2 Little Mistakes That Cost A Cape Town Self Catering Home Owner R52000


I got this email from a Cape Town self catering home owner today 4 Dec 214. Just 20 days before season starts:

“Urgent Green Point Rate Change”

Please can you amend the listing for holiday letting our 8 sleeper property as follows –we really want to secure bookings right now:

Daily Nett to us                                 R4500 pd high season

Min stay high season                      7 days

This owner initially asked me, on 8 November 2014, to market his Cape Town self catering house. He was already late to the market, but there was a little time left. He wanted R5600 per night net to him. He gave me great photos but a cryptic description of his home. I asked him for a better description, but he ignored me. Now it’s urgent, and he is clearly on his way to missing out on making a potential R52 000 because of two little mistakes. Here’s my answer to him and I elaborate:
You have a lovely home with few, but nice, photos. Due to the choices you made you may miss out on at least R52 000. I will try and be brutally honest with you and you may not like what I have to say.
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I have asked you for a better description on the 7 Nov but had no response from you. We are very eager to assist Cape Town home owners marketing their homes, but we need information and responsive homeowners. I believe you would agree.
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Your rates look great on paper but fail on the playing field.
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Your initial entry rate of R5600 per night meant between R8000 and R7647 per night to the guest. This is about R1000 per person per night. And from our experience this is way more than most homes in your area.
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I see you are now down to 7 nights minimum stay and R4500 per night net to you. Or R31500 in your pocket. This is sad. If your initial rate was R4000 net to you, we would have a better chance of getting you (14 days x R4000) R56000. I believe that at a rate of R4000 per day (compared to the initial R5600 per night) we are now getting closer to competing on a level playing field, but time has nearly run out).
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Instead of making money on paper you need to make money on the green grass.

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By sending your home to many agents you get involvement but no commitment. They are not willing to take risks. They have no incentive to pro-actively market your home – they will only do ad-hoc marketing.
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This, I believe, is a massive mistake. You may be lucky. You may not. But I believe you prefer consistency and get R50000 to R56000 over peak every year than hoping of getting for the magical dream on paper.
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By giving your home to other agents I will passively market your home, but I will not share it with my database of 400 agents in Cape Town. I will not pay to advertise it on international sites. Why should I? You are doing shot gun marketing and missing the target.
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How To Fix These Mistakes:
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  1. Get commitment: My suggestion is that you find a good agent, for next year, to take responsibility and get your home out. Make them sole keepers of your availability calendar. There are many agents who will promise you great rates on paper. Don’t let them fool you. Get one who will suggest a plan that will give good money you can bank on. By committing to an agent you ask for goals and you expect results. Can you be demanding money when you have no agent responsible? Make them responsible.
  2. Don’t naively be greedy: Investigate your market. If you are new to the game be careful. Check what your neighbour gets for his home per night – if he has a comparable home. Don’t just decide to hit R5600 per night because it looks great. High rates may mean you have zero to bank. If you have a good agent s/he can do a market related study for you on rates. Start with a figure that’s just below your best neighbour and see how quickly it goes. If it sells quickly then up it the rate next year.

I am sure you have ideas of your own. Please share them with me.

If you want to tap into the lucaraive Cape Town self catering market then apply here today.


December 5, 2014

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