Phuketvillarentals.com provided products and support to customers and projects at a level not seen before from a property rental company.
PIPS performed a major upgrade of Phuketvillarentals.com in 2008. Positive feedback from Owners and guests prompted us to reconfigure the entire site to provide more functionality for enquiries and a more streamlined process for owners.
Owners can now check the availability of their home online, automatically receive notification of a booking and can chech their rental history.
Guests are now able to narrow down their search by price, number of rooms and location of the home. The automation of the system allows for a reduction in the "human factor" whilst still allowing for direct contact with a reservationists via our Skype connections.
We will continue to refine the site with all the ideas and suggestions received to make it more user friendly.
We maintain our top 5 position in Google and have the necessary AdWord campaigns in place to keep us there for 2009. Submissions to the major search engines has increased the visibility of your home to new heights which will be of benefit.
We maintain web adverts with the most important international holiday home rental portals and include some of the "up and comers" in our plans.
We also maintain a solid program of banner ads and listings in directory sites which see an increase in delivering enquiries to our door.
AdSence is a Google advertising product that we will be incorporating into our websites in 2009. You may be familiar with these from sites you have visited that provide an “Ads by Google” section. We will be placing these on our websites that provide information on the developments we host rental sites for with the intention of raising visibility on the web. PIPS is the only company that hosts estate rental websites at no extra cost to the Owners on that development.
We have been courting whlesale agents and with hotels now providing serviced homes as part of their portfolios, agents are now showing more interest in this area. Owing to the similar specifications in the apartments, the level of facilities available, a 5 month contract with a wholsaler was concluded late in 2007 for properties at Club Lersuang.
This being the first deal of its kind in a property allowing the Owners such latitude in their rentals is a significant event and shows that it is possible to structure these kinds of deals and to take advantage of this source of business.
Print advertising is taking more of a back seat in attracting guests these days. We did run a campaign in the Phuket Gazette for the relaunch of Phuketvilarentals.com but will be careful in our allocations in 2009.
Of course multiple entries to the Gazette Guide and the Online Guide have been placed. A total of 6 properties / companies in 5 different
categories means that you get some of the best exposure possible for 10US$
- New Offices
A print ad campaign and party was held to launch our new offices in March. The event was well attended by the Press, Owners, guests and friends alike. A bit of rain did not hamper the spirit of the event and paid almost immediate dividends in enquiries.
- Phuket Race Week
Phuketvillarentals.com sponsored S/Y EOS over Phuket Race Week. This together with sponsored prizes provided some great awareness in this well healed market segment, which has stood us in good stead in the past. Unfortunately, EOS is no longer in Phuket but we hope to ally ourselves with our old friend John Clayton, Owner of Millennium, a 72ft racer and the largest in the fleet, this year.
- Kamala Go Surfing Contest
You may know Allan is South African and a surfer, Having won this event in the past PIPS support is relied upon. Ok, so this was a more in support of the locals but locals have clients too and greatly appreciated our involvement and support of local orientated sporting events.
- Phuket Elite
We ran a number of promotions through Phuket Elite, our promotional vehicle. Considering the international market, price is going to be key in 2009's occupancy figures and we have a fine bouquet of promotions on the cards to attract bookings.
Some of the periods we are focusing on are Chinese New Year, Songkran / Easter, Golden Week and family days. We will also be providing attractive rates for the “Green Season” and the international school holiday periods.
The major difference this year is enabling agents to promote the Elite products which although not a great source of business, great to have in place for when things pick up again.
- Just in Time
Forward bookings for holiday rentals are getting shorter as folks plan for the year ahead. We have started to see that bookings are being made closer to the time of arrival and have great plans to take advantage of the fact to secure more bookings.
If you are familiar with lastminute.com or latestays.com you will understand how this works. The main difference being that no one has provided this for holiday homes in Phuket before.
We have launched a "Just in Time" program providing attractive rates for bookings made within 14 days of arrival.
I will be contacting you in the near future with more details as we expand on this winning formula.
We provided support in the form of accommodation prizes and cash to the Phuket International Womes group Soi Dog Foundation and Phuket Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in 2008. Many thanks to all of you who made you home available so that the underprivileged, both human and animal could have a more bearable year. Much appreciated.
Of course we will be sending round the hat this year so please let me know whether you will make your home available again this year. Just for 2 days and we will provide all the services to ensure the prize winner has a great time and donates even more to these worthy causes.
From a rental holiday home perspective, although not as rosy as years past, the bookings from FIT (Foreign Independent Travelers) which makes up the majority of tenants will not decrease as much as bookings from agents or wholesale travel agents. We will therefore be focusing on this market segment in 2009 but developing relationships with our agents and supporting them with product wherever possible to ensure the greatest scope of business sources.
To summarize, this will be a tough year. The hotels say that their figures will be lower than post tsunami and lay-off are immenent. Anyone planning to travel will be extremely price sensitive and discounting from rack rate will be the norm. We will not be discounting more than the agreed 30% on holiday rentals but, as with post tsunami, we may contact you should it be necessary to consider promotions that would take us over that threshold.
Suffice it to say that we will be doing everything in our power to maximize your rentals and constantly strive to provide you with the greatest Full Service holiday home marketing and reservations service in Phuket.
For more information about current market conditions and what we are expecting in the year to come,
please check out an exclusive interview with Allan Mossop by Bill Barnett: