Archive for the ‘Meet the Team’ Category

Meet the Team: Direct Marketing

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
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Have you ever wondered about the people behind those Sykes Cottages brochures that you get through the post? Who writes those emails that pop into your inbox? How our advert ended up in that magazine? Well wonder no more as today, for the second part of our ‘Meet the Team’ series we’re talking to our direct marketing team. A small but perfectly formed team of four here at Sykes Cottages who work throughout the year to ensure that our brochures are the best that they can be and that you’re kept up to date with all our latest properties, sales and anything else going on here at Sykes Cottages! We asked the team a few questions so that you can get to know them better.

Kate Wadeson – Direct Marketing Executive

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

I am CIM qualified to a Post Graduate level and have spent 10 years working in various marketing roles. In a nutshell I am responsible for the management and implementation of all direct marketing efforts. I have just returned from Maternity leave and have started some exciting new projects!

I love spending time with my little boy and rediscovering the magic of childhood – from simple pleasures like nursery rhymes and peek-a-boo to family days at Llandudno and Chester Zoo. I also enjoy travel, live music, theatre, food and keeping fit with yoga, walking and swimming. I try to live the “Good Life” with my allotment and chickens but love spas and shopping too much to truly convert; a girl can never have too many shoes or bags!

What is your favourite part of the job?

The variety each day brings – working for a rapidly growing business is really exciting and keeps us all on our toes, the Directors are keen to innovate so we never stand still! There is a real buzz at Sykes with a genuine family feel across all departments. The sense of pride winning the British Travel Award for Best Large UK Cottage / Self Catering Booking Company and every year when we achieve an Excellent rating from TripAdvisor is clear and makes you feel part of something very special!

How long have you worked at Sykes cottages for?

Five years (wow time flies).

What has been the biggest change at Sykes since you started working here?

The number of cottages: the first brochure I produced had just 1,200 cottages we now have a massive 4,500. And we’re still growing – that’s pretty impressive!

Where is your favourite place in the UK? Is there anywhere you’d like to visit?  

I love the Lake District, it’s where I was born and bred and will always remain my “home”. Living in North Wales I still get to enjoy spectacular lakes and mountains but have easier access to gigs! We went to Kent with Sykes Cottages last year and had an amazing time, this year we would like to head to the opposite coast and visit Pembrokeshire.

Peter (1)Peter Morgan – Direct Marketing Coordinator

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

I currently look after the direct marketing campaigns here at Sykes. This includes producing 15 different brochures and mini brochures throughout the year together with emails, press advertising and other ad-hoc campaigns. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family, live music and running.

What is your favourite part of the job?

I love the psychology of marketing. It’s all about understanding who our customers are and what matters to them. Only then can we tailor a message that really does the job.

How long have you worked at Sykes cottages for?

I’ve been with Sykes for almost 18 months now. It’s a great team here and I’ve loved every minute!

Where is your favourite place in the UK? Is there anywhere you’d like to visit?

That’s a tough one! I love the beaches of Cornwall, especially the stunning Watergate Bay. Further north, Anglesey is a big favourite with its rugged scenery and wild coastline.

Sally Holmes – Brochure Production and Marketing AssistantSally

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

The main aspect of my job is to put together any brochures that are sent throughout the year. This will be from the initial brochure selection process, to then running a script with these selections in, and then setting the pages to the desired layout, selecting properties to be used as features along the way. As well as this, I help to compile various customer and owner emails that are sent out every couple of weeks.

In my spare time I like to keep fit by going to the gym and swimming, and am also very interested in crafts. I often create cards and jewellery. I am also currently undertaking an open college course to obtain a diploma in event and wedding planning.

What is your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of my job is when it comes to our major brochure production time which is Sept – Dec time. The process of taking a page of properties and arranging them to look presentable and to the Sykes format is always exciting. Each day you are working on a different part of the country and whilst it’s a crazy few months, when you see the final result in print, it is extremely rewarding.

What has been the biggest change at Sykes since you started working here?

I have been at Sykes now for just over 7.5 years. The majority of my time here has been as the Team Leader in our Reservations department. (You may recognise Sally from when she gave us her top tip for booking a Summer holiday cottage last month!) I have been in the Marketing Department for just under two years. The biggest change by far is the size of the company. When I first started there were around 15 people that worked here and there’s now around 200.

Where is your favourite place in the UK? Is there anywhere you’d like to visit? 

My favourite place in the UK is Devon. I have had many family holidays down there since I was a teenager and adore every part of it. The way of life seems much calmer than up here with both it’s coastal and country areas.

 Suzie Agnew – Brochure Production and Marketing Assistant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

My job involves helping with the production of brochures and mailers throughout the year and various email campaigns to customers and property owners.

Interests outside work include socialising with friends, who come round to dinner a lot as I love cooking, going to Chester Zoo (me and my hub are members), watching movies and football (LFC supporter).

What is your favourite part of the job?

All of it!

How long have you worked at Sykes cottages for?

8 years

What has been the biggest change at Sykes since you started working here?

How big the company’s got! When I started we had a small office in the centre of Chester with about 20 staff. Then when we moved to Lime Tree House we only occupied half the building – now we’re bursting at the seams!

Where is your favourite place in the UK? Is there anywhere you’d like to visit?

Favourite place is probably the Lake District. We go every summer for my husband’s birthday and it’s just so picturesque and relaxing. I’d love to go to Dorset and also somewhere really remote and rugged in Scotland.

We hope you have enjoyed meeting our direct marketing department, if you’d like to see the handiwork of our direct marketers, why not request a brochure and we will pop one in the post for you! If you missed meeting our reservations department last month then click here to see their interviews, and don’t forget to check back next month to see which department we’ll be introducing you to then!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Meet the Reservations Team!

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
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Over the next few months, we’d like to take the time to introduce you to the wonderful people that make our company the award winning business that it is. We have decided to start with the Reservations team; with a staff of over 70 people, they are not only the biggest department but also the friendliest and liveliest group in the building. Our reservation specialists work tirelessly seven days a week delivering outstanding customer service and finding our customers their dream cottages to suit their individual needs.  To help you get to know the cheerful voices that greet you on the other end of the phone, we have asked the reservations team a few questions about themselves and what they enjoy best about working here at Sykes Cottages.

Jane Clark, Reservation Specialist:

Jayne getting ready to start work

Jane getting ready to start work

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been working for Sykes 2 years in May. I enjoy growing my own organic vegetables and producing an abundance of jams and chutneys.

Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK/Ireland and why?

Ireland is such an incredible place to go, my favourite area being Spiddal in Galway. The coves take you back to your childhood, with the pebble beaches and rock pools, and in the evening you can visit the incredible seafood restaurants!

What is your favourite part of the job?

The interaction with our customers who never fail to make me smile, as well as the incredible team here in reservations who I call my extended family.

What has been your most unusual request as a reservationist?

I once asked a customer if she was taking any pets with her on holiday; she replied by saying she was taking a pet Iguana!

Vicki Beaumont. Reservation Specialist:

Vicki on her way to the office

Vicki on her way to the office

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve worked for Sykes for just over a year now- nearly a year and a half! I am currently training for the Chester half marathon and would love to go inter-railing around Europe one summer.

Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK/Ireland and why?

I love Cornwall! My parents used to take me and my sister down to Sennen every summer for two weeks so I have lots of memories there. Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous, rain or shine!

What is your favourite part of the job?

Speaking to lots of different people. Each customer is so different and it’s really interesting hearing where they all want to go and what’s taking them there. It’s also nice when you find a customer the perfect property and you can tell they really appreciate it.

What has been your most unusual request as a reservationist?

We get a lot of unusual pet requests but I have also spoken to a television company who were filming for a new channel 4 programme.

Helen Butler, Reservation Team Leader:

Helen and her son Dan exploring the UK

Helen and her son exploring the UK

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have worked for Sykes since June 2012. Before working here I was at Bank of America for 12 years. Outside of work I have a huge passion for horses and regularly visit the Shire Horse Centre.

Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK/Ireland and why?

Even though I live in north Wales, I never get bored of Snowdonia; it is my favourite place. This is where I spent most of my childhood holidays!

What is your favourite part of the job?

The reservation department is really busy and we work with a fantastic bunch of people every day.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know the reservations team a little better. They are incredibly friendly and very good at what they do, so next time you call up to book a holiday cottage, we hope you feel reassured that you are in safe hands. Keep an eye on the blog for your chance to meet another department next month!

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nicole.westley

By Nicole Westley

As a food lover Nicole can often be found in the kitchen, covered in flour and experimenting with new tastes! When not making a mess she loves to explore her Celtic roots by roaming the Scottish countryside or exploring the bays along the Anglesey coast with her fiancé.