The BIG plan.
So there we were, the new owners, so many ideas of what we can do and what we want to do. Now to start turning those ideas into reality.
First thing and most important was to get it known to the world that we are now in business, so after agreeing a name and buying the Domain names, and with help from some friends the website was born. www.french-escapes.com (and .co.uk) became a reality. But how do we get it out into the big wide world of search engines. Easy answer was to get advertising in place with the big hitters of holiday renting. Taking on board something we learnt on a ‘Gite Management’ course we did last year, we decided to hit the road with Chez Nous. They are the biggest (at the time) and have proved to be the most successful in getting bookings. We had a few others that we soon dropped as they did not perform at all.
We had drawn up business plans for what we thought was every possible scenario. It’s amazing that at the time we had a “worst case” plan done on the Euro exchange rate falling to an unprecedented 1.40. We were working around the 1.55 rate at the time.
So with what appeared to be a reasonable first year for bookings we decided that our 5 year plan was on the cards. This plan was to be living in La Grange running the other 2 houses as guest homes, possibly all year round. We worked out that we would be able to clear the vast majority of the mortgage within those 5 years with the selling of our UK home adding to the pot. That we would be able to secure enough summer rentals to see us survive the year. Then if we had a really good year we could then start making the improvements and renovations that are still needed.
Without going into details, as it is a full story on its own, lets just say that the best laid plans and all that…. Well the 5 year plan never got off the drawing board really. The following years proved to be as equally rewarding as they were devastating…
Remote management is stressful believe us.