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Property rentals and the 2017 season in Kalkan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 March 2017

2017 Kalkan rentals

Update Monday 20th March - see below:  According to the recent KTLN survey on Dalaman International Airport around 85% of travellers who arrive in Turkey via Dalaman come as independent travellers.

In terms of accommodation this survey showed a fairly even three way split between those who rent villas/apartment, those who choose hotels and people who own their own place in the sun.

But these figures relate to a large area roughly from Dalyan to Kaş.  If we look back to our last Kalkan survey, conducted a year ago, we find that almost 50% of visitors to Kalkan rent a villa or apartment.  Property rentals is a particularly big market in Kalkan.

So we thought we would take a look at this market and see how well it is operating, both from the property owner’s perspective and also as far as the holidaymaker is concerned.

Needle in a haystack
So where does a first timer to Kalkan begin?  Where is the best place to find your ideal holiday accommodation?  

There are so many websites out there to choose from.  Internet search engines are probably a good start but you need to be prepared to look beyond the first page.

Bear in mind that quite often the ones that top the search results page are adverts.  They have paid to be put in pole position and grab your attention.  It does not guarantee the best deal.

Furthermore, even those who have not paid for an advert to get top billing may only be on the first page of search results because their webmaster is brighter than some of the others, and knows how search engine optimisation works.  Having the smartest webmaster doesn’t mean having the best deals, so take nothing for granted.  

2017 Kalkan rentals

Does big mean best?
In short, no, not necessarily.

The big beasts in online rentals are companies like Owners Direct and Holiday Lettings.  They have cornered the market through some pretty ruthless marketing techniques and having established their dominance they are determined to maximise the return on their investments by taking from people at both ends of the transaction.

Nothing wrong with that you may say; business is business, and yes they do offer some services that are valuable.  But many people would argue that their web sites are not as user friendly as they used to be and whilst their ingenious creativity in thinking up new ways to squeeze more money out of a transaction is no doubt entirely legal, (surely you must have read the terms and conditions setting out what they are entitled to do), it can often leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

Charges of up to 20%
For example, we looked at a simple rental that was advertised as costing £600.  After service fees, commission and payment processing fees, the holidaymaker pays £657.46 and the owner receives £537.60.  This means that the rental company has got £119.86 out of the transaction - some of which is VAT.  That’s equates to 20% of the original £600 advertised cost.

When you search for properties on the major rental sites they use sophisticated algorithms to drive you to where they want you to go, which in general terms is towards the property owners who stump up the most cash in fees and charges.  So you may actually miss a number of excellent properties because the owners are only on the “standard” advertising package.

It’s a lucrative business model which relegates those not willing to pay the highest charges to the bottom of the list.  Many property owners feel that they are being pushed into more and more expensive deals or else they face banishment into the internet wilderness where people will be very lucky to find them.  They would argue that not only is this business model biased and unfair, but ultimately it is not in the interests of consumers.

Are smaller web sites better?
Let’s look at the alternative to the big boys.  Will you get a better service and a better deal from some of the smaller rental web sites?  Here are a few reasons why smaller may be better.

  1. They tend to be familiar with Kalkan itself and the properties they feature, so are better placed to narrow down selections and make recommendations to guests based on their specific criteria. This saves holidaymakers valuable time as they can avoid trawling though the hundreds of properties listed on the big portal sites.
  2. They have established good working relationships with the property owners and tend only to work with those who are committed to providing a high standard of accommodation coupled with good customer service.
  3. Their pricing tends to be uncomplicated and transparent - usually there are no hidden extras / booking fees. They sometimes have agreements with property owners to ensure that the rates charged are the same as those charged directly by the owner (or on any other agency website).
  4. Often they provide assistance (if required) with extras such as transfers / car hire / tours and excursions / boat trips / shopping deliveries / babysitting services / in-house catering / special requests.
  5. They can provide a wealth of useful information (specific to Kalkan and its surrounding areas) ahead of the guests' arrival to enable them to get the most out of their stay.
  6. Most local rental web sites have representation in Kalkan, so that any problems guests may encounter during their stay can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

2017 Kalkan rentals

Fraudulent property adverts
A problem that blights some property rental web sites is that of fraudulent adverts.  

Typically what happens is that an unscrupulous crook copies images and details from a genuine rental property and simply reposts them in a separate listing in the hope that they can dupe people into parting with their money for a holiday letting that the real property owners have no idea about.  The holidaymaker is paying for accommodation they won’t get.  They may get as far as turning up in Kalkan before they smell a rat.

This type of scam is more prevalent on the larger rental web sites because these online rental portals are more impersonal - they have so many clients it is difficult to spot the copy and paste fakes.  Smaller rental web sites tend not to have these issues because usually they know the property owners.  Something to be aware of.

Spam email enquiries
From an owner’s perspective another problem is fake enquiries, where they are led to believe someone is interested in coming to their property but in fact the email is a phishing scam - an attempt to get information from the property owner or to introduce some kind of malware on to their computer.  These are challenging times for rentals with owners keen to see enquiries, and the scammers play on this.

2017Kalkan rentalsWant my business?  Chase me
An interesting development is the increasing number of messages that people post online where the holidaymaker invites property owners to compete for a booking.  These people are taking the leg work out of searching for the best property by putting their requirements out there and seeing which property owners bite.  It’s an interesting and sometimes unedifying twist on the normal holiday booking routine.

We have noticed that in these circumstances you can sometimes see evidence of undercutting by owners keen to secure a rental.  Of course everyone is entitled to charge as much or as little as they like for their properties, but providing discounts and throwing in freebies will inevitably lead to significantly lower profits. 

In the short term this appears good for holidaymakers, but in the long term it doesn’t bode well for the quality or number of available rental choices.  A race to the bottom on price will lead to cheap and cheerful properties and bargain basement holidays in Kalkan.  Looking at the bigger picture this doesn’t sound too promising to us.

The KTLN Business Directory
We have recently added about 50 rental businesses to the KTLN Business Directory, under the Property section.  Click here to see the alphabetical list: Rentals: KTLN Business Directory

Whilst we can’t offer any kind of guarantee we have heard of all the businesses listed and we know of no reason why they would not fulfil their responsibilities.  Please note that we have only listed rental web sites that deal with multiple properties in Kalkan. 

Registering details of guestsWe are happy to add any others we may have missed, providing we are satisfied they are genuine, properly registered businesses.  Contact us if you feel you should be listed.

Registering guests with the authorities
There is something new for people to consider this season.  Back in December KTLN outlined how private property rentals were effectively being brought into line with hotels with the introduction of a new regulation requiring the registration of guests with the local authorities.  See our article here.

It’s something that hotels have been doing for years - day in day out.  It’s not complicated but because it is something new some people are getting a little concerned about the practicalities of registering guests.  Our advice to both holidaymakers and property owners is to remain calm and take it in your stride.  It’s a very minor bit of administration that is no more difficult than if you were to book in to a hotel.

The season ahead - summer 2017
So many people have asked us what we think will happen this season.  We have talked with a number of people connected to the tourism industry in Kalkan and it would be fair to say that we have heard a range of opinions.

We don’t have a crystal ball but our considered view is that 2017 will be another tough year for tourism in Turkey generally and that includes Kalkan.  This is largely due to factors beyond local control playing out in the wider region and the way in which these problems are portrayed in the UK media.

We know that Kalkan has a loyal following and most KTLN regulars will take little or no persuading to come, but there are some who are seeking reassurance.

So with that in mind what we can say is that in our recent Dalaman Airport survey when we asked how people rated their last holiday experience in our part of the Turquoise Coast an impressive 99% were either satisfied or very satisfied.

Furthermore 96% of people who took part in the survey told us they felt safe in Turkey, with just 1% expressing concern.  This is an important finding because it demonstrates how people feel based upon actual experience rather than how they may perceive the situation to be, based upon hyped reports in the media.

2017 Kalkan rentalsWeighing up the risks
The point is this: nobody in any popular holiday destination anywhere in the world can give a 100% guarantee of safety.  So you have to weigh up the risk - the probability of something bad happening.  As far as Kalkan is concerned it is our sincerely held belief that the possibility of a serious incident happening here is remote in the extreme - we don’t spend a second worrying about it. 

We can't say the same for some other places including a number of popular tourist places in western Europe, but having said that if we really wanted to go to those places we would not allow terrorists to keep us away.  If we wanted to visit places like Paris, Munich, Nice or Istanbul we would go.  We don't think you can allow terrorists to win by cowering at home in fear.  Life is there to be lived.

Open for business
For those people who decide to come to Kalkan this year we think it is important that they see the town well and truly open for business.  We have spoken to business people who understand this well.  They know that when people come on holiday they want to see shops and restaurants open, with the usual friendly smiles greeting them.  They want the boats ready in the harbour and lots of options for activities. 

This is what Kalkan and other Turkish resorts have to do so that when people go home they will tell their more reluctant friends what they are missing.

We wish all businesses in Kalkan a good season, despite the challenges ahead.  For those holidaymakers hesitant to commit we hope they will consider the findings of our recent survey and weigh this against the UK media headlines which are more focussed on selling papers or gaining bigger viewing figures rather than painting a balanced view.

As we said, life is for living and life here in Kalkan is good.  Don't miss out.  #Kalkan2017 

Update Monday 20th March
Following the publication of this article on 27th February we have had feedback suggesting that what we said may not have been completely fair to people using the big rental web sites.

Whilst this article does point out the way in which some companies are operating to maximise their commission and fee income we would not wish to create the impression that we do not think they should be used.  By all means look at all available options.

In the interests of fairness we are publishing below an email we got from a KTLN reader who uses one of the big rental web sites and wishes to set the record straight from his perspective.

KTLN aims to be impartial and we are happy to update our report to include this email.

"Just wanted to write re your recent piece on villa/apartment bookings for the forthcoming season.

Your paragraph on the big "beasts" - Owners Direct and Holidays Lettings quotes figures which seem to strongly suggest that if one books through OwnersDirect (although you do not quote which company you search and priced, Owners Direct is the first Company you name at the start of the section)that certain costs will occur to both owner and holiday maker.

I do think, unless you know something I don't - and please feel free to enlighten me if you do - that this is very misleading and certain to have negative impacts for some of us.

We advertise with Owners direct and pay one annual fee. In fact all of our rental bookings have come via OD over the last 5 years.

Holidaymakers have the opportunity to book direct with us at no extra cost to the quoted prices and nothing is deducted from us, the owner.

The holiday maker also has the opportunity, recently introduced by OD, to pay an extra premium for protected payment etc which is where the extra costs kick in, but this is not in any way mandatory. Even in this scenario, we as property owners have nothing at all deducted from our payment.

Now unless something significant has changed the way Owners Direct are doing business this calendar year (as we already have bookings made direct with us the way stated above) we believe the above is still the case.

I do think that If I were thinking of using Owners direct to book my holiday this year and was an avid fan of your website (which I am!) and were to take as gospel what you have perhaps innocently suggested, I would be thinking of staying very clear of Owners direct, perhaps...

I do think it only reasonable that this potential misunderstanding, (and potential loss of income (!) for those of us who use Owners Direct as a vehicle - or at least one of them - to promote our properties) ought to be put right and the article updated to explain the true picture.

I do not often feel the need to write, but this seems to be something that is important enough to speak out and to correct."

Further to the above email response to our article we would add the following points.

It is possible to accept a booking without any Owners Direct surcharge. This is only possible if:

  1. It is a subscription listing, and
  2. The "book online" function is disabled on the owner's dashboard - something that is "strongly discouraged" by Owners Direct. 

 

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2017