Lessons learnt with regards to advertising my holiday cottage
The garden and pool
Its all a numbers game
In one way of another my entire working life has been in sales, initially as a gilt trader at the stock exchange, followed by 25 years in the insurance industry. I have now owned and run the Brittany holiday cottages La Forge and La Veille Maison for the last 6 years and the one principle that has ruled is; its all a numbers game!
In the insurance industry the more calls you make, the more appointments you have and the more appointments you do, the more sales and therefore the greater income generated.
In order to get as many contact details at the start of the process we used many different techniques to generate a customer name and telephone number be it, trade stands, referrals or 'eagle eyeing' which means grabbing anyone you come across in day to day life and just telling them what it is that you do.
I used to say to the guys within my team who used to moan about someone else being lucky in generating lots of business how strange it is that the lucky ones are always the ones who work the hardest.
It is therefore with that in mind that I spread my advertising budget with 4 different companies, I would rather spend the minimum with each company just to have the advert and a link back to my website rather than blowing all my budget on an 'all singing-all dancing advert with just one provider.
I have seen via my website stats that thousands of people each year look at the site in order for me to fill the 20 plus weeks each year that are booked. ( I will say that the majority of visits to the website are via normal traffic but the majority of bookings are generated through the adverts; the ratio of bookings to advert traffic is around 1 booking for every 4 visits)
The one element with regards to marketing bearing in mind the numbers involved is the reluctance of other holiday cottage owners within France to agree to set up a mutual link between websites in order to strengthen each others google rankings, via link building. At the end of the day it it takes hundreds of visits to book my 20 weeks, I'm sure that by having a link between another holiday cottage will not loose business but in actual fact would properly generate more bookings for every one concerned because we would all benefit from extra exposure on searches.
I have contacted several owners with properties also called La Forge, thinking that it would be a nice little syndicate but alas I had no interest.
If there are any holiday cottage owners any where around the world that wish to share a link, just let me know and I'll be happy to help.
Both Brittany holiday cottages share the swimming pool between the end of May and the start of September but during the weeks before and after those times the pool is available on a private basis for those staying in La Forge.