Creating favourite holiday homes
With the trend for ‘staycations’ still in full swing, the rental market for UK holiday homes is strong – as long as the properties are marketed to their full potential. One Devon business has been set up to do just that …
Barnstaple-based My Favourite Holiday Marketing provides a new type of marketing service for holiday properties, which promises higher occupancy rates at a lower cost to the owner. Founded by Rick Bond and Harry Roberts two years ago, the business draws on the pair’s extensive professional marketing experience to ensure that properties’ websites are attractive, appealing and search engine optimised so that they’re easily found by prospective holiday-makers.
Whether they require a one-off web design service, or full concierge style package including ongoing marketing support and bookings management, clients come to My Favourite Holiday Marketing because they haven’t got the time or expertise to market their property to its maximum potential themselves and don’t want to pay agency fees in excess of 20% for the service.
“Harry and I have both had experience of marketing our own holiday properties,” explains Rick Bond.“In fact it was a chance conversation about this at our sons’ rugby match that led to the business being created. Whilst having a chat about our personal experiences with booking agencies, we realised there was a gap in the market waiting to be filled.”
The pair spent a full year doing their research, using Harry’s North Devon hideaway as a test case for different marketing strategies whilst steadily increasing his bookings. Since then, My Favourite Holiday Marketing has grown by word of mouth and now manages nearly 40 properties in the SouthWest. In addition, the business has also recently launched the My Favourite Holiday Cottages directory website, which acts as a portal for more than 350 more properties UK-wide, and is soon to launch the My Favourite Luxury Cottages website.
Simpkins Edwards began advising My Favourite Holiday Marketing in its early stages after a successful first meeting.
“We interviewed six or seven accountancy firms when we were setting up the business because we wanted to make sure we had exactly the right fit,” added Rick.“Within an hour of meeting us, Jilly Watson at Simpkins Edwards had already identified several new ways of saving us money and she was also able to talk to us about tax planning and business development – not just bookkeeping and end of year accounts. That was when we knew we’d found the right people to work with.”
Jilly Watson and her team in the Barnstaple office provide ongoing support to My Favourite Holiday Marketing, including specialist advice in the holiday rental sector. As Rick commented: “We’re looking after money on behalf of our clients and need to make sure that we’re extremely diligent at all times. Simpkins Edwards’ specialist advice helps us with this.”
With such impressive early growth, My Favourite Holiday Marketing shows no signs of slowing down and has ambitions to set a new benchmark for the standard of holiday accommodation and its marketing. The team of eight staff now personally inspect every property they look after, often spending an entire day in each one to ensure that standards are suitably high.
“As far as we’re concerned, the days of mis-matched, cast-off furniture and dog-eared board games are over,” added Rick.“ We’re now looking for things like iPod docks and HD televisions – things that will make the properties a home from home, yet with amazing views, gorgeous beaches and breathtaking walks on your doorstep.”
For more information on My Favourite Holiday Marketing visit www.myfavouriteholidaymarketing.co.uk, or for an informal chat about maximising the marketing for your holiday property call 0845 6805431. For a list of the properties currently available visit www.myfavouriteholidaycottages.co.uk.
Are you embarking on a new business venture that requires detailed tax and business planning? For practical, tailored support call Simpkins Edwards’ specialist teamon 01392 211233.