In a changing holiday letting market, being with the right agent has never been more crucial.
2018 has seen the demand for UK holiday accommodation continue to grow. The market is buoyant, and Suffolk Secrets is looking forward to welcoming record numbers of holidaymakers this summer, but the year has not been without it’s challenges so far. A seemingly endless winter followed by a mini-heatwave and the World Cup, coupled with an unsettled political and economic environment have all played their part in some very unusual booking patterns so far this year.
Typically the ‘peak booking season’ for the UK holiday industry, January and February have historically be the key months for taking bookings but 2018 was the first year that quarter one bookings took a dip on previous years’ performance. The months following however, have more than made up for this slow start, demonstrating the trend towards later booking.
Over Easter and May half term Suffolk Secrets welcomed more guests than ever, whilst early summer short breaks continue to grow in popularity. The peak summer holiday season is strong and the trend towards last minute bookings and short breaks continues to strengthen our booking volumes.
With consumer behaviour on the change, letting your holiday cottage with the right agent has never been more important. Find out how the county’s leading letting agency Suffolk Secrets is staying ahead of the game this year.
Knowledge is KingIt’s the job of any good letting agent to monitor booking patterns, understand customer demographics and deliver timely, relevant marketing messages to bring in bookings. Suffolk Secrets has made significant investment in its CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allowing them to scrutinize booking data and consumer behaviour, keeping ahead of the game. Being part of the Original Cottage Company, a family of local brands across the UK, Suffolk Secrets benefits from not just its own local business insights, but those from across the UK too.
On the Right WavelengthLet’s face it, there’s so many booking options available for customers these days from local and national holiday cottage agencies to the well-known international online booking providers. Suffolk Secrets knows that each of these channels represents another opportunity to reach a slightly different audience. With the support of parent company Original Cottages, Suffolk Secrets works with a number of national, European and international affiliates to maximise booking opportunities through these channels. Over recent months bookings taken through affiliate websites have doubled.
At the Heart of the ActionEarlier this year Suffolk Secrets moved offices and now boasts bright, modern shop-fronted offices in prime position in Southwold Market Place and Aldeburgh High Street that are open six days a week. This has been a hugely positive move. Walk-in enquiries have increased threefold, distribution of the Suffolk Secrets glossy lifestyle magazine (which lists all properties) has doubled, and it’s impossible to count the number of passersby who stop to look at the window displays. Being a more involved member of the local business community is also proving beneficial with various marketing partnership opportunities arising.
Keeping FocusSuffolk is a diverse county with lots of selling points. Together with sister company Suffolk Cottage Holidays, Suffolk Secrets delivers clear and consistent marketing messages. In spring this year, Suffolk Cottage Holidays relaunched as ‘The Country Collection’ with its marketing targeted towards rural escapes to the Wool Towns, Waveney Valley, and the Heart of Suffolk. Suffolk Secrets on the other hand, has more emphasis on coastal marketing. This clear division allows each brand to target relevant messages to the right customers.
To find out more about letting your holiday property with Suffolk Secrets, please contact Angie Brown, Property Recruitment Manager on 01502 722717 or email email@example.com
Photo: The property team, left to right; Oli Mummery, Angie Brown, Erin Read, Lauren Williams