How it all began - North Norfolk Holiday Cottages
I was asked the other day what made North Norfolk Holiday Cottages different, what is my USP (annoying marketing lingo), and at first I said that we are dog and family friendly. But, that isn’t really unique, it is a selling point being dog and family friendly, but so many others do the same.
What I do differently is provide an entire service to both my guests and my owners and I charge less commission to the owners so can give guests better prices.
When I first started I had just Lark Cottage in Titchwell, my own family holiday cottage which I rented out to cover the bills and maintenance. It was a big day when I took the plunge and decided to make it my career and handed in my notice at the local school where I worked as a TA.
I decided (due to lacking confidence) to employ one of the big local holiday letting agents, who promised me lots of bookings and not much else for an amazing 20% commission + VAT which meant I lost an incredible 25% of the cottage rental price. It quickly became apparent that their promise was a lot of hot air, and they wouldn’t be able to sell my cottage, only one member of their team had seen my cottage in real life, they took no interest in the cleaning and maintenance - both these things were left up to me, luckily I live locally and this wasn’t an issue.
I quickly took control of advertising my cottage myself, targeting my customers directly using social media and spending very little in doing so - keeping my costs down. No big shiny advertising campaigns at local horsey events!
I then took on Sage Cottage, Burnham Overy Staithe, I take on all aspects of managing the property, not just the bookings. If something breaks, I fix it. I organise the cleaners and the laundry. I deliver the welcome pack, and check the cottage myself. If the guests needs anything I am contactable 7 days a week, so if the tv remote isn’t working or the drains block on Saturday afternoon you they won’t have to wait till Monday to have it fixed. I have a great set of trades men who will help me out at short notice and a lovely bunch of cleaners too.
For guests, I like to think of myself as their personal concierge service; I can book a babysitter, recommend a restaurant, give day out ideas, lend dog crates/high chairs/campbeds/travel cots etc. I get to know my guests well and I’m so pleased to have so many returning customers.
I now manage my third cottage, Samphire Cottage, Docking and am ready to take on a few more. I haven’t wanted to rush managing properties, as I want to keep the level of service as high as it is. On that note, I’d never take on more cottages than I could manage, I’m not greedy. 80% or my website traffic comes from social media - so free advertising works!
So, my Unique Selling Point is that I know my properties and my owners, I offer a better service to everyone and I charge only 10-15% (no VAT) which saves money for everyone, I get to know my guests and am always available to them if needed.
Oh, and, I love dogs - so I never charge for them. Why not try a different approach and book your dog and child friendly holiday in North Norfolk now - www.northnorfolkholidaycotts.co.uk
And, if I haven’t got what you’re looking for I probably know a small owner agent I can put you in touch with, we are all friends (not competitors) and help each other out.