Greek Property Promotion

Archive for September, 2014

Tips to Get Your Vacation Rentals Listings Noticed

Vacation rental portals have become the most massively used tools among the people who use internet for booking their vacation homes. These have nearly replaced the older methods like directories and classifieds. Therefore, you are required to concentrate deeply on how you post an ad about your vacation rentals propertyon online booking portals.

Most often a visitor will see ad headlines and decide if they want to view the complete description,amenities, rental conditions and pictures of your property. However, many homeowners tend to make mistakes in writing their ad headline which directly affects the amount of visibility they get on their listings. Mentioned below Tips are two very commonly made, but easy-to-avoid mistakes.

Specifying the type of home you own in the headline

A suggestion on not mentioning the home type may sound weird at first, but it has clear logic and research behind it. This is because many a time people have misconceptions or biases about a particular style of house. For example, some folks feel condos are less attractive than bungalows or villas. Others may feel that an independent villa may be offering fewer facilities than a house in an apartment building. In most cases these are just misconceptions. The only way you can make things clear for your prospective clients is by demonstrating how lovely your home is irrespective of its built-style. But this is only possible when people click on your ad and see all that you have posted about your house. So it is a wise choice to leave out the house-type from the ad headline. Try doing this and see for yourself the difference in the amount of traffic your web site receives after it.

Keep your Vacation Rental Calendar Up to Date

The most important part of your listing is your rental calendar. Make it easy: an updated calendar leads to more inquiries and booking requests. There are two options to update your calendar: You can manually change or update your rental’s booked dates regularly, or sync it with an existing calendar by importing the data from websites like Lodgify, Bookingsync and other similar sites.

Mentioning the number of bedrooms in the listings

Writing the number of bedrooms you have in your vacations home is another sure-shot remedy to drastically reduce the number of visitors that click on your listings’ link. Your audience is narrowed down if you give too much information in the ad headline itself. People visiting the listings may be more inclined towards a house that comfortably sleeps more people, but it is also possible that they compromise on this part if they really like a particular house a lot. It is more important for you to show prospective clients how comfortable and unique your home is than specifying how many bedrooms it contains. So even if the number of bedrooms in your house does not match the expectations of a particular visitor, they will at least have visited your page and may refer your house to another friend, or may be use it later when bedrooms are not a constraint.

Remember that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media are necessary technical step that makes your ad visible to a larger audience. So it makes sense to gain some SEO knowledge and write effective descriptions and headlines that get you noticed. The higher the traffic your web site gets, more are the chances that you will be able to enhance your customer base.

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Should You Refinance to Buy a Vacation Home?

A spot with the beautiful tranquility of the mountains or the ocean outside your front door can be just the weekend re-charge you need in your life, but coming up with the money to finance or buy a vacation homeisn’t easy.

If you don’t have cash on hand to buy a second home outright, refinancing your primary residence might help you get the cash flow you need.

Just make sure you know the finer points before you start building your new skiwear or swimwear collection.

The Refinancing Process

In order to get the funds you need for your vacation home, you’ll have to do a cash-out refinance loan. This means taking on a new mortgage which is greater than the amount you currently owe on your house.

You’ll keep the difference between the amount you owe on your original mortgage and the amount of your new loan, which you can use to buy—or put a down payment on—a vacation home.

Remember, when you refinance, you are applying for a whole new loan. That means going through the mortgage process again, complete with credit checks, income verification and debt-to-income ratio evaluation, all of which will affect your new interest rate.

Plus, you’ll have to pay closing costs.

Is it possible?

Just because you have a home does not mean you have the option of refinancing it. Several factors can make you ineligible to refinance:

  • Bad credit
  • Having owned your primary home for less than 12 months
  • A poor debt-to-income ratio
  • A poor loan-to-value ratio (you want to have yours at 80%, at least)

To help you land your dream vacation home, try a pre-approval service like the one featured on the realtor.com® individual listings page.

By checking the box that says, “I want to get pre-approved by a lender” you’ll be connected with up to three lenders right away.

Consider Taxes When Buying a Vacation Home

How you choose to use your vacation home can affect your taxes, which may make juggling two properties more difficult.

For example, if you only plan on the occasional weekend away, it may seem like a good idea to rent out your vacation home part of the year.

However, under the tax rules for rented properties, if you use your second home as a rental, you’ll only be able to say in the home 14 days—or 10% of the total days the property is rented out.

If you would rather use it as a personal residence, a special tax rule allows you to rent out the home for 14 days without having to report that income to the IRS.

This could be a good idea to help with all those new monthly expenses.

Other Considerations Before Buying a Vacation Home

A vacation home is a big investment, and refinancing isn’t cheap. Lenders are more cautious about risking money for second home mortgages, so don’t be surprised if the loan for your vacation home isn’t as good as the deal for your first mortgage.

But that’s not all you should be ready for.

Follow these tips so you won’t get caught off guard:

  • Get a thorough inspection done. If the home was used as a vacation destination previously, the owner may not have kept it up-to-date.
  • It’s a good idea to only refinance if you can get a lower interest rate. That way, you will free up extra cash you can use to fund your vacation home’s mortgage and down payment.
  • Since this is your second mortgage, your debt-to-income ratio should generally be capped at 36%.
  • You will probably need a down payment of 20% to 35% for conventional mortgages—and even higher for luxury homes.
  • Interest rates for a second home can be a bit higher than those for primary home purchases.
  • Unless you buy the vacation home outright, you will need enough money to cover the mortgageson two homes. Make sure you have enough monthly income to do so.

Writing A Perfect Vacation Rental Agreement

Offer a definite rental finalization date

More than often rental owners miss out on lucrative guests simply because they wait too long for the formalities to get completed and receive the payments. It is imperative to fix a specific date by which the agreement should be signed by both the parties involved and obtain the rental amount. Rental occupiers generally approach many owners before they finalize upon a specific home. They prefer to wait for negotiations to occur, and subsequently try to avail a lowered rental price. Since they are not in much of a hurry to finalize the deal, it is up to the rental owner to take the initiative and hurry things along.

Securing your rental

It pays to secure your rental in some way or the other. One of the best ways of doing it is to receive a token or advance payment in the form of a retainer. The idea is to commit your guest to the rental, so a non-trivial amount should be fixed as a retainer. It is important to specify the nature of the advance option. You could accept it as a part of the actual rent payable, or as a refundable deposit which can be redeemed in case of cancellations.

Avoid future pitfalls and issues

The nitty-gritty of the rental can create issues later on at the time of occupying the home. Sometimes guests tend to complain, or appear dissatisfied with what they have rented after finalizing the offer. The issue may be related to the amenities offered by the rental, the duration of the stay, the location preference, or any other reason. It is important to specify exactly what you are offering and what your guests are renting. So don’t just rely upon verbal discussions or talks – get everything in writing. Before signing the agreement, renters are supposed to thoroughly read the contract, and this is when many aspects associated with the rental are made clear.

Getting the dates and occupiers right

One of the commonest issues faced by both the rental owners and guests is the time and duration of booking the rental, in addition to who will be occupying the home. This can generally occur due to misunderstandings or a lack of clarification, or misconception, on the part of the property owner or the guest. So it is wise to include the specific dates and times when the guests should check in, for how long they are expected to occupy the premises, and the names of individuals who will be staying, in the agreement. The payment related aspects can also be included to further consolidate the agreement.

Specifying the mode and time of payments

The mode of payment can be a cause of concern with rental property owners. While most owners are completely satisfied with bank checks and pay orders, a few rental owners prefer their payments through PayPal or credit cards. It is a question of how quickly you prefer to receive your payments. Moreover, you need to apprise your guests how much in advance they are required to pay to confirm their stay by making the retainer payment. It would help them to make arrangements for the payment.

Accident claims, insurances, and cancellation charges

In the event you guest may undergo an accident or suffer a certain financial loss due to any reason, you need to clarify that you are not to be held responsible for it, and will not be liable to pay any compensations. You should clearly specify that you do not provide any types of insurances or are liable to honour any type of claim in any way or manner for anything that happens to them during their stay. You should also specify the cancellation charges due to you in case the guest decides to postpone or cancel his or her rental.

Legal consents and signatures

It is good to follow the policy of including the guest’s consent in the form of signature on every page of the rental agreement. It is just a legal formality in case the guest decides to sue the rental owner by manipulating legal documents after he or she has signed it. If you prefer using electronic form of correspondence such as emails to work out the rental specifics with the guest, it is advised to use electronic signatures to legalize your correspondences.

Expedia Go Tech Savvy­ Launches app for tablets to book hotels and flights

Giant of travel domain Expedia has launched Expedia app for tablets in India. The app will be freely available for Android, Apple and Blackberry platforms. This exclusive app for tablet users enables them to choose among various destinations, hotels and flights.

Kathleen Tan, CEO of AAE Travel, which operates on the Expedia brand in Asia said, “Expedia is moving from being just a website to being a travel data platform for the users wherever the are, on whatever device they are on. Expedia, world’s largest travel company and AirAsia, world’s best economic air carrier jointly run AAE­ AirAsiaExpedia.

“Travellers expect an easy, convenient way to explore travel destinations and browse flight and hotel details and they expect to be able to do it in a way that feels right for them when they’re on their tablet. Our tablet app gives them this experience, while leveraging the in­depth industry knowledge and personalized insights our powerful Expedia search engines provide”.

In 2013, tablet growth has increased exponentially in India in year 2013 with half of the users spending two hours or more on the tablet, according to the industry report. Keeping the upcoming surge in tablet users in India Expedia is now eyeing on applications for mobile devices that provide best travel planning experience.

“At Expedia, investing in technology has always been our priority and with the exponential rise in Indian tablet market, we wanted to explore this vertical and ensure an all­round presence with this first ever tablet travel app in the Indian market”, said Vikram Malhi, MD, Asia, Expedia.

To address travellers evolving needs, the new Expedia tablet app is specifically optimized for mobile exploration and browsing and introduces a handful of unique features:

Single Search Box: To eliminate heavy search interfaces, the new tablet app offers a single search box to do the lifting. When a traveler enters a city name, landmark, or airport code, the app will show hotels and flights relevant to that query – no dates or specific details are required at the start.

First­Ever Combined Hotel & Flight Travel Search: For the first time in the industry, combined search has arrived for the travel market. Rather than searching for trips in a rigid, linear progression of flights then hotels, or hotels then flights, Expedia is introducing one combined search that provides both hotel and flight results simultaneously, available all in one glance.

Collections: Expedia presents various themed travel destinations to spark interest in future journeys. Collections offer customers the opportunity to explore vacation destinations they may not have otherwise considered. Beautiful locations come to life in a particularly compelling way on tablet devices. Collections offer a rich combination of design, mobility and travel research.

Content is catered to various regions and will be updated based on traveler feedback.

Consolidated Trip Planning, Booking, & Data, Shared Across Devices: In the begining of 2014, Expedia introduced Scratchpad in certain markets around the globe. Scratchpad is a easier way to keep track of your travel searches. When a traveler is signed into an Expedia app, trips researched on a tablet device will appear on the desktop or mobile Scratchpad allowing travellers to begin their travel planning from where they left off – on any device.

“The travel industry has largely thought about each trip as a single transaction and has poured energy into making individual transactions better. That’s no longer enough for travelers who dream, plan, research and buy travel across multiple devices,” notes John Kim, Chief Product Officer at Expedia Worldwide. “We’re beyond the era of just desktop and mobile. Expedia is evolving how we think about that connected customer and how we invest to best serve them before, during and after they travel. Our new tablet app embraces Expedia’s core strengths by bringing together our marquis hotel and flight capabilities to create one beautiful and easy­to­use combined search experience. We encourage people to try it and share their feedback.”

New easyJet ad campaign means business

easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has launched its first ever TV campaign focused on what it has to offer business travellers. Passengers travelling for business now account for more than a fifth of easyJet’s passengers with more than 12m choosing the airline every year – and that number continues to grow.

The campaign, called ‘Business Sense’, launches on TV in the UK from 13th September, with actor Hugh Laurie as the new voice of the campaign. It aims to highlight the advantages of flying with easyJet with the TV ads focussing on the airline’s strong record for punctuality pointing out that last year, on average, easyJet was more punctual across Europe than British Airways.*

Peter Duffy, Commercial Director for easyJet, commented: 

“This is the first time we have chosen to advertise to business travellers on TV and it is indicative of the importance we place on this key and growing market for us.

“We know business passengers are attracted to easyJet because of our low fares, punctuality and friendly service, flying to primary airports across Europe – all of these factors help the airline to both attract and retain new business customers – but the ad campaign should help us to reach business travellers who may not have considered easyJet to date. So in the campaign we aim to communicate that easyJet isn’t just a more cost-effective option, it’s actually a smarter choice for business travellers all-round.”

The commercial opens in a busy airport. Business men and women rush around racing to catch their flights. Over this mayhem we hear the famous music track ‘I’m late’. Amongst all of the stress the focus rests on an individual reading a business newspaper when two large white ears pop up from behind the paper and we realise the character is in fact a certain white rabbit, who is notoriously known for worrying about being late. He hops up, flips open his pocket watch, looks around at the madness unfolding before him and then very calmly makes his way to his flight with confidence and in the knowledge it is on time.

The television commercials will be supported by a new print, outdoor and digital campaign that uses witty illustrations to showcase some of the key services offered for business travel with easyJet from flexible fares to its extensive network and unrivalled schedule to primary airports. The campaign will also be shown in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Portugal throughout September and October.

Over the last few years easyJet has been successfully growing its share of the managed corporate travel sector. Alongside our famous low fares, a raft of innovations including our GDS partnerships, new product enhancements like allocated seating, Inclusive Fares and Fast Track security, have all contributed to enabling us to compete more effectively with legacy carriers and gain a larger slice of the business travel market.

The airline was one of the first in the low cost sector to make its inventory available to business travel bookers through GDS systems and the partnerships easyJet has built with GDS systems have meant the airline has been able to successfully grow its presence in the business travel market.

With flights to more of more of the major airports on the top 100 European routes, high frequency flights Flexi Fares, Fast Track Security, speedy boarding, mobile boarding passes with the easyJet app and allocated seating as standard, easyJet is helping make business travel easy and affordable for everyone. In January easyJet picked up industry accolade ‘Best Short-Haul Airline Award’ at the 2014 Business Travel Awards.

The campaign was created by the integrated creative agency VCCP with media planned and bought by OMD.

*easyJet’s on time performance 84.4%, BA 73.8% Jul 13-Jun 14. Based on OAG’s 69 comparable city to city routes. Source: http://www.flightstats.com

Buy2Greece.com – Will Apple iPhone 6 revolutionize travel experience?

Apple, the celebrated manufacturer of Smartphones announced the official launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 9. Beautiful design and smart technology are synonymous with Apple products. However, the recent iPhone came with a bigger screen size and a thinner body to match the smartphone market competition. The newer versions are flaunting a screen size of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively.

As a travel gadget, here is a quick look at some of the features that makes iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus a formidable competitor to other travel gadgets.

Battery Life
An average traveler taps and swipes a Smartphone more often checking out maps, apps and review sites. A full day charge looks quite a difficult circumstance. However, the new iPhone 6 is an upgrade on the 5S. Alongside increases in raw battery capacity, the iPhones’ faster A8 processor offers improvements in power management. Apple data suggests the iPhone 6 will last 25 percent longer on 3G browsing than the iPhone 5S. Standby times are identical, however. It’s an improvement rather than a sea change. The larger iPhone 6 Plus promises a bigger boost in battery life.

Camera
Apple’s iPhones have always taken the rivals by surprise with its superior image quality. In recent times, other Smartphones have upgraded their camera feature by leaps and bounds. The new iPhone 6 camera is still an 8MP camera. But, the camera is not only about megapixels. Both the iPhone models have a new sensor, improved image stabilization, more precise auto focus for sharper and better photos. The new introduction includes the ability to shoot slo-mo video at up to 240 frames per second. The camera will be a significantly useful tool for the global travelers.

More apps
The iOS platform from Apple set a benchmark of superior travel apps and even after a continuous competition from the android market the iOS 8 will bring in a sea change. Due to be available from September 17, the new operating system will add new features like enhanced photo editing, HomeKit integration allowing more control over connected security and other travel apps for the holiday makers worldwide.

Tough design
The new iPhone models come with an “ion strengthened glass” screen. Apple ensures that its Smartphone are durable to cope up with the serious punishments and probable accidents during traveling.

Secured Payments
As traveling is becoming more and more a smart activity, several phone networks and banks are launching mobile payment options through smart wallets. Apple Pay is the innovative version from Apple for the same. It will be available from next month, initially in US. Both new iPhones have a Near Field Communications (NFC) antenna for making contactless payments, which shoppers authenticate using their iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Apple Pay could offer a safe and convenient way to pay while traveling. Travel apps including Uber (for private hire cabs) and OpenTable (for restaurant bookings) have already announced Apple Pay integration services.

Needless to mention, the new iPhone models will soon get hold of a major smartphone market. For the global travel industry, Apple will keep on innovating and adding more apps, maps and services in regular intervals. Let’s witness how technology revolutionizes travel experience in the near future.

Zillow Syndicates U.S. Real Estate Listings to Leju – One of China’s Leading Real Estate Platforms

Zillow is now powering the U.S. real estate search for Leju a leading real estate services company in China. Leju operates several leading real estate and home furnishing websites of SINA Corporation, Baidu Inc., and its main website, leju.com, as well as various mobile applications along with local websites covering more than 250 cities.

Chinese home shoppers who search for U.S. homes on Leju’s platforms now have access to Zillow’s robust home search experience, rich data on homes, millions of for-sale listings, and unique pre-market inventory, through a co-branded Zillow®-Leju site.

“Chinese home shoppers represent an untapped opportunity not only to U.S. sellers, but to agents and brokers as well,” said Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow chief marketing officer. “Chinese home buyers spent $22 billion in the U.S.i last year – nearly doubling what they spent in the previous year – and this co-branded site will make it easy for them to not only find the U.S. home of their dreams, but also connect with a local real estate professional who can help make that dream a reality. We are excited to offer this opportunity to the thousands of brokers and agents who choose to market their listings on Zillow.”

Agents and brokers whose listings appear on Zillow will also automatically appear on the co-branded site, with no additional effort or cost. Chinese buyers are the largest population of foreign buyers of U.S. homes. The median price of the homes they purchased was approximately $523,148, with 76 percent of purchases reported as all-cash purchases. iii

“We are pleased to offer Leju visitors the opportunity to have unparalleled access to the number one real estate website in the U.S.,” said Geoffrey Yinyu He, Leju’s chief executive officer. “For Chinese buyers who are looking to invest in the U.S. market, we now provide easy access to a comprehensive amount of listings, which will simplify the remote house hunting experience.”

Financial terms of Zillow’s first international partnership were not disclosed. In the United States, Zillow is the exclusive provider of for-sale and for-rent listings for Yahoo!® Homes, AOL® Real Estate, MSN® Real Estate and HGTV®’s FrontDoor®.

Move Launches Find App for Real Estate Professionals

Move has launched of its Find™ app for real estate professionals. Only available to agents and brokers through their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the Find™ app empowers real estate professionals with on-the-go access to critical agent-level listing detail, such as agent remarks and showing instructions, in an easy-to-use interface that mimics the popular realtor.com® mobile applications for consumers and professionals.

Among the wide array of real estate mobile apps for professionals, only a handful provide the key information most useful to an agent on the road. Most real estate professionals access this agent-level detail through their local MLS, but only a fraction of MLSs offer mobile versions of this data. Immediate access to important agent-only details, combined with real-time client collaboration, can make the difference between showing a home in the next 10 minutes or scheduling an appointment three days later.

Additionally, agents that operate in communities served by more than one MLS must often perform the same listing search in several MLSs to access all available properties for sale. The Find™ app contains each community’s complete MLS inventory, allowing agents to search just once for complete listing results.

“The Find™ app empowers agents with a single, familiar interface that eliminates the confusion of varying feature sets and access points that mark the current professional app landscape – providing equal opportunity and experience for all members of an MLS,” said Russ Cofano, senior vice president of industry relations for Move. “We’ve placed our priority on delivering the accurate, timely and complete information that agents on the road need to serve their clients and to cooperate with fellow real estate professionals to facilitate and close transactions.”

The Find™ app leverages the best features available in the realtor.com® mobile app — such as searching by school and school district, drawing a custom search, and making personal notes on listings and adds specific enhancements designed specifically for agents, including:

Collaborative search, allowing agents to invite and connect with clients right away and notifying agents about client-side actions such as ‘ask my agent’ and ‘request a showing’
Agent remarks, and showing instructions
Number of days the listing has been displayed on realtor.com®
Short sale and bank owned status
Compensation details
Driving directions
One-click access to contact the listing or selling agent or broker directly
The Southwestern Illinois Regional MLS (SIRMLS) is the first MLS to adopt the Find™ app, making this custom mobile app available to its 1,700 brokers. “SIRMLS was looking for a remarkable mobile application that could provide instant access to a large local consumer base,” said Timathy Dain, executive director of SIRMLS. “We wanted an app that provided best-in-class consumer usability, award-winning design, and a synergistic partnership between the technology provider, our brokers and the consumer. Move stepped up and delivered on all fronts, making the Find™ app immediately impactful to the business of SIRMLS brokers,” continued Dain. “Our brokers know the technology, use the technology, refer it to consumers, and now have the added benefit of traditionally private MLS data incorporated into their ‘broker’ version.”

“The Find™ app is a very user friendly app and the search on the go feature is awesome,” said Dan Tatum, SIRMLS broker and Find™ app beta tester. “The enhanced partnerships provided by the Find app collaboration features between buyers (and sellers) and their REALTORS® is a huge win for everyone.”

The Jupiter Tequesta Hobe Sound MLS (JTHS) is the second MLS to adopt the Find™ app, making it available to its 1,800 members. “The Find™ app promotes the REALTOR® brand, a brand that consumers trust,” said Wes Wiggins, executive director of JTHS. “It just made sense to provide our members with a widely popular mobile app that promotes their professionalism and their brand, and that contains the best content in the industry. The Find™ app was the right choice for our members.”

Buy2Greece – Ryanair, orders 200 of Boeing’s new 737

Low cost airline, Ryanair, orders 200 of Boeing’s new 737 Max 200 aircraft which will cut fuel costs by almost a fifth

Source: Telegraph

Σπάει τα ρεκόρ ο τουρισμός: 21,5 εκατ. τουρίστες και 13,5 δισ. ευρώ έσοδα

Πέραν πάσης προσδοκίας κινείται πλέον η φετινή τουριστική κίνηση με τον ΣΕΤΕ να προχωρά σε νέα αναθεώρηση των προβλέψεών του

Συγκεκριμένα, το 2014 θα έρθουν στην Ελλάδα 19,5 ξένοι επισκέπτες (προηγούμενη εκτίμηση, 19 εκατ.), συνολικά 21,5 εκατ. συμπεριλαμβανομένης της κρουαζιέρας και σε 13.5 δισ ευρώ τα έσοδα (προηγούμενη εκτίμηση, 13 δισ. ευρώ) συμπεριλαμβανομένης της κρουαζιέρας, αντίστοιχα.

Ο ΣΕΤΕ εκτιμά ότι οι απώλειες λόγω της κρίσης σε Ρωσία και Ουκρανία θα ανέλθουν σε περίπου 300 εκατ. ευρώ αλλά καλύπτονται από την έκρηξη της τουριστικής κίνησης από άλλες χώρες, κυρίως από Βρετανία, Γερμανία, ΗΠΑ.

Την ενίσχυση του τουριστικού κύματος στην χώρα μας πάνω από 15% κατέγραψε η αεροπορική κίνηση εξωτερικού σε όλα τα αεροδρόμια της Ελλάδος τον Αύγουστο σε σχέση με το αντίστοιχο περσινό διάστημα.