Our background is steeped in top quality marketing experience with companies like Marks & Spencer, Boots, American Airlines and Wrigley's and whilst they may not seem particularly relevant to renting a holiday cottage, it's our understanding of marketing that makes your property stand out in an overcrowded holiday cottage rental market, and that really makes us different.
At My Favourite Cottages 90% of the business’s growth has come from referrals, which we hope implies that we do a good job for our owners. At My Favourite Cottages, we pride ourselves on being good at what we do, and by using smart marketing we can achieve an above average number of bookings for our clients; but we honestly believe it’s how we treat our clients, and the relationship we have with them that really makes the difference.
My Favourite Cottages is not like other standard agencies, we really do work for you. We’ll pull in the bookings for your cottage through your own personal website 365 days a year. You’ll get to know, trust and respect us in terms of our expert knowledge and personal service. That’s why we say "My Favourite Cottages works for you."
Part time rugby dads, (they met on a touchline whilst watching their sons playing), Harry and Rick both had an impressive track record in marketing and customer care, they were also successful holiday property owners. Both had come to believe that the traditional agency model, with its high commission rates, was being slowly rendered obsolete by the opportunities afforded by the growing influence of the Internet.
Their vision for the future arose through their shared experience in owning self-catering properties and establishing a successful approach to achieving high occupancy levels. After frequent approaches for help from local owners wanting to share their success, they decided to set up a company to help other holiday property owners, and in 2010, My Favourite Cottages was born.
Running an independent holiday cottage business by yourself can be rewarding but also time consuming; it can be challenging and full of pitfalls. What Harry and Rick wanted to do was to give owners their own small team of experts to draw upon, offering advice and doing the legwork when it comes to marketing and booking.
Their first two clients signed up at the end of 2010, and for 12 months or so they just looked after them whilst they made sure that their bespoke model worked successfully. They also continued to work hard to find new ways to make the model work even better.
By mid-2011 word of mouth brought My Favourite Cottages six new clients and since then they have never looked back. Now they have more than 100 clients, who own everything from chocolate box cottages and manor houses to apartments and luxury yurts, and are located all over the U.K, including the South West of England and the Scottish Highlands.
Since 2011, to accommodate the increase in business, Rick and Harry have been joined by five members of staff, as well as some freelancers with much appreciated niche skills. The chances are, if you call the office you’ll speak to Harry, Amanda, Rachael or Sarah, who make up our marketing team. Someone is also on-call in the evenings and at weekends as they answer phones and e-mails from 9am-8pm (often later) 364 days a year. Just don't call them on Christmas day!
At the same time as developing the Agency side of the business, Rick and Harry have also created a successful Holiday Cottage Directory to provide a user-friendly service for owners and potential bookers. This side of My Favourite Cottages emerged in 2011, and now features almost 1000 holiday cottages.
In July 2015, My Favourite Cottages moved to a converted kiln in Barnstaple – in the heart of holiday property territory. The new offices provide the My Favourite Cottages team with a great central location, but more importantly allows us to promote the brand via signage on the building, and we’ve even sponsored the roadside gardens on both sides of the building.
The company continues to go from strength to strength and now proudly looks after the marketing of more than 100 properties, and this number is increasing every day.
Right from the early days the whole My Favourite Cottages ethos was based on establishing genuine relationships with our clients, avoiding a faceless, systematic call centre approach. We don't speak to our owners every day, but we ensure that everyone on the team knows our clients and can speak to them whenever the opportunity or need arises.