DIY Online Rental Made Easy
The Phuket Gazette.
While many people are handy at DIY, or 'Do It Yourself', projects for home improvements, technology continues to be some sort of strange voodoo for a surprisingly large group of people.
For Dummies… books line the shelves of bookstores and online tabs offer "help" but are often a hellish trip to nowhere.
Expats in Asia have often taken the fast track and hired someone to think for them.
Behaving more like robots than humans, many people act without thinking and automatically reach for cash or a credit card. This seems to have become a growing norm. Perhaps the entire experience could be summed up by the lyrics of the thankfully faded rock outfit Styx, "Domo arigato, Mr Roboto".
Today, what is left over from the island's property high-water mark is a wide variety of resort grade villas, townhouses, condos and apartments in virtually every nook and cranny of Phuket.
Property owners are increasingly enticed, by necessity or whim, to produce cash returns from their investments.
Enter the era of holiday rentals. Supply and demand have somehow changed roles in the middle of the second act and sellers outnumber buyers by no small margin these days.
It has become clear that tourism has not only recovered, but also grown. It's fairly obvious what the "go-to" market is these days.
Arguably, off-plan sales have come to a screeching halt, resembling a set of skid marks left behind from a high-speed stop by an Isuzu pickup with upcountry license plates and tires balder than a well-groomed skinhead.
Agents and brokers flocked towards makeover projects in order to make those Fortuner payments, with holiday rentals topping the stratosphere.
"If you can't sell it, rent it" seemed a natural evolutionary process. The lion's share of offerings leaned toward premium estate villas, freestanding "ultra villas" or condominiums.
Ocean view properties, beach-front and sections of serviced complexes led the pack.
On came an avalanche of interact sites using the word luxury more times than thought humanly possible.
Luxury welcome mats, luxurious deep wells and of course, fashion-branded uber luxury toenail clippers on arrival, dazzling the imagination.
Onward to glossy brochures that contained enough dreamy pages to be a thick-as-a-brick padded read, often spotted at various construction sites where they'd been transformed into luxury pillows for slumbering workers.
I've just had a panic attack realizing I'm some 400 words into this dazed yet confused diversion and need to steer this column back to the mission at hand: How you can rent your own property out.
Delving deep into the ubiquitous club sandwich to get to the good stuff, the logical starting point from "dummiedom" is the internet.
Work arguably creeps in, but from what agents and owners are saying, a large portion of rentals are done online. Some of the leading sites are FlipKey (TripAdvisor's dedicated vacation rental solution), VBRO, and OwnersDirect – please note: If you don't know to add a ".com" onto these words, then you really are a dummy.
Casting further into these waters are market specific listings like Holidaylettings.co.uk or the global giant Craigslist.org, which does have a Thailand site.
A free local listing portal, PhuketRentHouse is another Option. Newspaper classifieds in both print and online target this segment, with reference to the Vacation Rental section of the Gazette as evidence.
The emerging trend for social networking sites such as Facebook is also a great way to target potential tenants, using a network of friends for referrals, and the convenience of visually promoting the product with photo-sharing links.
Last but certainly not least are local agents who offer a wide range of very competent and professional listings and sites.
Spend a few minutes in "Google-land" punching in keywords for your applicable property type and see who pops up the highest.
The next step is to get in touch with the web administrators, and list away.
At long last we finally got to where we were headed. Baby steps, detours and diversions were all part of our amazing race but in the end perhaps a little DIY is good for the soul.