness to book again may result. If only there was a €25 solution.

I have a combination key box drilled into the wall near my front door for those just-in-case situations. My emergency key may only be used once a year. But to guard against that hour of late night stress (trust me it always happens at the worst time) it’s well worth it.


Purchase two: Netflix

Price: €9.99 a month

Who didn’t love Breaking Bad and Orange Is The New Black?

A Netflix subscription is the €120 per year bonus that makes your property stand out from the crowd. Offering such a luxury really shows that you care about your guests – an encouraging sign when there are dozens of other properties on offer.

The final bonus is that you can catch up The Crown when you’re next in Nice. All 60 episodes of it.


Purchase three: Laminated street map

Price: Free

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 15 years of property rental, it’s this: more reviews equals more bookings.

When guests feel at home they will write positive things about your rental space. By all means offer them a Pebbles welcome pack of wine and snacks. But the finest freebie is a laminated map of every boutique and cool café in your neighbourhood.

Our laminated street map details our organic wine store, an award winning boulangerie, the no. 100 bus to Monaco, a bio food shop, two pharmacies, the café that prints your boarding pass and the local market (plus its daily opening times). For good reason do guests love it. And, more importantly, they write about it in their positive reviews.


Purchase four: Amazon Echo

Price: €149

CD players went out with the Spice Girls. Offering one to your guest, who will undoubtedly carry a smartphone and possibly a tablet too, is more passé than wearing Crocs.

Modern guests crave connectivity. If you find it the norm to Bluetooth your Spotify, TuneIn or Apple Music around your living room so will your visitors. Once again, this bargain bonus shows you care.


Purchase five: iPad Air

Price: €429

We offer an iPad in our Nice rental apartment instead of a TV. Both products are a similar price. But guests seem to prefer streaming movies, watching home channels or playing games to viewing the execrable output on French television. Who can blame them?

At the very least an iPad is a television alternative that means you don’t have to arrange your apartment seating plan or electrical cabling around a static box on the wall. At most it’s an awesome marketing opportunity to show potential bookers that you are offering something truly special.

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