Having bought an investment property in Ireland how are you now going to make any money out of it?  After all, the delights of your buy-to-let are not going to sell themselves, and even if you do fill it with friends and family for part of the year, what about the rest of the year when you need to be making a rental income to pay for it?

In this article we’ll cover how to make money from your investment property in Ireland – but in truth, the top tips can be applied to any jet-to-let property abroad that you have bought or are thinking of buying to earn rental income from.

The first top tip will be too late for anyone who has already bought a property in Ireland but it might save others from making an all too common mistake and assumption – and it’s that you shouldn’t expect your rental income from a home overseas to cover your mortgage necessarily!  You should ideally be able to make the mortgage payments without bringing in a penny in holiday income.  Any income you do then earn from the property is a bonus.

The next financial top tip is that you should allocate around about 25% of what you earn to ongoing maintenance costs, management fees, marketing and so on.  So, when you imagine your lovely earnings, take off 25% before you get excited about what’s coming in, because that is what you will need to reinvest in the property in all reality.

Going back to the question of the rental income, there’s another reality check to take on board and that’s that you will not be able to rent your property out for 52 weeks of the year – that is unrealistic!  More realistic is about 12 – 18 weeks of the year – and remember, if you and your non-paying guests such as friends and family take a holiday in the Irish property during peak season, you’ll be missing out on having paying guests and also charging them maximum whack as it is during peak season that you can push your rental prices up.

So, be realistic about the buy-to-let property, and if you do want to make money from it, you need to treat it like a business!  That means, you need to start thinking like a businessperson!  Look at the numbers!

So, in terms of furnishing your Irish holiday cottage you need to remember that whilst you don’t want to ship everything in from John Lewis, you don’t want to deck the place out with plastic knives and forks and fold up beds either!  You want to get repeat business and business from referrals and in the business of buy-to-let, you should aim to do well out of relationship marketing.  I.e., if you make the place lovely and comfortable, your guests will appreciate it and will recommend you to others – so rather than cheap and nasty or expensive and high risk, find a medium middle ground that you and your guests are both comfortable with.

In terms of having someone look after the property – this should not be thought of as an expense but a necessity.  Whether you choose a rental management company or a friend or a cleaner, you should have someone who can keep an eye on the property and ensure it is in working and serviceable order at all times.  It will be peace of mind for you and it will prevent anything dramatic occurring with the property hopefully.

When it comes to the marketing of your home in Ireland, a website can of course be a great way of telling potential guests about all the amenities and facilities, what there is to do in the surrounding area, how to get to your property and when it’s available, but every day hundreds of thousands of new websites come online and it is highly unlikely that yours will ever be found.  So, you have to think of your website as an online business card and you have to market yourself through rental property portals, in offline advertising campaigns in newspapers or magazines, you have to find as many ways as you can to get your property seen and found.  You cannot expect the world to come to you…you have to go out there and grab your potential rental guest’s attention.

Finally, in any online or print literature that you provide for your guests or potential guests, be as broad in the scope of ages and interests that you cover when you detail what there is to do at and near your property in Ireland.  The more there is that could draw interest, the more likely it is that you will get visitors and repeat visitors.  Be sure to list all the amenities you have in the house as well – from dishwasher to TV, from the number of beds to whether you have a garden, a barbeque and even if you have board games.

The more there is to entice potential guests, the more potential guests will come!