Free holiday rental listing with GiteSearch


(James Higginson) #1


NEWSFLASH!



Gitesearch has been up and running for over a year now, so I thought it was about time to catch up with SFN member Sarah Patterson for an update. Sarah says, “2014 was a great year for GiteSearch, we launched at the start of the year started and were thrilled with the tremendous reaction. In a market place dominated by ‘big players’ our philosophy of being friendly, approachable, transparent and providing an easy to use website seems to have struck a chord with owners.



We've received some great feedback along the way and as we promised, we've listened and then reacted. We've recently made big changes to GiteSearch and we have really improved our offering for both owners and holidaymakers.



Throughout 2014 we saw a steady rise in the number of visitors to GiteSearch. We realise that building up a website of this nature and getting our name known in the market place requires a significant investment in time and money. We want to get it right. We're committed to this investment and will continue to listen to your feedback.

We believe our work in 2014 has produced a website that meets the needs of gite owners and our aim in 2015 is to concentrate on establishing GiteSearch as a key player in the marketplace. With this in mind, we've extended our free trial period until February 2016. This represents a major financial commitment on our part that we believe will be well worth the investment in the long run.

This means that adding your property on GiteSearch as a Featured listing is entirely free until February 2016!

GiteSearch exceeded our expectations last year and this year we want to do even better - more properties, more attractions, more visitors, more enquiries and more bookings!"



Place your free property listing here


Why Gitesearch?


Renting out a gîte or two can be a great way to fund your French lifestyle or simply make your property pay its way. Running a gîte sounds simple and conjures up images of lazy days spent by the pool, chatting to your guests over a chilled glass of wine. But gîte owners will tell you that the reality is somewhat different; long days spent cleaning and bed-making, guests arriving late, extra guests, unexpected guests, endless maintenance and perhaps, trickiest of all, anxiously waiting for the bookings to come in!


Getting bookings is a key part of your business strategy and you need to be proactive. This means getting the word out and advertising. And, this can mean putting your hand in your pocket at a point when cash-flow is tight.


The ideal advertising option would be a sort of ‘try before you buy’ deal so when SFN member Sarah Patterson got in touch to tell me about a new site for gîte owners I was keen to find out more.


As a French property owner herself, Sarah knows about the problems that owners face as she explains, “I found that using some of the bigger and better known rental sites meant that whilst I was getting bookings, the charges kept creeping up. I also felt that I was just a statistic and that the overall customer service experience was not great. I wanted a more personal approach so I was delighted to take on the role of Marketing Manager for GîteSearch and be in a position to provide my customers with a tailor made approach.


GîteSearch is totally independent and we are proud of that. We’re very keen to work with the gîte owners and take on board their feedback and insight. Our aim is to create a product that works for them which is why we don’t just have a database of gîtes. We know holiday makers would rather visit recommended places and attractions so we include these in our site. This means people can book their holiday secure in the knowledge that there are tried and tested attractions in the area.”



Place your free property listing here



"Sarah and her team also understand the issues faced by both sides, “We’re a small team and although based in the UK, many of us own property in France. We have all spent many holidays in self catering gîtes across the many regions of France. We’ve stayed in stunning gîtes that we didn’t want to leave, gîtes where we were made to feel like part of the family and in gîtes that were not quite as described! We’ve experienced both the good and the bad sides of running gîtes. We can relate to the daily problems that owners face and the minefield involved in marketing. We understand what’s important: excellent customer service, complete honesty and a simple, easy-to-use website.”


To prove that they can achieve results and whilst they continue to build a reputation in the market place they are offering property owners the fantastic opportunity to list their gîte/s entirely free of charge until February 2016.


Sarah explains, “After February 2016 we hope that we will have made a good enough impression for owners to continue with a (paid for) ‘Featured’ listing and any owners who choose not to do this, can continue to list their property on the site with a free 'Basic' listing.”


This is a fabulous opportunity for members to list their properties so I suggest you pop over to GîteSearch and get those bookings coming in!"


(Elloise Bennett) #2

Dear Sarah,

I would also like to be added to the list of people to contact when you are ready for B&B listings!


(Steve Baker) #3

Hi Sarah, Does your site register other types of accommodation e.g Mobile Homes?


(Sarah Patterson) #4

Hi Jackie, please could you send me an email to sarah@gitesearch.com with your owner reference number and I will look into it for you.


(Jackie Hill) #5

hi Sarah,

I have opened a customer account but the link for the dashboard to enter my property details does not appear to work. I am using firefox. perhaps it is a hiccup your end? please advise..


(Sarah Patterson) #6

Hi Jan, unfortunately we do not accept B&B at the moment. We are a new site dedicated, for the time being, on advertising gites. Once we have become established we plan to introduce either a B&B section or a B&B sister site. I hope you understand our position at the moment but I will keep your interest on record and contact you again if developments allow us to provide you with an advertising opportunity. Good look for the coming season.


(Jan Thorpe) #7

Hi Sarah, is this free listing open to B&B owners too? we have several links to attractions on our website www.le-petit-logis.com We are located in the Bocage area of Deux Sevres& have a small B&B with seperate facilities for guests to prepare meals in the summer kitchen or BBQ.

Jan


(Sarah Patterson) #8

Hi Catherine, I’m glad everything seems to be going smoothly now. We have a team who add attractions to the dedicated attractions section of GiteSearch so that you don’t have to take up room on your property listing detailing them. Based on your feedback regarding attractions we have asked our developers to set up a dedicated email address to allow customers to suggest attractions directly to our attractions team. This will be implemented next week. In the mean time if you would like to email John with details of your local attractions he will pass them on to our attractions team to add to GiteSearch. Once listed they will appear under your gite to encourage visitors to your area. If these are listed on your own website just send John your web address and we will do the rest!


(Catherine Wales) #9

Hi Sarah, and yes, thank you the link is now working and I've been busy filling in the details. I've tried to put some links to useful sites (such as for the Tour de France and for the local Tourist Office) but don't see any immediate tools for this. And I'm a total novice so have had to include them in full. I wanted to include a lot more such as for Marciac jazz festival site etc., but it looks rather clunky to have them spelled out in full. Any ideas/suggestions?


(Sarah Patterson) #10

Hi Catherine, I noticed that at about 5pm this evening you began to add your gite. You have swapped various emails with your account manager, John, and I hope all of your concerns were answered. I would like to repeat John’s offer for you to suggest attractions in your area. We have found that holidaymakers are much more receptive to attractions recommended by local gite owners than us just adding a random selection.

It was always our intention to develop GiteSearch with as much input from owners and visitors as possible. In this way we hope to stand apart from the ‘big players’ that currently dominate this industry. It may take some time but we hope that the website will develop into a valuable asset for both owners and visitors. We pride ourselves on the level of customer service that we offer and hope that the help you have received today is evidence of this.

Hi Neil, thanks for offering to suggest attractions in your area. Please feel free to send over any details that you feel will be of interest to people visiting your area and I will ensure that our attractions team add them to GiteSearch.


(neil whitehead) #11

Obviously a few teething troubles but if you any help with attractions around here please contact me


(Catherine Wales) #12

Have set up a profile to add my gite but the site isn't really working. Despite verifying my email address, which was easy enough to do, it simply brought me the web page that gave me once again the option to sign up. !!! And even when signed in, no option to add the gite. Teething problems perhaps? I notice also that for the Haute Pyrenees (my region) it displays no results for any attractions - nothing? Not even the Tour de France?