Well, a little over a year ago I started working for CM Property Management, and more specifically as the focus for Hogg & Mitchell Apartments. An awful lot has happened in that 12 months and as 2014 comes to a close I thought it might be the right time to put some of those points down on "paper".
When Hogg & Mitchell's went live so to speak there were:
- two one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment;
- by the end of January that very quickly expaned to two 2-bedroom apartments;
- and grew to four 2-bedrooms at Easter 2014.
- Ready for Halloween we added another one-bedroom apartment and another 2-bedroom!
We now have three 1-bedroom apartments and five 2-bedroom apartments! From strength to strength.
During the summer we were invited to talk on the Mark Paterson Show on BBC Radio Foyle, as a counter-point to a local B&B who was commenting on trade being down - something we most definetly could not agree with!
2014 has been a great year for us and, based on bookings already recieved for 2015 alone, 2015 is going to be an even better year.
All accommodation providers rate their success on occupancy figures and we are no different:
- Annual overall occupancy 58%
- Seasonally adjusted (April - September) 72%
Our web site has improved enormously and now that we are integrated with our own booking engine we have been able to offer some great deals on early bookings, something we couldn't really do with our existing channel manager (although we are of course still accepting bookings through Booking.com, TripAdvisor.com and LateRooms.com to name but a few).
We're taking our tech side to another level in 2015 releasing our own app to support the apartments - offering information any visitor to the city would benefit from, but with additional "locked" features purely for our guests (discounts and offers for local resturants and such).
We've noticed a number of guests coming back for a second, third and even fourth time - and these arent all business guests (which we've also seen a huge rise in bookings from). We are proud of the fact that guests return, and increasingly family members and friends state that such-an-such stayed with you and recommended we try you. We've even had three generations of the same family stay with us, on three different occassions.
If our plans and forecasts for 2015 are accurate, its going to be a good year - we now have a years worth of figures to compare against, so watch this space next year!