Building a website for your second home, why should this be a good idea?
You own a second home at home or abroad and want to rent it out.
The first step you can take then is to have your property present on various online rental platforms for holiday homes.
The next step is then to effectively promote your second home and put your best foot forward. You can also do this by building a website for your second home (this can be done in 5 steps).
Online marketing is essential if you want to convince tourists from all over the world to rent your holiday home.
Then we will consider a possible online rental course for second home owners.
Finally, attention is also drawn to passive investment formulas in the recreational real estate niche.
Such holiday homes offer the best of both worlds: carefree rental income + the right to private use.
Enjoy the reading below and hope you learn something from this information.
Table of Contents
- 1 Five steps to create your own website for your second home
- 1.1 Choose a domain name for the website for your second home
- 1.2 Choose a website platform (Content Management System)
- 1.3 Choose a nice theme (template) for the website for your second home
- 1.4 Choose a provider to host your website for your second home
- 1.5 Build the website for your second home with at least six pages per language
- 1.5.1 Homepage (start page) on the website for your second home
- 1.5.2 About the holiday home – Website for your second home
- 1.5.3 Gallery of pictures and videos – Website for your second home
- 1.5.4 Frequently asked questions – Website for your second home
- 1.5.5 Blog section / News section
- 1.5.6 Contact page on the website for your second home
- 2 Interesting online rental course for second homes
- 3 Questions about website for your second home? Ask them!
- 4 Interested in a rental guarantee, without website & do-it-yourself headaches?
Five steps to create your own website for your second home
Whether you just want to earn a pocket money when you are not using your second home, or you have deliberately invested in a holiday home to earn money from it, it does not matter.
The most powerful and important tool for advertising your second home is a website that highlights all the assets of your holiday home.
Below you will find out in five steps how you can build a website for your holiday home yourself.
Choose a domain name for the website for your second home
Choosing a domain name for your second home doesn’t have to be difficult or tricky.
The most important thing to remember is that it is best to have a short domain name that is easy to remember!
So avoid long domain names and also avoid domain names that open the door to typos and misspellings.
A good rule is that you should be able to verbally communicate the domain name to a stranger. This person must then be able to enter the domain name without error into the address bar of his/her website browser.
Which domain name extension for the website for your second home?
Think carefully about which markets you want to reach with the website for your second home. Suppose you own a holiday home in the south of France.
Some scenarios based on the neighbouring countries and their languages:
- If you only want to let this house to Belgians, then choose a .be domain name extension. You can then offer the content in three languages (Dutch, French and German).
- If you want to promote your second home only to Dutch people, choose a .nl domain name extension.
- If you want to rent out your holiday home to French people, choose a .fr domain name extension.
- If you do not want to exclude potential tenants on the basis of origin and language, choose a .com domain name extension. A .com gives both Belgians and Dutch people a feeling of being welcome, versus a .be which the Dutch are allergic to and a .nl where Belgians do not feel 100% comfortable. On a .com you can then also decide to offer the content in even more languages (English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian, etc.).
What is a smart domain name for your holiday home?
Suppose you own a holiday home in Marbella. And that you want to buy a suitable domain name to host a website on it.
It may also be that your country house already has a certain name such as Casa Miguele or The Black Pearl.
In such a case, you might consider buying a domain name like casamiguele.com or theblackpearl.com.
But is it a good idea to include the name of your property in your domain name? Well, if you like to get free visitors to your website through the search engines, then there are better options.
No one will search for “Casa Miguele Marbella” on Google, for example. People will search for “holiday home marbella for rent” or “holiday home with sea view in marbella for rent”.
It is therefore not bad to take a domain name like holidayhomemarbella.com or marbellaholidaystay.com.
You then implement certain key words into your domain name and this gives a small SEO advantage for your website.
Where to buy a domain name for the website for your second home?
Two of the best online marketplaces to buy a domain name at a bargain price are:
Choose a website platform (Content Management System)
There are dozens of content management systems. The best known and most used are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
The largest online community where you can exchange information with others is undoubtedly that of WordPress.
In other words, do you want to build your own website for your second home? Then you will benefit from choosing WordPress. Why?
- It is the most widely used content management system worldwide,
- There is a huge online safety net if you have any questions,
- It is extremely user-friendly and accessible to beginners.
Choose a nice theme (template) for the website for your second home
Suppose we have just convinced you that WordPress is the way to go for you! Well, then you probably still don’t see it because you totally don’t know how the WordPress beast works…
Don’t panic, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! There are hundreds of templates that you can prepare as the basis.
Then you can easily adjust the texts, photos, videos, colours and fonts. A kind of plug and play.
The best place to find a nice WordPress theme is on ThemeForest. You can search for “vacation rental” and then sort by popularity (Sort by: Bestsellers).
We already did this search for you, you can see the results directly on the next page.
Selection criteria | Website for your second home
There are some very important parameters that your favourite theme has to satisfy before you would buy it.
You will see these all listed on the information page of a specific theme.
Examples of selection criteria:
- Large number of sales (… Sales)
- Many ratings and a high average rating (minimum 4 out of 5 stars)
- Recently had an update (Last update …)
- Accessible for all possible internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera)
- Multilingual website functionality. For this, the theme must be compatible with WPML. WPML is the industry standard for making a WordPress website fully multilingual in as many languages as you like. Compatibility with WPML is a must if you want to build a multilingual website.
- Including booking functionality. For the small fry among us, it is not necessary to be able to accept bookings yourself! You leave the processing of bookings and the receipt of payments to the online platforms on which you promote your holiday home. Your website functions as the icing on the cake to win over potential tenants. If you own several holiday homes and want to evolve into a professional rental company, then booking functionality in your theme may come in handy. You can also always take a theme with booking functionality but start without. This way, you can still “upgrade” later on.
- Layout: Responsive (so that the website is also perfectly viewable with smartphones and tablets)
- Good service in the comments section! You can tell by a number of things. Suppose a customer asks a specific question in the comments section.
- Did the seller of the theme answer in time?
- Is the answer to the point or is it just a roundabout way of talking?
- Do you read many positive comments?
- Or do you read a lot of threatening customers who are angry?
- In the comments section you can find out a lot about the company that would provide you with the theme (template) after reading for 15 minutes! Take your time, do your research in the comments section!
Choose a provider to host your website for your second home
If you plan to work with the most widely used platform, WordPress, you have a wide choice of companies offering hosting for it.
One of the best providers that also receives awards every year as the best hosting company for WordPress websites is SiteGround.
This is the place to go for an insanely good service (24/7 chat service available in English), incredibly competitive prices and one of the best value for money online.
To give you an idea:
- You can host your own WordPress website there from +/- 4 euros per month (excl. VAT) for the first year.
- From the second year onwards, you then pay +/- EUR 8 per month (excl. VAT).
Indeed, this is peanuts, especially if you take into account the service and the quality of the service.
Do you want quality and service at a competitive price for your website for your second home? At SiteGround you really do get value for money!
Build the website for your second home with at least six pages per language
The smartest thing you can do is to build a classic website. A website that is built the way visitors expect it to be! Stay away from fancy designs and sexy themes, they will drive the average visitor crazy!
Always put the user experience first and create a classic menu that is easy to navigate.
Every page on your website should contain original text and images. A guideline is to write at least three hundred words of text per page. Write yourself and do not plagiarize, Google is like Big Brother and sees and knows everything.
This way the search engines will see that you are not building a spam website and that you are providing valuable information.
So you definitely need a number of pages per language. What are these six pages now?
- Homepage (start page)
- About the holiday flat
- Gallery with photos and possibly videos
- Frequently asked questions
- Blog section (an overview page with all kinds of news items that you periodically add to the website to keep it alive)
- Contact page with a contact form and contact details
Homepage (start page) on the website for your second home
The homepage of the website for your second home should contain both relevant text and pictures.
Every theme is different and as an owner you will have your own preferences.
Generally, you will have the option of placing a large photo that is visible to visitors without them having to scroll.
It can also be a slider that displays several photos alternately at a time interval of a few seconds.
Make sure you have a balance of photos, text and possibly videos.
Please make sure that the photos are not too heavy in terms of file size! Several Megabytes per picture is bad for the speed of your website! A guideline is to stay under 100 Kilobytes per photo.
You can achieve this by adjusting the settings of your photographic equipment or by optimizing a large file with software such as Photoshop or a free alternative software.
Give each photo you upload to your website an effective descriptive name.
For example, a photo of the front of the holiday home in Marbella can be given the following file name: “front-house-casa-miguele-for-rent-marbella-spain”.
About the holiday home – Website for your second home
The ‘About the holiday home’ page contains detailed and in-depth information about the holiday home.
Interested people who are planning a trip in the region and are looking for a nice holiday home to rent should find it here.
In other words, imagine that you are looking for a suitable holiday home to rent! Ask yourself what information you want to find out during your search. Then process all this information on this page.
You don’t have to invent everything yourself! Taking a look at some of the competition’s beautiful websites can also give you a lot of insight! Look at the parameters they mention and imitate them.
It goes without saying that you have to show off everything you’ve got here! From the number of bedrooms to a swimming pool with garden to the electronic devices and board games available and the type of Wi-Fi.
Get inspiration on sleep issues to furnish the bedrooms in the best possible way with the focus on a good night’s sleep.
Reuse and rewrite existing texts
What you should also not forget is to build on information you have already created!
Chances are that you have already described these parameters on an online platform for holiday rentals (e.g. Vrbo and Airbnb).
All you have to do then is take these parameters and rewrite everything.
A copy paste is not appreciated by the search engines. Unique text on the website for your second home, on the other hand, is the way to appease search engines.
On this ‘About the holiday home’ page you can of course implement a slider with photos of the inside and outside of the holiday home.
Do not forget to include the address and possibly a Google Map. Most themes for holiday homes offer this integration with Google Maps automatically.
This means that you can easily put this in order with a few mouse clicks!
Gallery of pictures and videos – Website for your second home
Here you can really make a difference to the rest. Here you can really beat the competition.
If you are willing to go the extra mile here, you will undoubtedly win over more potential tenants!
On this page it is recommended not to implement a slider with moving pictures. Create an overview of photos by simply displaying them side by side.
Give each photo the correct file name, alt tag and title. To go all the way with perfection, you can also write a short descriptive and informative text with each photo.
Don’t forget that video is actually a must nowadays. With a smartphone or a GoPro, it doesn’t matter which device you use.
The most important thing is to give potential tenants an inside and outside view.
You can easily upload the videos on Youtube and/or Vimeo and then you can easily ’embed’ them on this page, which means nothing more than sticking the link of the Youtube video on this page.
Don’t worry, most themes also offer a plug and play option here, possibly with the help of a plugin.
We also built a specific page with more information on how to make your holiday home more attractive to potential tenants.
Frequently asked questions – Website for your second home
A page with frequently asked questions on the website for your second home can grow over time.
The idea is that after each contact with (interested) tenants you list their questions. If these questions are not yet on this page, you can add them with an appropriate answer.
To get started, ask yourself what questions a potential tenant might have.
For this, you can again take inspiration from existing competitor websites (this does not even have to be a competitor in the same region).
A selection of frequently asked questions:
- Are towels and bed linen provided?
- Where is the nearest shop, pub and restaurant?
- Is there a petrol station nearby?
- When is the check-in?
- When is the check-out?
- Is there free parking at the holiday home?
- Is there a deposit to be paid and how much is it?
- Is electricity and water included in the price?
- Is there Wi-Fi and is it included in the price?
- How does it work with waste and any local sorting obligations?
- Can I smoke indoors?
- Is there a separate tourist tax to be paid?
- Are pets allowed in the holiday home?
- Is there an alarm?
- Will we be welcomed by someone upon arrival?
- Are there different sets of keys available?
- Can cyclists and hikers get their money’s worth? Are there cycling and hiking routes nearby?
- Are there bicycles available or is it possible to rent bicycles in the neighbourhood?
- Which airports are nearby?
- Are there any regular promotions of air tickets to your destination?
- Are there any interesting airline tickets for groups to visit your destination?
This list will grow in the future and that is positive for the search engines.
Periodically adding new content to the website is the ultimate way to get more free visitors from the search engines!
Blog section / News section
This page gives an overview of all the articles you have already written. Consider ‘articles’ as periodic news items that you write yourself to inform potential tenants.
Blog articles can be about all kinds of things such as:
- The climate
- The seasons in the region
- Cultural activities
- Certain events
- Sports activities
- Certain photo reports of hikes or bike rides that you take
- A list of all kinds of attractions in the region
- The discussion of the nearest town
- A list of all kinds of local specialities and dishes, etc
The idea is that you inspire and impress potential tenants with your expertise.
If you can add a new article periodically (at least once a month), this will also have long-term benefits in terms of visitor numbers.
Contact page on the website for your second home
On the contact page you should make it as easy as possible for the website visitor to contact you!
You implement a telephone number and an e-mail address where people can reach you.
You should also add a contact form. Again, no worries, this option is standard in the best themes. It can be done in a few clicks!
Guidelines for a good contact form when building a website for your second home? Short and sweet!
The best converting contact forms consist of few fields so that a visitor sees as few barriers as possible to contact you!
We recommend that you build a contact form on the website for your second home with only three fields:
- Phone number or e-mail address
Interesting online rental course for second homes
As a holiday home owner, do you wish to rent out your holiday home to tourists, friends and/or family in a smart, efficient and profitable way?
Then it may be wise to find specialised online training from real experts in the field.
Such an online training can be an interesting source of information full of useful tips and tricks for smart renting out your second home.
Topics that can be covered in such a training course are e.g:
- where you can find interesting recreational real estate for sale;
- how to arrange smart financing [AVAILABLE SOON];
- how to start earning money with little means of your own through bnb and recreational property rental;
- various online platforms on which potential tenants can discover your recreational real estate for rent (it is instructive to be told on which platforms you can rent well at the best margins…);
- what tasks you could outsource; and
- how you can achieve financial independence [AVAILABLE SOON] in the long run with the rental of recreational real estate.
Interested? Then be sure to do a Google search for online training for second-home owners.
Questions about website for your second home? Ask them!
Do you have any questions or comments about building a website for your second home?
We understand that this may be completely new to you!
Feel free to ask your question and we will try to come up with the best answer possible.
Interested in a rental guarantee, without website & do-it-yourself headaches?
Are you about to buy a second home abroad but are you unsure whether it can provide a good return?
Then you should definitely consider the advantages of investment properties with rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON].
A subcategory of this type of investment property are second homes at home and abroad for mixed use.
This means that you can use it privately and that the rental is completely stress-free, as everything is taken care of for you.
Features of such a carefree alternative
Investing in holiday homes [AVAILABLE SOON] in this way often means the following in practice:
- You purchase the second residence (preferably in full ownership and NOT via leasehold or building rights)
- If you want to score the highest possible return, you should make use of the leverage effect and therefore (partly) finance your second home with a (mortgage) loan [AVAILABLE SOON].
- Each year, you will receive a guaranteed return on your bank account (this is the rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON] in operation). This return is in most cases calculated as a fixed or variable percentage on the purchase price of the holiday home.
- Annually, you can enjoy your holiday home for x number of weeks (at a reduced rate, after reduction of your annual return or even for free)
Unique offers for sale with top yields
Investing in a holiday home abroad can be done carefree via a complete care package.
This means that you can invest in mixed-use recreational real estate through various providers.
This mixed use is freely defined by each promoter, but in practice is often a combination of a rental guarantee (guaranteed rental income) and the right to private use (free or with very limited conditions):
France for mixed use
- Buy a second home in France in a luxury resort – Up to 8% annual return on your investment, calculated on the purchase price of the holiday home. Includes 2 weeks of FREE private use per year, free to choose during high and low season.
- Recreational real estate in France as an investment – from 17 230 Euros you can participate with a return up to 8%
On the Costa del Sol, you can get your hands on a mixed-use flat [AVAILABLE SOON] in a golf resort close to the sea.
As an owner, you are entitled to a three-year rental guarantee and interesting conditions in terms of your own use.
Includes access to all resort facilities (swimming pool, golf, etc.).
Do you dream of a luxury holiday home on Samos with fantastic views over the bay, on this beautiful island belonging to Greece?
The interesting thing about Hera Bay Luxury Resort is the complete investment formula without worries for overseas investors.
In concrete terms, owners can count on a certain rental return (contractually agreed) as well as on x number of weeks of free private use.
In Tivat you can invest in studios or flats for sale in a small newly built residence in a prime location on a hill.
This luxury property in Montenegro can be included in the rental programme with variable rental yield. You are therefore entitled to free weeks of personal use on an annual basis.