Welcome to High Summer and the busiest time of the year. Quite honestly, we've never known summer with so great a demand for bookings. We get calls and emails daily from people desperate to find somewhere to book in the summer holidays. So, if you have had any last-minute cancellations, do advertise your availability in the Late Availability section on the sites you use to advertise your holiday cottage. NB: This is free and much visited on My Favourite Holiday Cottages.
Anyway, here's more advice and top tips for you to digest between changeovers. Remember, click on the title where relevant to access the full article.
Onwards and Upwards!
My Favourite Holiday Cottages
If you’ve dabbled but never really got to grips with the power of Pinterest or dismissed it because you only use Instagram, then this easy User Guide will not only make you aware of Pinterest’s potential to market your holiday cottage – it’ll tell you how to make the best use of it.
This isn't our opinion - just the title of the article!
If you saw this Tweet (it went viral and raised a hackle or two), then you might want to read this article from Rental Scaleup, who ‘unpicked it’. As ever – what you see isn’t always the truth, but it still provides food for thought. So please read this and decide for yourself whether it's right to start piling add-on charges to the advertised rental price.
NB: We’ve just booked a holiday cottage in Cornwall, paying £1700 to book it very easily through its website.
We checked it out on Airbnb and found that we’d have paid an additional £300 in add-on fees if we’d chosen that route to book.
NB: All adverts on My Favourite Holiday Cottages have links to a property’s own website. We don’t charge booking fees or commissions to any independent owner or guest.
If you find the idea of adopting sustainable business practices is overwhelming and you don't know where to start, Tourism Declarescan provide a very timely helping hand.
We are used to seeing statements such as 'The Ultimate... The Most Awesome... etc. to announce checklists. But, unfortunately, so many fail to live up to their advertised expectations. Not so Schofields Insurance. The charmingly understated value of this headline introduces a very well thought out article on ways to make it easier to maintain standards at changeover time.
Do you, or have you considered advertising your holiday cottage on Facebook? It can be satisfyingly effective, but, like so much online advertising, you can (very) easily waste good money if you don't do it correctly, like so much online advertising. This article from Wordstream identifies common practices that really don't work.
Like it or not, one thing that COVID has brought about is the need to review booking policies, finding ways to be as fair as possible to future guests while mitigating financial loss. Consequently, we are seeing a myriad of booking policies emerging, some good, some, well, just weird! If this is a topic you are wrestling with and looking for a manageable option, may we draw your attention to this article from Which Magazine? It considers (in its opinion) the best flexible booking policies on offer.
Just as this issue was going to press we noticed this pertinent article in The Guardian about Cottages.com. If you let your property through an agency, you should check the small print in your agreement in relation to refunds. Cottages.com owners are not happy with theirs. It's a shame as, in our opinion, Cottages.com has always been one of the better agencies, but this policy isn't going to make them many friends amongst cottage-owning clientele. I can understand their wanting to retain their commission for work done, but keeping all the money paid by the guest when a refund is not payable seems rather like sharp practice. Read the article and draw your own conclusions!
Reviewing Your Marketing Budget? A Top Tip
We spotted this on Twitter and think it is essential for holiday homeowners to consider when deciding how much to spend on advertising.
"Marketers must take a step back and re-evaluate their processes and their role in business by moving from “What’s my marketing budget?” to “What’s my revenue target?”
Jay Friedman https://twitter.com/jaymfriedman
At the mention of SEO, I can hear the sound of many laptops snapping shut as readers suddenly find something else better to do. SEO for the uninitiated means Sear Engine Optimisation. It's the fine art of creating a website with pages that will rank well on Search Engines such as Google, Bing etc. Some SEO is remarkably straightforward to grasp and do.
This article from Tourism Currents recommends four ways to increase traffic to your site that are staring at you right in the face, but you’re not taking full advantage of them! We are not sure about the relevance of the article’s lead photo, but the content should help you on your journey to greater recognition by the search engines.
That's all for July, folks. May the summer holidays be kind to your cottage and your bank balance. See you in August.
The Holiday Homefront is published once a month and is free of charge to holiday cottage owners. If you'd like to be told about future editions of The Holiday Homefront, you can join our mailing list here. NB: This is a private list. We keep it under wraps and don't share it with anyone else!