Interior design/set up
New properties are generally handed over without any interior decoration and most without kitchens. Our team is experienced at preparing properties for the rental market and will be able to deal with furnishing your property, decorations, curtains, kitchen installations and bathrooms. We can even get involved in re-designing the interior layout to get the most out of the space or helping to personalise it should that be necessary. New properties are rarely equipped with a full furniture pack that includes all the white goods, kitchen utensils and the furniture. With our experience we know exactly which items are needed and often receive significant discounts on the public price due to our professional status which we pass onto you. Our team will coordinate the delivery of items (often with various suppliers) and installation of all furniture so that it is all ready to use and rent out. Read our page about the furnishing, decoration and kitchen installation service we offer to see if it’s suitable for you.
- Connection to utilities: Once your property is delivered, if it is a chalet or a villa you may well need to arrange the installation of the electricity, gas and water metres along with the telecommunications cables and satellite dish. If it is an apartment this part will already be taken care of. You will then need to set up contracts will all the utility providers (gas, electricity, water, telecoms etc). These tasks are particularly onerous for non-French speaking property owners and we can take care of all of that for you.
- Snagging list: A legal requirement for all new build property is that the owner is permitted to examine the property once it is ready and to draw up a snagging list of any outstanding items that need to be finished/corrected before the last 5% of your payment schedule is handed over. Owners can of course do this themselves but it is a hassle and items may be missed leading to issues when your first guests arrive. Avecoeur can provide a property handover and snagging list service to represent you at this meeting and ensure that any issues are dealt with swiftly and following the correct procedure.
- Deep clean: Some developers automatically provide a very deep clean once the property is finished so that it is ready to move into but a significant number only do a basic clean. This is usually still some way off the cleanliness that will be expected by your first guests. We can arrange for this to be done to ensure your property is in perfect condition ready for your first guests.
- Preparation of equipment: Particularly in the case of villas and chalets with private pools or Jacuzzis there will be equipment that will need to be prepared and tested before the first guests arrive. This might include adding chemicals, doing pH tests etc and removing limescale where necessary.
Marketing & Administration
- Rental tariff study and income estimate: The first thing we do when we accept a new client is to undertake a study of the rental market in that area: typical occupancy rates, rental tariffs of a basket of any similar properties etc. With this information we can calculate the expected rental income over the year to help you plan your finances.
- Professional Photographs: The old adage that an image is worth a thousand words is never truer than when promoting property. Making the property look presentable, selecting the right angles & light, having the best equipment and of course the talent of the photographer are all necessary to make sure your property is presented in the best way. We can arrange this professional photographer for you at your own charge.
- Creation and upkeep of attractive adverts: We create an attractive profile of your property and update the details and calendar on the Avecoeur website and all our partner websites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Airbnb, homeaway.co.uk, holidaylettings.co.uk, Abritel plus many more. In total our properties under management are visible on over 100 different platforms giving your property the best chance to be seen and to obtain bookings.
- Administration of booking enquiries: We deal with each and every enquiry that comes through either by phone or by email, answering their questions and providing a quote. This is done promptly 7 days a week so that potential enquiries are not lost due to delayed responses. This prompt service coupled with our wide marketing reach ensures that you will get more bookings and better ratings by using Avecoeur than would normally be possible as an individual owner trying to do everything themselves.
- Rental contracts, payments and funds protection: Our contracts have been created and refined over time ensuring that both you and your guests are well informed and protected for each and every reservation you receive. Contracts are completed and signed for each booking and a security deposit is taken in case of any damage so that it does not come out of the owner’s pocket. For all rental payments taken we hold the funds in a secure insurance protected account that ensures that only commission & property related costs can be taken out thereby protecting the property owners’ rental income. Payments are made to owners quarterly in arrears
- Online booking tracking for owners: Reservations for each of our properties are made available online so that owners are able to check the availability of their property 24/7. This means that if for some reason your property is available one week or weekend at short notice you know you can just pop down and use it. Of course you can also block up those weeks you want to use yourself in advance leaving just those weeks you wish to rent out. The owner always retains control of their property and decides if and when they wish to rent it out.
- Bill Payments: When we set up your utility accounts wherever possible we will set them up so that they are debited directly from your account. Sometimes, however, this is not possible such as for garden or equipment maintenance and in these cases we can pay these bills for you and just subtract it from the rental income you receive relieving you of any additional admin.
- Accounts administration: Every quarter we will provide you with a detailed breakdown of your rental accounts so that you have a clear overview of your income, expenses and profit. Anyone who rents their property out is required to submit annual accounts and pay any taxes due. All invoices created and bills received along with the yearly accounts can then be submitted to your accountant for this purpose with your permission.
- Reception of guests: The experience of the guests is very important since apart from wanting to provide a good service we want to ensure that they leave an excellent review when they leave. For this reason, wherever possible we always welcome guests in person when handing over the keys to the property and are there to answer any initial questions and generally make them feel welcome.
- Creation of a property guide: In order to make sure guests have the best experience possible we want to make sure they have access to all the information they might need on both the property and the area. As such we always provide guests with a welcome guide to every property we manage from indicating how the equipment works to taxi numbers, emergency Doctors etc. This guide is in English & French and updated each year.
- Cleaning, sheets and towel provision: Clean sheets, duvet covers, pillow covers, towel mats and towels are all provided at the beginning of each guest’s stay with regular changes possible at an extra charge. The property is also cleaned after each stay but with the option for guests to have it cleaned more often if they wish at an extra charge.
- Damage & inventory inspection on check out: When each set of guests leave we request them to do a check out with us where we inspect the property to check for damage, marks or any missing items. If we discover that anything is missing or damaged we will get a quote to fix/replace it and the sum will be deducted from the guest’s deposit and the remainder returned to them. This ensures that the owners are not having to pay for damage caused by the guests.
- Concierge service: Usually a concierge service is only available in hotels or large fully managed tourist residences with nothing offered for individual properties for rental. Our service, however, includes concierge making your property significantly more attractive (and therefore more likely to be booked) than a regular rental property. Examples of the concierge services we provide include organising ski passes, nannies, massage and beauty treatments, private chefs and more.
- Maintenance and repairs: As part of our service we will arrange for repairs if things are damaged or marked and replace items that are missing. We will also organise boiler and heat pump safety inspections each year and arrange a handyman as and when necessary, a plumber or an electrician for any issues that arise to ensure that your property is always in the best condition to be used and rented out. This also ensures you don’t lose rental income because you don’t have time to find and organise the people to take care of it.
- Standard commission & optional extras: Our standard commission is 35% ex VAT of the rental amount ex VAT. This includes the platform/tour operator commission (around 18% for Expedia & Booking.com for example), check ins and check outs and all the services included in this presentation (except photography) but excludes the optional extras that many people may not need or want. The optional extras are the services indicated in the slides “Interior set-up” and “Preparation of your property”. For any guests introduced by the owner the commission is reduced to 25%.
Example of basic investment simulation:
3 bed in the ski resort of Chatel bought for €500,000 ex VAT
Expected 12 weeks winter rental & 4 weeks summer rental
Total rental income of €35,000 ex VAT
Less Avecoeur commission of 35% = €22,750
Less running costs of 2,000 Euros p.a. = €20,750
Less Taxe fonciere of 1,200 Euros p.a. = €19,550
Less accountancy fees of 400 Euros p.a. = €19,150
This is a NET yield of 3.83%
- The VAT rebate on your property: All new property in France includes VAT which is currently at a rate of 20%. If you sign a mandat de gestion with Avecoeur then due to our legal professional status as a management company and the quasi-hotel services we provide you will benefit from a VAT rebate on your property. On a property priced at €600,000 this is a rebate of €100,000 bringing your investment to just €500,000. You can cancel this contract each year but since it is designed so that you rent it out over a 20 year period you would have to pay back VAT pro-rata if you did so. Importantly you only need to rent it out for a few weeks each year to qualify but you are limited to 6 months use each year under this system.
- Amortization: Since under this system the property is considered to be for commercial use, apart from the VAT rebate you also benefit from being allowed amortization into your tax calculation. This means that roughly 90% of the property price can be offset against tax over a 30 year period and also the full amount of the furniture over a 10 year period. This along with any associated costs and mortgage interest and as such you should pay very little or no income tax.