We are always looking to add quality holiday homes to our portfolio to meet the demands of our guests. If you have a quality holiday home and would like to discuss marketing through our company please do call either Clare or John for an informal chat.
For the twenty odd years we have been operating, now one of the longest single owned agencies in Cumbria, our mantra at the Lakeland Cottage Company has always been to seek and offer quality - not quantity. Investment to optimise each owners property, not to just maximise our profit by any means - service not just self serving. In other words we understand how important owners of holiday cottages are to our having a successful business, that they are the bedrock of the company, where a partnership must be formed to achieve rewarding mutual benefits to both owner and ourselves.
We have achieved this by setting a maximum number and minimum standard to the properties that we represent, ensuring each property gets fair and good coverage with the best marketing possible for the owners investment. Our limit is set to 150 properties, which is far less than most other local agencies.
For your guests, our having separated the chaff from the wheat, they can be confident in whichever property they choose there will be an element of quality control, a sort of John Lewis of the cottage market.
For us, we actually get quite excited and proud of each property we represent, where you can see for yourself the time and skill invested in the image making is considerable, and the many guest comments about our website, the individual properties and our guide to the Lake District a welcome pat on the back.
So, if you are frustrated seeing your holiday home lost amongst page after page, browser after browser of other homes and cottages then we may well be for you. If you need reassurance of the claims as to who is the best put yourself in the shoes of a holiday maker and simply browse our site, look at the photgraphy and descriptions of our owners cottages, compare the presentation against that of other companies and use the popular search terms on Google (Lake District Cottages being the most used by far) and see who is on the front page, and then decide where you would be confident in booking your holiday.
Our role is to market your property for you, producing attractive, powerful images to show your efforts and the attractions of your holiday home then presenting it in its best light and promoting the home on our web site. We are then responsible for dealing with the holiday maker, listening to their needs, filling in the gaps on details, along with taking the reservations, rental and any other fees for services required.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN
We know our photography and graphic design is second to none - browse the site and judge for yourself. We achieve this from our background in creative advertising in London and as a former practising still life adverting photographer. With these skills we are more than capable of creating images more akin to Homes & Gardens than the run of the mill snap shots as seen on many other sites. It is these images, web design and written description, along with having only a select choice and an in depth knowledge of each cottage or house that sell those properties we represent.
All this combines to produce high bookings, high incomes and satisfied guests.
GOOGLE AND THE KEY WORD
Marketing has moved very much to the internet. As such we were one of the first local agencies to utilise Google ad-words and SEO ranking. The results have been impressive, placing us as truly in the world wide market, increasing not only our guests from the UK, but a significant and ever growing number from abroad.
It is vital that your property is being seen where it must appear in the right and most valuable place. The holy grail of internet marketing for our industry and area lies is the Google search term 'Lake District Cottages". This term is used more than all the other terms and variants combined by people searching for holiday cottages in Cumbria. Through our SEO company, wizards of internet marketing, we consistently hold a strong position on page one of Google, which is backed up by a well placed Google Ad Words campaign
For best economy, we work with and can put you in touch with a number of companies in south, central and north lakeland, each who sepcialise and are equipped up to deal with the management of holiday homes, both the preparation and dealing with any out of hours problems that may occur. We haved worked with these companies for many years, where the owners, the holiday guests and ourselves find them to be most satisfactory, helpful, responsible and econmical.
Local based owners often choose to work hands on or oversea the management of their properties, for us this is the perfect situation and very much welcome local based owners to our company.
Income will depend very much on the quality of your property, this as important, if not so more these days than simply the location.
Indeed more and more guests are seeking out the quieter areas of the Lake District, such as the Cartmel Peninsular, Coniston and the Lyth Valley. However they do demand high quality and if offered, and whether your property is in the better known areas such Ambleside and Grasmere, or set in one of the lesser known but increasingly popular areas, your income, with the best marketing, should be high and regular - and that is where we would like to come in.
We can only truly give an idea of income after we have visited your property, assess the atributes and compare it against existing properties in our portfolio to give a good idea of occupancy and net income; that is the money you will earn after commission and VAT. There are many factors that can influence potential income but as a rule of thumb it is quality that counts first, then enhanced by other luxuries such as WIFi, whirlpool baths, saunas and the big marketing tool, garden hot tubs.
As a rough guide you can see the example table below showing both the highest and the average incomes we are achieving for our owners, this after our commission and VAT has been deducted. As you will see a property sleeping only 2 can earn net for its owner more than a property sleeping 4 or even 6 people. This is purley down to the quality and facilities these owners properties offer, where through our marketing and image making we have been able get across the special nature of the property, achieving both high weekly rentals and high occupancy numbers.
Properties sleeping 9/10 - Highest £59,000.00 net - Average £34,500.00 net - Both figures after commission and VAT
Properties sleeping 8 - Highest £37,000.00 net - Average £25,000.00 net - Both figures after commission and VAT
Properties sleeping 6 - Highest £31,000.00 net - Average £22,000.00 net - Both figures after commission and VAT
Properties sleeping 4 - Highest £29,200.00 net - Average £21,000.00 net - Both figures after commission and VAT
Properties sleeping 2 - Highest £27,000.00 net - Average £18,000.00 net - Both figures after commission and VAT
Our marketing commission is highly competitive, guaranteed to be one of the lowest you will find.
There will be a few annual charges as set out below
Registration fee £95.00 per annum
Visit Britain Annual Inspection - Price determined by VB (2012 rate £148.00 inc VAT)
We make payment by electronic transfer at the end of each month. At this time you will receive all deposits paid, any balances and or full amounts paid less our commission and any other disbursements such as preparation costs.
We do require owners to agree to and sign our contract.
VISIT ENGLAND - QUALITY GUIDE
We utilise Visit England and star rating system to endorse the quality of your property. By having your property rated, a guest can be assured that what we say is true and accurate. We work very closely with the inspector who in turn understands what we are about and what we are trying to achieve - quality throughout. You can download the Visit England Quality Guide which gives the requirements for each star rating.
MOVING FORWARD - COMING ON BOARD - IT REALLY IS SIMPLE!
Should you wish to proceed after we have met and visited your holiday home, we would set about getting your property up and running. The process is quite simple and hassle free where you can leave all the details to us. The first stage is to arrange for photography. This can take one or two days where we would style, light and shoot all of the relevant rooms and exteriors. Following this comes a few days of post production, retouching the selected photographs, setting and writing your web page, posting to our web site, ready to take your guests.
CHOOSING THE LAKELAND COTTAGE COMPANY - A BIT MORE ABOUT US
You will have rightly researched many companies to market your holiday home. As indicated we are by no means the largest agency in terms of number of properties we market, however we do consider ourselves a leader in marketing and getting the job done, namely achieving you, the home owner, a good and steady income from your investment - and it is these facts that should perhaps be one of your considerations.
Our policy is to take aboard only quality properties, at a number whereby each individual owner receives the best attention, each individual property details are fully known and understood by all of our staff and each property is expected to achieve a high level of bookings and income for both the owner and ourselves, your agent.
Many have commented and compared on the quality of our web site design and photography against other marketing companies, this from both owners and the many calls from holiday makers.
Indeed we did win an award from the Cumbria Tourist Board for the best holiday web site and were fourteenth runner up in the prestigious National Commerce Awards in 2003. Having arrived at our web site you can now judge this for your self.
We achieve this high level of marketing from a background of many years spent in the field of advertising, based in London. Clare was director of a leading advertising agency and, for myself, I spent fifteen years as a professional advertising still life photographer.
We are backed by friendly office staff. Annie Smethurst has been with us since 2006 and in 2011 we were joined by Paul Roebuck, an old friend, with a vast background in the hotel industry working at such prestigious establishments as The Berkley in London, The Motreux Palace in Switzerland along with managing several 4 star hotel in the Lake District.
Each is a wow with our guests and are firmly behind our policies, where each give equal care to both guest and owner needs. Each of the team visit every property throughout the year, also attending the Visit Britain Inspection, this to better understand the attributes, qualities and location of all the holiday homes, allowing them to expand on the published details when speaking to potential guests.
GIVE US A CALL
Now having read through the basics of holiday letting and the service we offer, we would be delighted to have an informal chat regarding any property you may wish to place on the holiday market. Simply give us a call on 015395 38180 or drop me an e-mail with a few details about your property where I will give you a fair and realistic estimate of the income I think we could achieve for you.