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Owner Q&A May Sykes Cottages


Welcome to your May Owner Q&A!

Rachel, Sales and Operations Manager for Property Recruitment here at Sykes Holiday Cottages is back to answer more of your questions. This month she will be answering your questions on getting your garden summer-ready, how we promote property price changes, and what being a winner of the Sykes Gems awards means for you.


What should I consider when I’m getting my property’s outdoor spaces ready for summer?

With the weather warming up, now’s the time to make sure any outdoor spaces are cared for and ready for guests.

Our 2019 Sykes Staycation Index identified that the number 1 most popular property feature in the prior 12 months was a garden or patio area. No surprises there, as it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind outdoors and enjoy the summer sunshine!

Here are few things to consider when giving your garden or patio a refresh:

  • Check any outdoor furniture, Ensure it is clean and ready to use. Items left outdoors over winter might have damage, so make sure everything’s safe and in good condition.
  • Where space allows, a dining set and BBQ area is a big hit with guests looking to dine al fresco. Remember to make sure you can seat the amount of people your property accommodates.
    Something easy to clean and maintain will help on changeover day too!
  • Whilst we’re talking about outdoor dining, it’s a good idea to provide some extra drinking glasses that plastic/acrylic, to help avoid any breakages.
  • Chimeneas & fire pits make a lovely, cosy addition to summer evenings outside with a tipple in hand.
  • To keep things economical, you can offer guests a welcome bundle of wood to get them started, then either have an honesty box for using more or let them know where they can find more to top up.

Our partner, Glowing Embers, are offering Sykes owners 10% off online, so check out your Owner Offers page for more information on their outdoor heating range and get some garden inspiration!

Is your property pet-friendly? Make sure any outdoor areas are well enclosed, by patching up any gaps in fences or gates to help prevent any escapes and keep four-legged guests safe. A secure garden really does makes all the difference for customers, when it comes to bookings. If you’ve achieved this in your property, be sure to let us know, so that we can add it to your website listing and help you secure more bookings.

If you own a family-friendly property and offer play equipment for your younger guests to use, you’ll need to check the safety of any swings or climbing frames in children’s play areas, during every changeover.

Ponds & pools: It’s your responsibility as a property owner to make sure any areas where there is a potential risk, are made as safe as possible. Pools should should have appropriate warning signs and a life ring to hand, in case of emergencies.

For ponds, putting a net or grid across prevents accidents helps prevent happening – not to mention keeps birds from lunching on your fish!

Hot tub: How could we not mention hot tubs?! They add a touch of luxury to your property and high on the customer wishlist. In fact, properties with a hot tub can make up to 54% more than other properties in the same region.

We’re pleased to say that Sykes property owners have access to exclusive offers on 4 and 6 person hot tubs from the company Superior Spas, so don’t forget to take a look on your Exclusive Sykes Owner offer pages.

Maintaining your garden: from lawn maintenance to weeding, keeping your garden’s aesthetics in tiptop condition makes for a great first impression.

If you struggle with regular upkeep in your garden, our Managed Services team here at Sykes HQ is happy to help you find gardeners in your area from our network of trusted suppliers.

To get in touch with our Managed Services, simply call 01244 617724.


How does Sykes promote the property price changes that it manages for me?

Back in our February Q&A, you asked us how our Income Maximisation options work for property owners signed up with the Sykes family.

As a quick reminder, Income Maximisation is the unique pricing system used by our pricing experts to constantly examine local and national market trends and respond to customer demand so that you achieve maximum income and occupancy.

When demand’s high, you can secure a higher income per booking as we raise prices in line with your income maximisation option.

Likewise, during those quieter periods, you’ll increase the chances of occupancy as we bring your prices in line with market demand for that time.

To promote these price changes for your property, we use highly targeted marketing campaigns. This includes targeted email reminder campaigns to customers who have previously shown an interest in booking your property, and, later, promoting any adjustments in its price. These campaigns have been proven to convert at a really good rate, generating extra bookings for owners.

Here’s how our email campaign works, looking at our owners’ pricing 12 to 24 months ahead:

  • When we plan for the busy holiday seasons of 2020 and 2021, we set all our property prices to peak rates until we have confirmation of the school holiday dates, to make sure your revenue stays protected.
  • As soon as the years’ school holiday dates are confirmed, every property’s pricing will be altered to reflect peak and off-peak holiday times.
  • When this adjustment has been made, you’re automatically included in a marketing email, letting customers who are interested in your property know about the new prices.
  • From that point, however, only owners who are signed up to Income Maximisation will have their prices adjusted according to shifts in the market, in order to optimise their revenue.
  • Plus, unlike properties with fixed pricing, those on Income Maximisation get to enjoy the added benefit of increased customer exposure, since you’re showcased in our targeted pricing emails every time your price adapts to demand.

If you’d like to chat about your property’s pricing, give the Sykes Pricing Team a call on 01244 617977 and select option 4.

Find out more about Income Maximisation in our post on How to Price Your Holiday Home.


I’ve just spotted that the Sykes Gem Awards 2019 have just been released for property owners – what’s the benefit of applying?

Sykes Gems is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ to our owners, and the awards are now in their third year.

They’re here to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication our property owners put in to delivering positive holiday experiences for every one of their guests, and we believe they’re the only awards of their kind within the holiday letting industry.

There are 30 categories, and each category has a gold, silver and bronze winner. Our winning owners will receive prizes that include:

A trophy and certificate, which you can give pride of place in your winning property, the chance for additional PR coverage in regional and national publications, plus a Sykes Gem badge added to your online property page, so that customers know your property’s a winner!

Here are some comments on Sykes Gems from our previous winners:

I think the Sykes Gems are a fabulous idea. We always try to maintain the highest standards, but it’s so great to be recognised. A huge ‘pat on the back’.
– J. Pritchard, Grafton Mill (ref. 930672)

We were absolutely thrilled to receive the Sykes Gem award in the Customers’ Choice category. It’s certainly been well acknowledged by our customers.
– F. Saxon, Hope Cottage (ref. 928194)

Property nominations for Sykes owners are now open until Wednesday 6th June, so get nominating and good luck!

If you can’t find your application form, give our Owner Team a call on 01244 617977 (select option 5), and we’ll send you a new copy.

Not signed up your holiday property with us just yet? Don’t worry, the Gems will be back for another year in 2020 so you’ll never miss out on the chance to become a winner!

That’s all we have time for this month, but please keep sharing your questions either using your owner newsletter surveys or via the link with this video.
Bye for now.

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