Give me a new lifestyle!By Howard • Jul 10th, 2008 • Category: Sales
Gites in France
Love to move to France but need an income? One of the favourite options is to buy one or more French gites – so you have a main house (or caravan!) to live in during the season and let out your gites (converted barns, outhouses, etc) to your paying visitors.
It all started when French farmers needed additional income and there were grants and good tax concessions to convert outbuildings and barns to Tourist accommodation. Gites de France successfully promoted the “gites” to both the French and International market. Traditionally, the gites were rural but many are available near the beaches too. Even chateaux have cottoned on and many offering accommodation are marketed as “gites”.
The season is short – just 10 weeks (July and August) coinciding when the French go on holiday en masse! So you have just a short time to make your income. Many gites complexes have adapted to the short season by converting many buildings – so they have a lot of units available for the peak season.
Outside the French holiday season – if you wish to remain open – you will have to learn marketing skills. Remember this is a very competitive market and you will have to work hard to fill up your units!
Top Tips for Gites
- You need repeat bookings & recommendations – so concentrate hard on the visitors you get. It is easier to keep existing customers than finding new ones!
- You need tip-top facilities – do not skimp
- Location, location, location
- Niche – as this is a competitive market offer something different (wine tours, creches, evening meals, gastronomic events, wine-tasting or use any local skill/food/happening to make you stand out). Say, you are going to concentrate on walkers – it is much easier/cheaper to market in walking magazines than glossy French Travel magazines.
- Network – use the internet (contribute to travel / niche forums – postings usually allow you to leave signature to say your website)
- Develop a website to “market” your gites to an international audience
Yes, it can be hard work! But don’t forget the location, weather, fine wines and food, the outdoor lifestyle …. tempted? Have a look at some Gites for Sale to whet your appetite.