Devon LivingIssue #01
Your favourite holiday cottages
We speak to Harry Roberts, founder of My Favourite Cottages, about what makes his holiday marketing business special.
Launched by Harry Roberts, My Favourite Cottages first began when he decided to buy a Devon farmhouse and convert its old barn into a holiday home. Having discovered a slightly different way of marketing his own let, Harry later left his well-paid job in pursuit of his own enterprise.
“Each of our cottages has its own website, serving as the best shop window.”
Everything he experienced with his own barn conversion continues to be relevant today. Whilst My Favourite Cottages is ostensibly a marketing business, for Harry, product is key, as he remembers from his early training in advertising. In particular, he values McCarthy’s ‘Four P’s’ – Price, Product, Place and Promotion – the most.
Harry firstly explains how he adopts the ‘product’ side of this approach. “It’s essential, whether you’re starting from scratch or already have a holiday cottage, to know whether your product matches what the market is looking for. Are you up to date with this market? Put simply, being up to date with today’s market means contemporary kitchens, modern bathrooms, and as much added value as you can afford, including WiFi, games consoles, hot tubs, and so on.”
He also discusses location, which is still “one of the most important factors in successfully renting a holiday cottage. Cottages by the sea obviously attract more interest, but everyone is looking for something different. So, make sure your ‘product’ fits their aspirations and help them live the dream.”
With price, Harry advises you check out the competition, as your guests certainly will. Potential bookers search for suitable cottages in an area, then make a short list, knocking out those that are too expensive or even too cheap, until they’re able to pick a winner.
On promotion, you must “realise you’re an online business, so having a decent website is a must. Each of our cottages has its own website, serving as the best shop window. Without a good website, your cottage is likely to be lost in the crowd.”
Finally, Harry tells us that good photography is absolutely key, as is knowing how to work the Internet. “This is where we come in,” he explains. “My Favourite Cottages has grown from managing 0 to 100 properties in just six years. The basis of that growth has been referral from our existing clients, but just as important is that we are personable and professional, promising to put you, the owner first, making your life that little
MY FAVOURITE COTTAGES
Win a £250 holiday voucher off of your next break with My Favourite Cottages.
Click here for all the details. Closing date: 23/04/2018
"Each of our cottages has its own website, serving as the best shop window."