The interview with the founder of the real estate agency specialized in seasonal rentals Olam Properties Michaёl Assouline
Working with an agency or going directly between individuals is the choice made by both landlords and tenants.
When you are the owner of a property, the fact of working with a professional agency gives you a tranquillity, because it is our job 100% and the agency only does seasonal rentals and is really equipped for this job. In general, the owner is not a real estate professional.
In addition the agency has all the tools around it: software, special services (in terms of linen, cleaning, maintenance of apartments), other service providers (photographer) and digital. We are really very well equipped. On the other hand, the owner who is alone in his corner has to put his apartment online (it's true that with Airbnb it's not difficult), but we know how to optimize the ads, we know what to write and what not to write, we have the techniques in terms of SEO, we also have the revenue manager, which allows us to optimize the filling, the channel manager, a tool that allows us to broadcast the ad on a very large number of portals and the specialist in digital communication, who works including with social networks.
We have two websites (a showcase site and one for online bookings). We also have a database of customers and prospects. So, for a landlord it's true that it multiplies the possibilities of renting his apartment.
Moreover when we are like now in summer period, sometimes we are contacted for an apartment that is no longer available. And as the agency has a large parc of properties, a whole range of products, we are able to switch back to another ad. If the owner is alone, he has no solution to recommend an accommodation to replace the one that is no longer available. And the agency is able to direct the client to another individual's apartment to increase the occupancy.
First of all, when we are exclusive we tend to work more, it's just mechanical. And then, in pure technical terms, when we are not exclusive we cannot work with certain portals: Booking.com, for example, where we are on instant booking. And if the agency has no certainty of exact and updated availability, it does not take the risk of working with a portal in instant booking. And it's the same with other portals, since there are portals like Expedia and Hotels.com, where we, as an agency, have no choice. So, when we are not exclusive, we already cut half of our portals. We only work with Airbnb and Home.Away Abritel and already on the portal side we are less well referenced (when it comes to instant booking), and also on the client side, they all want to go fast when they book: like before they spent days in the search, they want to book right away, and if they need to add a step and contact us about "is it available? "it can take another day or half a day, the client will take something else, and we've lost the rental. Here is the interest for the owner to go through an agency like Olam Properties in Cannes, and especially exclusively.
We're already welcoming them! Physically we are there, and compared to other concierges who use the "key box". We have a team, when there is someone who can't be there, there is necessarily another who is available. And then we know the area well, we can guide them on what to do in terms of activities. We are able to help them with all the services that go around - a driver, a baby-sitter. This is another added value, we are able to guide our clients, if they ask us.
It is also about serenity and tranquility for the tenant. If anything happens in the apartment, they are alone with this problem in front of the landlord or even more so with the street... On the contrary, we are there - locally. And then if really there is a big problem in the apartment and we are not able to solve it within half a day, we will always be able to move the guests to an apartment in our park. In the same situation the owner may not have another apartment. And the clients are forced to start a new search instead of spending their holidays.
Apartments are always bigger than a hotel room, even if it is a studio. The obvious advantage for a tenant is always in terms of space. In financial terms it is usually cheaper to rent an apartment. For 3-4 people a hotel room is not enough. And when we are in an apartment we don't need to go to a restaurant, because there is a fully equipped kitchen. So we can prepare a meal or have it delivered. It's a gain in economic terms and in terms of choice.
We offer all the services, which the guests ask us for. We know how to deliver breakfasts, fruit baskets, we know how to organize events and we also have villas in our portfolio, where events can take place, so we have the experience to organize cocktails, receptions, lunches, business-meetings, so yes, of course! Plus at any time they and not just during the restaurant opening hours. We, at Olam Properties Seasonal Rentals, offer not only an accomodation in Cannes but a broad range of services to make our guests' stay an unforgettable experience.
Among the not obvious reasons there is the authentic and local spirit. Usually in a hotel room this is very standardised, whereas we try to have the apartments with local character. They are all practical, all air-conditioned, everything is fine in terms of equipment, but they all have a soul. And we're not yet talking about the fact that we know Cannes by heart.
We, too, will receive calls 24 hours a day. We have never had the case. But there are always ways to solve the problem. We can call the syndic or even the police, that's normal. That's also part of our job. Normally we work with landlords and apartments over the years and we already know both the syndic and the neighbours, who also know how to call us.
One more reason - the extranet for landlords.
The individuals who entrust Olam Properties to manage their property in Cannes and on the French Riviera, whether it is exclusive or not, get access to a secure extranet which allows them to see already the filling and occupancy rate of their apartment, therefore the planning also allows them, when they come to spend a few days in Cannes, to directly block the dates they need for their stay. There is never any risk of double booking.