Well then, here we are again. Locked down and with Christmas and New Year coming up over the horizon (hopefully unlocked if we all behave ourselves).
While the loss of bookings in November is going to be nothing like as bad as the loss of bookings in the spring and early summer, it’s still a big confidence blow to the sector. If there is anything you think that we at My Favourite Holiday Cottages should be doing to provide more support or position ourselves better for the re-opening of the market next month – all suggestions – even blindingly obvious ones – will be very welcome.
Now is a very good time to join either the PASCuk or the ASSC for Scottish holiday homeowners who are both lobbying hard with their respective Parliaments on your behalf. Join to add weight to their campaigning.
In the meantime, The November Homefront brings you some handy tips and advice on everything from marketing to compliance issues to put your business in a better position when bookings resume. So, think ahead and take advantage of this respite from changing bed linen and fogging machine management to consider some long-term planning to help you get back on top of your finances and bookings.
If this is your first edition of The Holiday Homefront, you should know that its purpose is to help holiday property owners better manage and market their properties. It’s free and is published once a month. Click Here If you would like to subscribe to it. It’s a Newsletter – not a Salesletter!
To read the full articles - click on the title.
HOLIDAY COTTAGE MARKETING
A useful free webinar published by PASC UK providing easy-to-follow key essentials such as market positioning, product, price and that perennial chestnut: social media presence.
If you’ve got the grounds and a good-sized reception area for at least 30 (or room for a marquee on the lawn), you might like to consider marketing your cottage as a wedding venue. There’s a lot to think about, but this article outlining the experiences from Act Studios should provide enough food for thought to take on board.
Did you know there is a whole market out there comprising people who want to work while they are on holiday? I should know as I’m probably one of them. Anyway, here are a few tips on who to set up your cottage to appeal to people who cannot bear to be surgically removed from their laptops and networks while on holiday.
At My Favourite Holiday Cottages, we cannot emphasise strongly enough the value of having a professional photographer ‘shoot’ your holiday cottage. However, we recognise that not everyone will agree, so here are some helpful tips for those of you who want to do more than just fumble with a camera and learn how to go about it.
Who’d have thought there were any secrets left when it comes to successful holiday marketing? Well, test your knowledge against this handy checklist from Schofields Insurance. It considers ways to get your cottage ahead of the competition when it comes to the persuasive quality of your advert. Be sure to read our comments below the article – including the ones that can lose you a potential booking!
Schofield’s make Homefront’s page twice this month. This article could save you a lot of pain and money if ever you have to make an insurance claim on your holiday cottage. Warning: The value of your holiday home’s contents will be larger than you dared to think
LEGAL & COMPLIANCE
Just in case you haven't been told a squillion times about the varying Lockdown rules in the four nations - or have a sudden desire to test your knowledge, we've published a synopsis and links to the relevant government pages covering actions by the English and Scottish Parliaments and the Welsh Assembly. Click the title to view it.
Do you accept card payments? Add 3d Secure Rules to continue to receive payments by card
Thanks to the revised PSD2 (Payment Services Directive) there are a new set of game-changing security measures to make it safer to shop and bank online benefitting both the shopper and business. At the heart of it is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). SCA makes payments more secure by adding an extra layer of protection known as two-factor authentication (2FA).
Important changes to your payment integration are required to ensure it is compliant with the mandated requirements, are on the way. The updates not complicated (in so far as we managed it at the first attempt).
They will be enforced from 31 December in the European Economic Area (EEA) and 14 September 2021 in the UK respectively. Note that this is the ‘European Economic Area’ – not the ‘European Union’ It’s not clear yet whether the UK will remain part of the EEA. However even if not, if you are used to attracting visitors from across the channel, then you might want to pay attention to this forthcoming directive. Here’s the worrying bit:
- December 2020 European card issuers will enforce 3DSv2. This means all transactions not 3DSv2 ready and without a valid SCA Exemption will be declined by the card issuer.
- September 2021 – UK card issuers will enforce 3DSv2. This means all transactions not 3DSv2 ready and without a valid SCA Exemption will be declined by the card issuer.
For further information on this, click on the title above.
FOR MY FAVOURITE HOLIDAY COTTAGE ADVERTISERS
Use of Images
Just a gentle reminder that when you upload images to your adverts – or submit any for use in one of our Blog articles and social media postings you do so on the basis that you own the copyright of the image and are able to grant us the right to use your images in connection with My Favourite Holiday Cottages.
From time to time we get a legal letter from one of the many agencies that specialise in tracking down the unauthorised use of images. Today’s technology makes it much easier to do this – you can even do an image search using Google to see if anyone is using yours.
If the image is one that has been submitted by an advertiser, we are obliged to pass on that person’s contact details as there’s a charge to pay and much as we love you for advertising with us, we cannot afford to pay the fee!
If you think you’ve uploaded a ‘borrowed’ image now would be a good time to review the images in your advert and change those that aren’t yours, or which you haven’t had permission to use.
We Are Here For You
As you know by now, we pride ourselves on our ability to respond to and help all our advertisers. If you need any help, advice or want to suggest how we can improve on the site, all you have to do is get in touch.
Logging in. If you cannot remember your username or password:
· Your username will be the email address you used to register.
· If you cannot remember your password: Use the Password reset button which will be sent to your registered email address.
· Once logged in, click on the icon /your name in the top right of the menu bar. This will open a dropdown list of self-explanatory options.
Guest Testimonials: Spreading the Word
If you are adding a recent guest testimonial or two to your MFHC advert, those that are 300 characters in length (or less) are more likely to be featured on our Twitter Page. So, keep them brief (and frequent) if you want to be trumpeted on Twitter! We moderate all testimonials to ensure they comply with our criteria.
It's free to every UK holiday cottage owner or manager and published once a month.