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Holiday Let Owners

My Visit to Chasing the Moon Skye Holiday Let: Exclusive In-depth Review

My Visit to Chasing the Moon Skye Holiday Let: Exclusive In-depth Review

If you’re looking for a breathtaking and serene holiday destination, look no further than the Isle of Skye in Scotland!

Recently, I had the pleasure of staying in one of my amazing clients’ properties Chasing the Moon Skye with my family and father-in-law. Chasing the Moon is a beautiful holiday let situated right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean with a stunning mountain range on the horizon.

child in chasing the moon skye garden - chasing the moon skye

The views are absolutely breathtaking, the house was possibly more comfortable than anywhere I’ve ever stayed before and I would highly recommend this accommodation to anyone looking for an unforgettable experience in one of the most exciting locations in the UK.

Our First Impressions of Chasing the Moon Skye

When we first arrived at the property, we were absolutely blown away by the incredible location.

The house is situated on a cliff edge, surrounded by mountains and there are uninterrupted views of the ocean for as the eye can see. We felt like we were in our own little world and it was just so peaceful and relaxing tucked away from civilisation.

chasing the moon front of house - chasing the moon skye

The property itself is carefully designed and has a unique character which you feel as soon as you walk inside.

It’s been decorated to a very high standard and has everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay, power showers, a great coffee machine, a stand-alone bathtub in the bedroom and local luxury products of the Arran Aromatics range.

bathing in chasing the moon skye - chasing the moon skye

It’s spacious so there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out and relax.

The Sleeping Arrangements

There are three large bedrooms in the property, all of which are beautifully decorated and very comfortable.

The master bedroom has a king size bed and an en-suite bathroom. There is also a twin room and a double room, both of which have also have en-suite bathrooms (so handy for the kids!).

The Living Area

The living area is light and spacious with a panoramic view overlooking the sea and there’s plenty of comfortable seating. With a log burner, it’s the perfect place to snuggle up in front of the fire with a good book in the winter and there was a good supply of logs for the occasion.

dining at chasing the moon skye - chasing the moon skye

The kitchen is extremely well-equipped and has everything you need to cook up a storm, including a dishwasher which is always handy on holiday.

There’s also a small laundry room off the kitchen, which we made use of with the kids on muddy walks!

There’s a large flat-screen TV (not that we used it once and I feel it would be a crime to use with a view like that!), and there’s also a decent sound system that hooks up to your Bluetooth on your phone. The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you could possibly need to cook up a storm!

The Breathtaking Views!

As I mentioned, the views from Chasing the Moon Skye are just breathtaking and are one of my favourite aspects of the Chasing the Moon experience.

There are huge windows in the living area so you can wake up and drink your coffee to those stunning views every morning which gives you a perfect start to the day and clears the mind!

morning coffee at chasing the moon skye - chasing the moon skye

The Perfect Location for Exploring Skye

The property is situated in an ideal location for exploring all that Skye has to offer. There are plenty of walks and hikes nearby and it’s only a short drive to the nearest town, Portree.

fairy pools hiking experience - chasing the moon skye

The dinosaur footprints at Staffin are a must-see and the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle are a great day out!

If you haven’t got children with you and you fancy a good hike Brothers point is nearby and the famous Storr is just a short drive up the road.

dinosaurs at staffin - chasing the moon skye

A brief walk from the house itself, down to the bay and you will spot seals basking on the rocks below – an unforgettable sight that the children enjoyed. The place is known for whales and dolphins not that we saw any but we’re told they are spotted frequently!

The Perfect Family Retreat

We had our 3 children with us (a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 1-year-old) and they absolutely loved it!

happy baby at chasing the moon skye - chasing the moon skye

They made friends with the sheep, they went exploring and had so much fun. It really is the perfect place to bring your family for a relaxing and memorable break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

chasing the moon sheep - chasing the moon skye

Having known Maggie for a few years now, one thing I know about her is that she doesn’t settle for mediocre and this comes out in the experience she has prepared with this wonderful accommodation.

From the moment you arrive, you are made to feel so special and catered for with everything having been thought of to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

chasing the moon skye welcome pack - chasing the moon skye

All the details have been taken care of so you can just sit back, relax and take in that incredible view.

I cannot recommend Chasing the Moon Skye enough – it is a special place that connects you with nature and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to stay there.

A huge thanks from us all Maggie for being such a fantastic host, it’s hosts like you that are the reason I took this business in the direction of serving the tourism and hospitality industry, to serve you to help you better serve others.

Maggie understands how the little details make all the difference, how hospitality is about caring for your guests with the luxury soaps, the super comfy beds and how going the extra mile leaves a lasting impression!

family leaving chasing the moon skye - chasing the moon skye

Ever Wanted to Visit Skye?

This is a highly sought-after accommodation, if you are reading this and haven’t visited Skye before, check availability here and book a visit before someone else does, this place books up fast!

I can assure you it will be a visit you won’t regret in an accommodation which won’t disappoint with a super host who will make you feel like royalty! Treat your spouse to a romantic time away, or take a well-deserved break and bonding session with the family at a place where you can rest and recharge, it did us all the world of good!

If you book a visit be sure to let me know in the comments below!

chasing the moon skye
10 Tips for Holiday Let Owners to Escape the Agency Trap and Maximise Profits

10 Tips for Holiday Let Owners to Escape the Agency Trap and Maximise Profits

If you’re a holiday let owner using an agency to manage your bookings, you’ll know how expensive that can be.

What’s more, using an agency to manage your bookings can reduce your flexibility and pricing control. 

The alternative is for holiday let owners to manage bookings independently. 

That might sound like a risk. However, with rising costs and competition, having complete control of your bookings and profits might be the way forward.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the advantages of escaping the agency trap and going independent.

I’ll also give you some powerful strategies for boosting the profitability of your holiday rental property.

1. Invest in Your Holiday Rental, Not in an Agency

I work with many holiday-let owners, and a large number face the same dilemma.

They’re tired of paying booking agency fees and commission and feeling like they don’t own their online business presence

They’re also worried that bookings will suffer if they leave the relative security of an agency contract.

It might be time to think about making that leap for many holiday-home owners.

Holiday Lets are all About Investment 

Do you build a relationship with an agency and rely on their platform? Or do you invest in your own website?

It’ll depend on how serious you are about building your business. 

By signing up with an OTA, you’re investing your money in their company. 

You might be able to spend your money more productively by investing in a holiday rentals website of your own.

holiday cottages home page

Working with a specialist digital marketer who understands the market can transform the potential of your holiday let.

If customers are booking directly with you rather than through a third party, they’ll invest in you. Depending on your experience and requirements, that might be a more financially rewarding model.

2. Grow a Holiday Let Business With a Unique Brand

One of the advantages of signing up with an agency is that potential customers know and trust their brand. They’ll head to the booking agency website and find a holiday let that meets their needs.

That works for the customer, but it might not be convenient for holiday-home owners like you.

The problem is that when customers do this, they aren’t building an understanding of your brand. 

They’re reinforcing their relationship with the agency instead.

As one of many holiday letting properties featured on a site, it’s impossible to establish a unique identity or brand. 

Without that, your business doesn’t have the potential to grow.

Give Your Holiday Rental A Chance to Grow

After all, having a unique brand is essential for building a holiday let business. 

Standing out from the competition is key to attracting guests. Developing a solid brand is the perfect way to do that.

You’ll certainly benefit from the generic authority of being featured on a good OTA site. You’ll just find it hard to stand out from the crowd.

So, what’s the answer?

It’ll depend on your budget, your acceptance of risk and your long term goals. 

However, building a brand identity on your custom website can give you the authority and individuality you need.

You could focus on the location, the property’s history, or the unique features that make it special. You can optimise your bespoke text to appeal to your target guests.

That way, you don’t need to worry about standing out from the crowd.

3. Control Your Marketing and Reach Your Customers

When marketing your holiday rental, an agency will treat your property the same as all the others they manage. That means you’ll get the same marketing focus like everyone else.

That’s alright if your business is just the same as everyone else’s. But if you’re a holiday let owner with something unique to offer, you might need more of a bespoke option.

If you’re not entirely controlling your marketing strategy, you won’t grow your holiday let business. Working with a booking agency to develop a bespoke plan is unlikely because that’s not cost-effective.

Why give that power away?

Create Your Unique Email Campaigns 

Controlling your bookings and maximising your profits is the key to managing your holiday rentals. You get complete control over your marketing by supervising your holiday rental bookings. 

Creating engaging email campaigns and sharing promotions for your holiday cottages is a powerful strategy that doesn’t need agency involvement.

You’ll reach your past guests and future customers directly, promoting your property in ways that appeal to them. 

That’ll build those all-important customer relationships, leading to repeat visits and excellent word-of-mouth marketing.

Click here if you’d like to find out how to start your customer’s experience before they even book!

4. Embrace the Technology That Other Holiday Let Owners Don’t 

Many owners list their holiday homes on agency sites because their online knowledge limits them.  

At least, they think it does.

Using an OTA requires less technical knowledge and hands-on engagement with software packages. Generally speaking, it’s a hassle-free and straightforward process.

That’s appealing to many holiday let owners, and it might be the right decision in some cases. Those with limited time, technical confidence or understanding might be better off leaving booking and marketing to an agency.

Work With Experts and Fill Your Calendar

However, once holiday-home owners understand the bespoke bookings packages available, it’s never as complicated as anticipated.

Learning how to manage bookings systems helps many owners engage more fully right across their business. That’s great for them as individuals and highly profitable for future bookings.

Remember…

Taking the time to work with experts and set up your site correctly means you’re likely to outrank your competitors.

5. Customise Your Bookings Systems to Suit Your Needs

If you’re working with an OTA, then hopefully, you can make changes to the availability of your property easily. Your needs are likely to change over time, and you should work with an agency that recognises and supports that.

Sadly, that doesn’t always happen in a way that works for many self-catering accommodation providers.

What’s convenient for you isn’t always convenient for an agency. It’s not always easy to change things like pricing and availability, and flexibility can be hard to achieve.

The real problem is that agencies don’t manage your holiday home. They prioritise the success of their own business. So when you sign up to an OTA, they’re naturally less invested in your holiday homes than you are.

Use Your own Booking Management System.

The alternative is to use a bespoke booking management system. One that allows you to oversee your bookings and benefit from the income.

A booking management system like Supercontrol is an excellent example of a user-friendly platform that integrates well with your website.

supercontrol booking management system websiteUsing this option takes more engagement than handing the process over to an agency. You might find that the rewards more than make up for it.

You can find out how much a WordPress travel website should cost you here. It’s a platform that works perfectly with this type of booking management system. 

6. Learn the Power of Lead Generation for Holiday Rentals

Holiday letting owners are used to expenses eating away at profits. It’s how the business works.

The fees you pay agencies for online promotion and booking (often across multiple sites) are usually significant.

To add insult to injury, you’re also losing out on the chance to build customer relationships and maximise your profits.

You might not mind that if you feel that the value of working with the agency is worth the fees.

Holiday Lets Thrive on Lead Generation

You might be getting bookings, but you’re probably not building any sustainable lead generation. And one of the best ways to get bookings for your holiday rental property is a powerful lead generation system

That’s hard to develop when the OTA you’re working gets the customer’s details (especially their email) before you do.

Going solo empowers holiday lettings owners to develop powerful website funnels, with email marketing leading to higher, more profitable bookings.

You can also connect your social media accounts to your lead generation marketing, boosting your profile with minimum effort.

That’s a benefit that doesn’t come with an agency relationship. 

7. Use Your Analytics to Boost Your Holiday Let Profitability

google analytics home page

Good agency booking agreements can be very profitable. You’ll often get a well-filled calendar, and you can invest the time you save in your business in other ways.

That’s enough for many holiday accommodation owners, but it doesn’t empower those who want to maximise their potential.

Taking control of your bookings also means taking charge of your analytics. That might sound daunting, but understanding your data means understanding your customers.

What are their most popular destinations? What booking fees work best for which age group? Which pages on your website get the most engagement?

Understanding the power of your analytics can boost your holiday let profitability if you use that knowledge well.

That’s why taking this step with a digital marketing company specialising in travel and tourism is so important.

Using Google Analytics in Your Holiday Business

Most people have heard of Google Analytics. It allows you to track your website traffic and see where you get your guests. You can use this information to improve your marketing efforts and reach more potential guests.

Google Analytics can also help you measure your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. You can see which campaigns drive the most bookings and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

If you’re with an agency, they’ll control their analytics. 

That makes it harder for you to understand precisely where your customers are coming from and what they want.

It’s a compelling reason to add a booking function to your website.

8. Own Your SEO and Drive Customers to Your Business

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) focuses on content that will encourage search engines to rank your site. When a customer searches for properties in your local area, good SEO means that they’ll see your site.

The best booking management agencies will have SEO strategies that draw visitors to their websites. They’ll also have lots of authority as an agency and lots of content for a search engine to analyse.

That’s great news for them, as they’re guaranteed to get hits from prospective customers.

It’s less good news for holiday let owners. 

You won’t benefit from any of that SEO authority unless the visitor happens to click on your property.

You’re more likely to build a lasting business by creating your unique SEO rather than adding to the authority of others. 

You should aim to be your own authority – no one knows your business better than you do!

Build the SEO Content Your Business Needs

The solution is to build a well-optimised website for search engines and potential guests to find

You’ll own your business’s online presence and won’t need to rely on an agency.

You can also use other marketing channels such as social media and email to drive traffic to your website. That profits your business, not the agency with which you’re working.

It’ll take a little bit of time and effort. You’ll want to work with a professional who understands the power of SEO in the travel and tourism industry. 

But once you’ve built that SEO authority, you won’t need an agency to do it for you.

You can read my helpful article on the benefits of keeping your travel website maintained here.

9. Add Value to Your Holiday Rental Offer

Highly invested property owners know their business is about more than bricks and mortar.

When you welcome guests to your holiday rentals, you provide them with an experience. One they can’t get anywhere else.

holiday let website's home pageFrom private pools to first-class breakfasts, your offer is unique. Combined with the location, it’s a real asset.

Maybe you provide an outstanding service or organise activities that add value to each visitor’s experience. You’re probably offering extra services and hosting activities that encourage your guests to return.

The problem is that none of that gets reflected on an agency website. 

It’s hard to amend an agency calendar when you offer an activity week or block out specific dates for added value experiences.

Even if you can add the content, trying to communicate its value and encouraging bookings as a result is almost impossible.

There’s just not a lot of room for scope or creativity on an agency site.

Use Your Website to Publicise Your U.S.P.

Once you develop your website to the point where you’re efficiently managing your calendar, that can change. 

You can effortlessly publicise the extras within your calendar, highlighting the value of all you provide.

Have a look at the website for Oran na Mara. Working together, we’ve built a site that celebrates all they have to offer and integrated it with their bookings system. 

By doing so, every activity becomes a selling point, and bookings get taken years in advance.

It’s a great example of how escaping the agency trap can boost a holiday business long-term.

10. Create the Future You Want for Your Holiday Rental

Properties listed with OTAs tend to be static. You can count on consistent income levels, but there’s rarely a sense of moving a business forwards. 

After all, an agency naturally places its focus on getting a return from your property in fees. They’re not focused on the long term development and profitability of your holiday let.

That’s precisely where your focus should be; on the future of your business.

Invest in the Fundamentals of Your Lettings Business

Investing in a powerful and effective website is central to that vision, complete with a bookings management system. It’s as fundamental to your business as the fabric of the holiday rentals themselves.

  • Putting every aspect of your digital presence in one place gives you control over your marketing and bookings. 
  • It allows you to build your brand and your SEO authority. 
  • It allows visitors to view your holiday rental to its full potential and book with you.

Taking control of your online website and bookings strategy is a great way to invest in yourself and your business. 

By building a powerful online presence, you’re also building a platform to sustain you in the years to come.

You’ll be able to create the future you want for your holiday rental. That’s an opportunity that an agency just can’t give you.

holiday let owners