Changing the habits of tourists
This agricultural past, Jean-Paul Lafraguet, the owner of the property, would like to revive with the planting of “a few vines”. The former owner of Château Laudenne, bought this property in Izon “seven to eight years ago”. “We love the old stone. I was looking for a nice property, on the waterfront, with opportunities for seasonal rentals.” For “2–3 years,” this 70-year-old has already decided to rent his property on Airbnb.
The major rental platform between individuals is increasingly relying on these exceptional properties. Bertrand Bourdy, Deputy Director of Airbnb in France explains: “With the pandemic, we have noticed a change in tourist habits. There is a desire to look for more experimental stays. According to the platform, bookings in “beautiful residences” have jumped by almost 65%. Heritage” in its application to highlight heritage rental offers.
Of the 4,000 ads listed in this section, nearly 200 are in the Gironde. A number that places the department second in terms of the number of historic properties on the podium, just behind Dordogne (300). “It shows the legacy of the local heritage,” notes Bertrand Bourdais. Other players in the field are also interested in this type of service. In the Gîtes de France, a section called “Personal Residence” is dedicated to these exceptional accommodations. “Over the past two years, the demand has evolved dramatically. There is a need to spend different holidays with the search for authenticity and shared values … a different way of consumption”, analyzes Solange Escure, general manager of the French residence site.
Lease to finance business
But renting such real estate also allows its owner to finance sometimes expensive business. She insists that “each year in Gîtes de France, the owners invest around 500 million euros in renovating the built heritage”. This is particularly the case in Morgane and Guillaume Dubos. This Burgundian couple bought a castle in La Roque in 2011. “We realized that there were a lot of abandoned castles in the area. Guillaume Dubos notes that people are more interested in vineyards than in buildings. True heritage lovers, they have set their sights on this building that dates back to … eighteenth century.e century, located in the heart of Entre-deux-Mers.
“We are completely renovating the castle, we are starting from the ground up again,” says this executive from a cleaning company. Expensive business. “Today the price of the work has exceeded the purchase price. To preserve the heritage, it must be a passion, but the wallet must also follow, he admits. If we wanted to revive this castle and do some work, we had to create a business.”
So the couple developed a company that rents out two rooms and two rooms for guests which brings in about “30,000 euros a year without deducting fees”. Additional income that “helps finance business or maintenance.” But the owners do not want to be limited to this financial dimension only. Guillaume Dubus insists: “We created jute as if we were going to live there. We’re not just here to do business.” […] The peculiarity of this type of property is that you have to deal with the building. There are walls with a story. You have to succeed in maintaining the spirit of the house. This is the spirit that more and more travelers are looking for.