where should i advertise small holiday cottage at low cost - just starting out in holiday letting

(13 Posts)
macdougall6 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:57:39

hi everyone. i am just through a horrid divorce and picking up the financial mess in effort to support myself and my 2 girls. i've been trying to advertise at low cost on the net but seem to be getting lots of dodgy replies on gumtree :$.
does anyone have any bright ideas please ? i've attempted my own website bothybythesea.moonfuit.com. i have contacted sykes cottages as they don't ask for money up front - but they can come out for weeks.
the scottish golf open is going to on the other side of the water from me in june

does anyone who holidays in self catering cottages have any advice on this new venture ?

Lizcat Fri 03-Jun-11 10:08:38

You need to choose an agency that comes fairly high up the search engines, which is probably the problem with your own website.
Most agencies will charge you a listing fee and then a percentage of each let. Whilst these do seem quite steep using a well placed agency will increase the number of lets you have. Also by using an agency if things don't quite go right they are more experienced at taking back deposit etc. Oh yes and agency will obviously take credit and debit card payments.
I use these people www.wightlocations.co.uk they always come in the top 4 on a search for IOW holiday cottages, they use a PR agency and have been featured in The Times/Sunday Times three times already this year. 75% of their bookings are through the web. I have had over 10 weeks income already this year. Be prepared to take short break bookings out of the main season gives people a taster who often come back for a full week later.
Getting yourself a Visit Britain rating which costs £135 per year also helps potential guests understand the quality of you accomodation.
Being very frank and honest you are really quite late for the 2011 season, our first season we came to the market in April and achieved 13 weeks that first year. So I would be looking to get myself organised for next year now the 2012 catelogues will be prepared in September this year.
Final thing really good quality beds and mattresses most of our repeat business comes from us having some of the best beds ever slept in in holiday cottages (guest reviews). We bought original bedstead company bedsteads and the top of the range own brand mattresses from dreams - they will barter on price or toss in linen and then paid oer 18months.

macdougall6 Fri 03-Jun-11 13:27:22

thanks for your message - i appreciate your advise. i am playing catch up this season unfortunately - i was not able to start the ball rolling until just now. i will take a look at wightlocations to see if they can take me on sooner than sykes cottages. thanks also for tip on beds and bedding. hope you have a good weekend and get a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

jamaisjedors Fri 03-Jun-11 15:11:01

My mum uses ownersdirect, it's cheap and the website works well - she has had lots of bookings.

Lizcat Sat 04-Jun-11 11:03:09

Sorry Macdougall wight locations only takes IOW properties, but was trying to give you an example of what a good agency can do for you.

fivegomadindorset Sat 04-Jun-11 11:06:43

google self catering accommodation for your area and see what companies come up on the front page and contact them.

enidroach Sat 04-Jun-11 20:48:38

I think you do need an agent or a dedicated site. I used to have a holiday flat on the south coast and used 3 different sites - including ownersdirect (cut out agent fee), also like LIzcat used the top 2 agencies for my area. Had afriend who had good bookings from Villarenters site which I had discounted as I imagined they were only for overseas properties. My MIL always let out( in Wales) through The Lady magazine and was fully booked!

The agents were good as they got more bookings, better price etc and arranged for the keys to be available for renters at local hotels etc (I was not on the scene) although the commission madea big dent in my earnings. My main problem turned out to be cleaning and laundry - the firm I booked (who were very expensive) but seemed to have good references and said they would check on little jobs that needed doing, could be called in an emergency etc did a poor job and complaints took a while to come through. At the end of my first season the flat (which had just been refurbed to a very high spec) was very grubby and dusty and out of 18 sets of linen and towels 100% cotton from John Lewis only 2 were in the linen cupboard which they had the key for along with a ragtag assortment from elsewhere!! The agents would not help about recommending cleaners and said that was the area their other non resident owners had problems with too. However, some agents will take this on for you as they work with particular firms.

Good luck - it is late, but we managed full bookings to the end of september after only going "live" in June - there are a lot of late bookers out there.

DOLLYDAYDREAMER Sun 05-Jun-11 15:53:38

hi - we rent out some holiday caravans and get a lot of our enquiries from www.directholidayhomes.co.uk They only charge £59 per year. you just write your own info about your property & send them some photos & they put your ad on their site within a couple of days. they are very helpful & you can change your ad as many times as you like until you get it right. although they are mostly caravans there are some cottages on their site & its all sorted into counties to make it easier for people searching. you can also fill in a price & availability chart if you want.

RealtyWW Sun 12-Jun-16 16:23:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Coconutty Sun 12-Jun-16 16:27:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cestlavielife Sun 19-Jun-16 20:05:00

Do you mean
www.bothybythesea.moonfruit.com

The website us clearly un finished doesn't look good to see website instructions

Andbabymakesthree Sun 19-Jun-16 20:09:19

Zombie thread! Reported realty

Branleuse Sun 19-Jun-16 20:10:04

top tip is to not use music on your adverts. it makes me turn a website off immediately. Im not the only one

I would make sure its listed with agencies. I dont tend to look for little private websites

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