So Which? Travel have underlined what we’ve always known about holiday letting in the UK with their latest report. 3000 Which members reported their experiences of holiday letting agencies across the UK and it turns out that size matters in this market and for once, the more petite the agency, the better the experience for their guests.
Our larger agency stablemates have been found lacking when it comes to actually delivering on their promises. Service, attention to detail, cleanliness and helpfulness were all criticised in much greater numbers the larger the agency under the spotlight. Smaller agencies were praised for a more personalised approach and the quality of their houses.
The findings of the Which? Travel work aren’t so much of a surprise to us; our background in working for large agencies has informed and influenced almost every aspect of how we run Bloom Stays. Unlike what we’d found being part of a bigger outfit, we wanted Bloom Stays’ small size to be its best feature ensuring both owners and guests can receive the same personal service and attention from us and our team. We’re all up for a chat – not a chat bot.
What does that look like for Bloom Stays? That’s us on the end of a phone all day (and all weekend) to help sort any aspect of a booking. We also test run the majority of our houses with the team staying in them and getting to know all the everyday details…where the bins go or where to find the spare key. We know the best dog walks or great local restaurants are for children. Pub with a baby change mat? Yep, we’ll probably know that too. Need a catered dinner for 10 people? We can also help there too.
Of course, not one size fits all and although the heady days of the ‘Staycation’ boom may be behind us, the recent good news that tourism in Kent and the South East of England is returning to pre-pandemic levels has given us a cheery grin as the summer season ends. A more balanced market with international guests returning to holiday here alongside a British or ‘home’ audience less sceptical about the delights of a holiday here will bring us all some great opportunities over the next few months. We just to make sure the entirety of the holiday letting industry raises its game to meet those expectations so we can all benefit.