Starting Out

How to Start a Successful Ski Chalet Business in France

Starting a ski chalet rental business requires motivation, dedication, and solid planning. Seeking expert advice can save new owners time, money, and effort – so you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to cover the steps to take when starting a ski chalet business which include:

  • Establishing financial goals
  • Deciding how you want to operate the business
  • Setting realistic timelines and deadlines
  • Getting both the property and the business guest-ready

Read on to find out how to start a successful ski chalet business in France…

Step 1 –
Establish Your Goals

Before you begin, you need to establish some goals and set realistic expectations. The things you should be considering are:

What kind of owner are you?

Different owners have different goals. Is your property purely an investment? Or, is it a second home that you are converting into a business?

Some may be starting a ski chalet business purely as an investment opportunity, for others, this could be their family home that they still want to visit and have an emotional attachment to. This may impact how you run your business and ultimately how much involvement you want to have. This leads us on to our next point…

How hands-on do you want to be?

Some owners are very involved in the day-to-day running of their ski chalet business. Others are happy to just have their bills covered and leave the rest to a separate team.

Who are your target audience?

What kind of guests does your property appeal to? We always recommend casting the widest net possible to attract as many loyal guests as you can and, in turn, increase bookings. Tips on how to do this include, but are not limited to:

Obviously, your property is your own and as such, you of course have the freedom to set it up any way that you see fit. However, bear in mind that paying guests may have different requirements to you. 

We recommend focussing on the flow and layout especially: for example, walking through one bedroom to reach another may work for your family, but not for a group on a business trip.

In the same vein, remember that not all of your guests will share your taste in décor. A home stylist experienced in setting up Alpine rental properties will be able to help you to achieve a balanced property that caters for a wide set of requirements. We’ll touch on home styling again further down the article.

Is your pricing achievable?

Obviously, there are thousands of rental properties available online. You can therefore use the online travel agents to help with guide pricing – right? To a point…

When comparing, be brutally honest and objective! Of course, you love your property the best, but you are not going to be paying to rent it!

Sometimes it is not easy or possible to compare like for like.

Sometimes pricing for “similar” properties can vary tremendously – who has the right pricing strategy? What did they base it on?

Our proficient revenue managers can give you clear advice on realistic and achievable pricing to help your ski chalet business succeed. Our talented photography and marketing teams will show off your property effectively and authentically.

Step 2 –
Are you guest ready ?

Before you proceed to advertise or market your property, you must ensure it’s ready to be represented accurately in order to meet guests’ expectations…

How realistic are your deadlines?

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – underestimating the time it takes to prepare and market your property could scupper your plans for a successful business launch. Working on the property up until the early hours of your first guest arrival date is not fun for anyone!

Postponing a launch date when you have bookings is a complete nightmare for all concerned. Launching when the property is not quite ready, or even worse, when it is not yet as described in advertising and marketing can create huge problems. Managers will be on the back foot and guests will not be happy.

Our advice – keep the advertising accurate and honest, and do not promise what you cannot deliver. No matter how much you are tempted to share your exciting plans, if the delivery date is in doubt, leave it out!

Is your property physically ready to welcome guests?

Essentially, is your property finished? Is it decorated and designed to a high-quality standard for paying guests? If not, you’ll need to coordinate refurbishments or small changes. An interior designer or home stylist can help you with this.

For design inspiration, take a look at our deco blog series, which highlights and reviews an array of interior styles and trends including textiles, furniture and accessories. 

As well as making sure your property is physically guest-ready, you need to make sure you have met all necessary legal requirements. Completing legal paperwork can be time-consuming in some circumstances, but will cause you more problems if it’s not done correctly, so it should be a high priority for all owners.

How will you manage and maintain the property?

This regards physically managing the property itself. Who is going to coordinate maintenance and be on the ground to check on the property?

How will you manage the guests?

Who will be the point of contact for your guests throughout their stay? Some owners opt to cover all guest and property management themselves. But, remember that property management is a dynamic role, so do not to underestimate the time and commitment that this requires!

If you are new to the rental market, explore our online and in situ property management training courses, so that you can approach your role with confidence.

Step 3 –
Decide On Your Advertising Strategy

How and where to advertise your chalet, is a subject most owners want to discuss. As a result, we have a blog post that examines the options, and details how we can assist you with getting your property out there and securing guests.

While the vast majority of OVO Network sales are made on the website we also provide our owners with distribution on other sites such as, airbnb, Vrbo (Abritel / HomeAway) via our channel manager.

How can OVO Network help?

We currently list several hundred properties in destinations across the northern French Alps on our website. We can share information based on data and experience, therefore we can also highlight common mistakes new owners sometimes make, and how to avoid them!

In a similar vein, we have direct feedback from guests and property managers, from thousands of bookings to date. We know what works well for our guests and how to support owners in creating a successful ski chalet business in the French Alps.

Get In Touch…

Fill in our rental calculator to find out your estimate income for your ski chalet and one of our team will contact you…