Should You Advertise Your Holiday Property Address?

Disclosing the exact address of your holiday property is something that causes great debate among the holiday lettings community, and with good reason.

I recently came across this blog by Schofields holiday home insurance , which takes a good look at all the pros and cons of disclosing the exact location of your rental property.

The article highlights some genuine reasons that holidaymakers might want to know the location of a holiday property before they book it. People want to know how far the nearest facilities are, if it really is just a 3 minute walk to the beach/shop/cafe, or even if the promised “peace and quiet” will actually include noise from the motorway next door! Actually, these are all good reasons why under the Package Travel Directive and Trades Descriptions Act, a company selling a package holiday can actually be sued for supplying incorrect information about the location of a holiday property.

The article also pointed out that on the flip side (as is to be expected from a blog run by an insurance firm) is the issue of security. It can be argued that by giving out your address you may be unwittingly lining up a very happy Christmas for an opportune burglar – not only do they have the property´s address, but by checking out your rental calendar they can also work out the best time to strike!

So the question is, how much information should you be giving about your property to just anyone who asks?

We did a bit of asking around among our colleagues and they tended to agree that giving the location of the property is important, but a good option might be to just show just general area until they become a confirmed booking and you need to send arrival instructions.

Wendy who runs Holiday Moulin in Montpellier said:

I have The WaterMill’s address on our own site – never had a problem with it. I have to say I don’t think it matters much – think people if they want to burgle it will be able to see if it’s empty or not pretty easily anyway. Think clients feel more assured if they can actually see an address rather than it just being an individuals own website pretty anonymously.

Penny of Chez Charente had an amusing story to tell!

I am not sure any more that the address makes a whole load of difference. We have our address on our site but its never been an issue. We are so rural anyone casing the place out would have the locals after them for a chat, they don’t see people very often here. Anyway last summer we had a Tots guest that had forgotten TP couldn’t remember our name or pass word to site to get another so having looked at the photos en route (we have an unusual shaped pool) they found us by searching satellite image around the area – (factsheet tells them this), they were not even late. DH was a little stressed 🙂

If you have your own holiday rental website then installing a map tool such as google maps can be a real selling point to guests thinking of booking a holiday with you. As with the maps available on holiday rental listing sites though, it might be safer to select the furthest zoom level if you are worried about giving away the exact location. Yes, any local thieves could probably find your property if they really wanted to, but if your property has good security when vacant and your guests are sensible about the dangers of leaving valuables laying around, then the benefits of being transparent outweigh the negatives.

Remember that we see examples of geo-tagging all over the internet these days, from our friends “check-in” on Facebook, to updates on Twitter and photos uploaded with Flickr and Instagram, and there are some amazing opportunities available for owners looking to embrace this technology in their marketing.

In the wake of horror stories of fictitious rentals, guests need to be confident that holidays advertised online do actually exist. More importantly is that they want to enjoy the build up to their holiday, to look into the details of its location and surroundings, find out what there is to do and what they might expect, and generally enjoy the whole “anticipation happiness” that comes with planning a vacation.

So how do you handle giving out the address of your holiday rental, do you think it is worth the risk? We’d love to hear your opinions over on Facebook or Twitter or leave a comment below.

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2 replies
  1. Phil Schofield
    Phil Schofield says:

    Nancy, Thanks for the mention.

    Giving the approximate location on a map is usually enough for most travellers. For those who want the exact location, then once you have established they are genuine then it is usually ok to disclose the street etc.

    It’s difficult to prove if a burglary was due to a thief studying a property beforehand, or whether it was opportunist. I expect most are opportunist.

    Phil

    Reply
  2. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    You’re welcome Phil. It is a great article. I agree, I think it all depends on one’s personal situation too: property location, security measures, and of course if the holiday property owner or manager lives on site or not.
    Nancy

    Reply

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