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  • Holiday Lets

    Creating "purple cows" in holiday lets

    As many of you know, Nick & I are fans of Seth Godin, the American author and thought leader.

    We have read all his books and loves the concepts he explains simply and clearly in them. Seth came up with the concept of the "purple cow" in business.

    "Seth Godin says that the key to success is to find a way to stand out--to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.

    Godin himself may be the best example of how this theory works: The marketing expert is a demigod on the Web, a best-selling author, highly sought after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger.

    "He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet, and his essays and opinions are widely read and quoted online and off." ~ Forbes.com.

    I thought the tribe could work together to create "purple cow" touches for our holiday lets to help them stand out for the crowd.

    Here are mine:

    Fluffy towels

    Dressing Gowns


    Comfortable mattresses

    Hotel quality bed linen


    Molton Brown toiletries and handwash

    Beach games

    BBQ and fire pit

    Dogs allowed  (doggy chew on arrival!)

    Welcome pack > Using local produce and suppliers to support the local economy.

    Supporting local artisans

    Guide to local eateries & restaurants with discount vouchers

    Guide to the house (how to operate AV equipment etc) plus surrounding area and days out ideas.

    Tea, coffee, sauces, salt, pepper, Ribena included.

    Picnic basket

    Beach mattress

    Somewhere to hang wetsuits

    Books and mags for a rainy day

    Flatscreen TV

    iPod docking station, surroundsound, DVD, Playstation and Games.

    I just came across Walking Books on Twitter and thought these would be a nice addition. (Publisher and online retailer of a wide range of walking guides, maps and books on Britain's best scenic walks.)

    Anyone else got any other ideas to add?


    Books to share and swap

    Childrens books, toys and games if appealing to the family market (not to mention highchairs etc)


    Hope everyone is well.





    You have more or less just described the perfect holiday cottage.

    The only thing I can add is to make sure you have a good set of kitchen knives with sharpener, also a vegetable peeler that works.

    You mentioned DVD player, I would also include a small library of DVD's.

    Kitchen roll, cling film foil, is also useful for picnics with maybe a few plastic containers.

    I've just come back from a week in Scotlland and one of the things we could have done with was a note of where we could put our recycling. As it happens I found a car park in the village but it only took paper and tins and I ended up taking plastics back home with me.

    It's all those little things that add up to an experience that you never forget.

    I would also include a floor plan in your marketing (normally more useful for bigger properties). I go away with another family so it's worth noting where everyone is going to sleep.




    That just reminded me, yes James is correct, include a high chair as well as a travel cot.


    I would also have instructions next to or near appliances eg cooker, microwave etc rather than stuck in a drawer that you only discover on your last day!


    I came across this recently - swan towels!


    It's certainly different.



    @duncan Great additions - thank you!  We have laminated notices about how to re-cycle.  Also details of rubbish collections. 


    @James - very hotel like!  On our cruises, the steward made a different towel animal every day.  Another nice touch!


    I have been considering a cottage near Afan Forest Park mountain bike centre and would specialise in MTB and walking holidays.

    I would then offer a MTB basic workshop and power washer to help maintain and wash MTB  


    We are just in the process of renovating a family friendly Cornish cottage. With this cottage, we want children of all ages to be catered for, as we believe if the children are happy, then so are mum & dad!


    In addition to all the great ideas so far, our list includes;


    Children's drinks & treats in the welcome pack.

    Stair gates top & bottom of stairs.

    Bed bars, cots, high chairs, steriliser for baby bottles, guards for electrical sockets.

    A childs buggy.

    Buckets & spades, crabbing lines, bodyboards, etc.

    Wii & Playstation for the older children.

    Kids activity centre in the garden with swing, slide, etc.

    Trampoline for all ages.


    We are also going to try proving an extra fridge in the utility room stocked with beer, wine & soft drinks. This will be on an honesty basis and the guests can leave the money for what they have used.


    Before guests have chosen to stay where to stay, we believe how you present your business is really important. Working with Nick & Vanessa we have produced this new promotional video that gives our customers a taste of our fantastic location and shows the quality of our holiday lets.



    We hope this is going to be our "Purple Cow" and make our business stand out from the crowd!!


    Good stuff Alan.  It was good fun filming the video and Nick & I have fallen in love with Looe now!As we don't have children, we don't cater for them in our holiday lets as much as we should!  Smile  It's always a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of your potential client to understand what they need and the family market is a huge one.

    BTW ... You'll be pleased to know that Wadebridge (where your latest refurb project is)  has seen the biggest house price rise in the whole of the South West over the last ten years.  (See Seaside House Prices May 2011).Further reading:  U.K. holiday lets for cashflow/the renaissance of the great British...


    Great video Alan and Dee,


    Those who proactively market will make good money out of holiday lettings. The video is a great example of showing something different.


    Well done Vanessa and Nick on the production as well, very good.


    In some ways I wish others made this much effort on holiday lettings as it would make the market so much more vibrant (but I also wish that others don't because that might affect my own market!)





    Agree with all that's been said so far, though not so sure about the towel swans - bit cheesey IMHO!!


    In a large holiday house, the games room was one of the biggest hits with everyone. This contained pool table, separate games table, TV, video/DVD player, selection of vids and DVDs, children's books, table for colouring, painting and so on. We were fortunate in having the space to provide this, and people really enjoyed it.


    Second biggest hit was probably the library - quiet room full of books with no electronic equipment!


    Someone once suggested to us a few spare pairs of wellies, as people often forget them! We left a couple of spares, but not 14 pairs!!


    @Robert - don't know what an MTB is but if it's a bike, then that's a good idea and one that can be marketed to the specific audience. Wales Tourist Board (or whoever they are now) have the facility to promote this.


    Kind regards,


    Trading as Mozaique Property

    Buying, selling, renovating and letting property throughout South Wales



    Jayne Owen @jayneowen

    Editor and Writer: Your Property Network magazine

    Investor: Mozaique Property, South & West Wales and South West England

    Occasional reviewer at The Property Bookshop (@Property_Books)