Kate Winslet’s cottage in The Holiday, the Chicago mansion in Home Alone and the Spanish villa in Sexy Beast. Great movies filmed in fabulous homes around the world. Producers are always on the lookout for properties with character to use as a filming location, whether it be for a TV commercial, series or feature film.
Rental Tonic’s very own Lindsay Gregory has experience working with production companies, with several properties from her Luxury Villa Collection portfolio featured in well known TV programs and reality shows.
Today we’re sharing our professional tips on how to turn your holiday rental into a film location; how to sell it to location scouts and pre-production companies, and perhaps become the next ‘film star’ home.
First stop: Your Holiday Rental Website
Location scouts do search holiday rental listings to shortlist properties, but if your holiday home has that certain je ne sais quoi that could make it an ideal film or advertising set, you’ll stand out from the competition in your destination by creating your own holiday rental website. If you don’t already have one? You should have.
Tip: Set-up a well-optimised page on the site with information focused on the property as a film location.
Having your own website is an essential part of your holistic marketing in today’s competitive holiday rentals marketplace; helping you showcase your property’s star qualities, through images, videos and great copy. In this case it will also help production companies find you when they Google search a destination.
Pre-production and location scouts
If you’re feeling confident, go ahead and contact pre-production companies directly to present your home as a potential film or ad shoot location. Ask if they have a location portfolio that you can be added to.
Tip: Don’t leave out the production companies in the country where your property is located. They will often be contacted by international agents and scouts, and of course, filming also happens in your own country by local production companies, so getting your home on their books is essential.
Create a portfolio
Aside from using your holiday rental website as a promotional tool, it’s a good idea to create a mini brochure or portfolio to showcase your holiday rental. Use your best quality photos and create beautiful content about your property’s best features.
We recommend you get some professional ‘on location’ photos done to use for your brochure. If you have a video of your home, you can also add that to your presentation email and of course on your website.
Check out this holiday rental brochure example from Lindsay’s Luxury Villa Collection portfolio.
Local journalists and bloggers
Destination bloggers and local media often get contacted by production companies to help source locations, so get in touch with the prominent travel and lifestyle writers and websites in the country where your home is situated. Follow them on social media and sign-up to their newsletters to stay on top of filming opportunities. You could also get in contact to see if they offer opportunities to collaborate. They might ask you to advertise your property on their website. You’ll need to evaluate if this makes financial sense.
Follow them on Social Media
If you use social media to promote your holiday rental, then it’s a good idea is to add the Facebook/Twitter accounts of relevant programmes, series and production companies. As they will often put a shout out when searching for properties.
Using Pinterest or Instagram is also a great way to showcase the best images and videos of your holiday rental. You could integrate your Pinterest boards into your website.
Photographers and Videographers
Another great idea is to link up with local photographers and videographers and give them a commission if they get a location booking for your property. They are often contacted by advertising agencies, location scouts and designers to help source villa venues for advertising shoots.
Push for PR
If you have a luxury or unique property, we recommend that you create a press pack – pdf format – with the intro and main wording of the press release pasted straight into an email.
Make a contact list of Travel/Property editors of quality press: quality national press and lifestyle/travel magazines, such as The Independent, Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel, Wanderlust and Condé Nast Traveller.
Send them an initial email presenting your property for travel features and remind them every 4-6 months that your property is still available as accommodation. The more you get featured in the press, the more likely you are to get spotted by a production company or location scout. And of course it’s great for stimulating bookings!
Resource: All press coverage of your holiday home should be included on your website. Link to the page, or ask if you can publish a pdf version on your website.
Check the channels
Finally TV channels are always calling for program participants. So keep checking to see if there are any shows in production that need properties in your area. Here are some examples of where and how to register:
Tip: Agents, scouts and pre-production companies, etc. will try to hammer you for a bargain or freebie. It’s essential that you insist ‘in writing’ on having full credits, with the name of your property mentioned as the location, it won’t happen automatically.
Greenlight is a great resource to find indie production companies.
Location Agencies and Libraries:
If you are a pre-production company looking for quality properties in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and other locations throughout Europe, to add to your location list, please get in touch.
Rental Tonic and The Luxury Villa Collection work with some of the most amazing homes throughout Europe.