We asked cottages.com to help us to turn our unused agricultural buildings at Ash Farm, into beautiful holiday cottages that would help to generate a new stream of income for the family business.
However, it wasn’t as simple as stripping back the barns and putting up some furniture. The project required quite a lengthy negotiation with local planning authorities, but once we were given the green light it was full steam ahead with the refurbishment.
We wanted to maintain a lot of the original charm and characteristics of the building, with its exposed beams and wooden floors, while also giving it a modern and comfortable revamp for holidaymakers.
It was great to meet with our local Regional Manager, Chris Otty, so early on in the development process. As full-time farmers, we both needed a helping hand with managing the cottages. Chris fell in love with Ash Farm on first sight and he worked closely alongside us to help us realise the buildings' full holiday letting potential.
Chris said: “It was clear from the first visit that there was huge potential with these properties. The conversion was so sensitively planned, each property was a classic example of a traditional farm building which would appeal to thousands of holidaymakers.”
We had some clear ideas of the decoration and furnishings we wanted, and we worked together with cottages.com so that we could achieve a Visit England quality status, ensuring a good pricing structure and most importantly, attract regular bookings.
Cottages.com also helped us to convert another of our properties, The Old Dairy, into a holiday home with easy access for disabled holidaymakers.
The first property we opened was The Granary back in July 2010. We secured so many bookings that we decided it was worthwhile developing the remaining properties – with our second one, The Loft taking four weeks of bookings in just 48 hours.
Chris understood our news from the very beginning, and it was great to have him on board to help us bring the finished cottages to the attention of holidaymakers.
I’d advise anyone considering going into the holiday lettings business to just put in all your effort and give it a go!
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