The CottageCorner

October 2020 Edition

A Word from Our CEO

There was nothing finer than waking up on the first day of Fall with cool crisp weather in Florida. After a brutally hot summer in South Florida, it was as if the world was giving us a win! Fall will be beautiful. It’s “Harvest” time…. and I think we are right on track as you will notice in our words below…

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We are moving into the new season with ease. We are getting used to no longer having “off seasons” but rather “shoulder seasons” and the prep work that goes along with that. We are working on our 2022 rates (a gentle reminder that our past guests can book 18 months in advance, so if you want to block some family time for your Florida homes, please log into your portal!) We are well prepared for Hurricane Season, since we created our Hurricane Protocol program in 2018, so it feels good to be ready.

Unfortunately, I must take a moment to announce the resignation of Amanda Smith. Some of you have grown to know her over the years in her role as our Marketing Coordinator. She will be missed deeply around here, and we definitely feel the weight of her absence. But it is with great pride that we see her moving on to bigger and better things. Amanda has decided to begin her entrepreneurial journey of her own! She is now a free lance marketing consultant and we are very excited to watch her grow and prosper. We see great things in her future! At this time, we do not have a Marketing Coordinator, and we are actively looking for someone who can fill her very big shoes. If any of you have questions about our marketing strategies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Barry. (And certainly, if you see any inconsistencies or mistakes in our marketing, please help by pointing it out to us… and don’t tell Amanda!)

I hope you enjoy what my Crew brings to you this month. And I hope you are all happy, safe and healthy!

With Love… The CottageCrew.

A Word from Our Vice President

We are approaching the end of the most significant stretch of the hurricane season and we are very thankful that the closest encounter thus far was Tropical Storm Sally, which passed through in mid September which dropped about 4″ of rain in a 24 hour period…

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The rest of September had been one of the more active storm seasons that I can remember with even five active tropical cyclones for a brief time on Sept. 14, including Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy and Tropical Depression Twenty-One. While that’s not a record, it’s only the second time the Atlantic basin has had five or more tropical cyclones at one time.  Luckily for all of us, these storms either developed early and hung out in the middle of the Atlantic or developed and made landfall in Texas, Louisiana, and the Florida panhandle.
The month of September has had 10 named storm formations through Sept. 21, which is a record for the most on record for the season’s busiest month.  September’s previous record for the most named storm formations was eight in 2002, 2007 and 2010.
I highly recommend a website blog called Tropical Tidbits if you are interested in geeking out when named storms enter the Atlantic Basin.
We have continued a proactive and strategic approach to our home maintenance which includes the following:
  • aggressively ensuring our maintenance inspection team is getting into all of our properties and generating reports (as always you have access to them in your expenses folder in the owners portal)
  • conducting inventory inspections in preparation for our holiday season
  • conducting our bi-annual A/C maintenance through Sean McCutcheon’s in October
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I am always here to help!

A Word from Our Chief Acquisitions Officer

Hello again All!

September has been another great month for the vacation home rental industry.  We find ourselves still in uncharted territory with booking trends due to the pandemic, but our analytics team is working hard to capture all that they can to achieve our 2020 financial goal.

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Their work has been paying off as we keep exceeding our expected goals month after month and September was no exception.  This, to me, is just a further reminder that this industry is here to stay and is capable of withstanding almost any economic environment.  People will always want to travel and experience new destinations with their family and friends.  And what better way to do so than to rent a private home in this uniquely wonderful place that we call Siesta Key.  Our percentage of returning guests is still on the rise and has exceeded 25% of our annual bookings.  This reminds us that there is something special here and that people are willing to return time and time again because of their past experiences with us.  As for Acquisitions, we are still adding new properties to our portfolio at a comfortable and sustainable rate.  If any of you as owners would like a personal dive into your revenue standings and projections, please contact me and I would be happy to run through those numbers with you individually to help give you an idea of what to expect in the future with your investment homes.  As always, I hope all else is well and that you all are happy and healthy.  I look forward to speaking to all of you soon!  Cheers!

A Word from Our Director of Sales & Predictive Analytics

Happy Fall Y’all!

Sorry, that is a bit of my North Carolina coming out, but we are knee deep in our Fall Season right now! As Director of Sales and Predictive Analytics, I am keeping up with the COVID-19 trends, updates, location bans, quarantine restrictions, international travel, and more. Come with me as I discuss more about what we are doing to predict trends, why this is important to us, and what this all means for you in our relationship….

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Imagine following trends of future reservations, upcoming arrivals, cancellations, location radius’, and more for years (as this is my strength.) This can be considered easy data entry to statistical relevance in regards to many of these topics. As a small company, we would use our data and adjust to other successful companies’ strategies that would work for our business model. This is a learning adventure in and of itself. Then COVID-19 slapped our industry, our country, and our world in the face. It was a wake up call, as nearly everything that occurred in the past, cannot actively help us for the future. Now, we need to use historical data as a reference point for learning. However, to forecast and understand what is to come, we had to stop watching and stop being behind the curve. We must be innovative and lead our industry. We need to take an approach that influences guests that are in driving distance, provide enhanced cleaning protocols and put these directly into the description of your homes, provide guests with the option to use our current promotion “Book Care Free,” and more. There was a quote I saw the other day, to whom I don’t remember the author, but it caught my attention; “The future belongs to those who see it coming.” Not one of us could anticipate COVID-19. But as a team here at The Cottages on the Key, it is our livelihood at stake to adjust to this new world and take the most from it. We grind day in and day out to produce the best results for you, the owners, our treasured guests that make this train run, and ourselves.

To wrap up, this ultimately affects you all as it obviously alters your income. As this is indirectly stated to you all, the more that we make for you, the more that we also make. Our job is for you to succeed, and when we meet or exceed your revenue goals, we also feel the reciprocating revenue impact. This pushes us to be creative and find the best way to create income and rentals for you and your respective homes. Finding ways to boost your revenue through optimal rates, marketing exposure, guest experiences, and responsible guest vetting makes this relationship run much more smoothly than just relying on old habits to get us through this trying time.

I hope you all are safe and healthy, and as always, if there is anything you need, do not hesitate to reach out to us!




A Word from Our Quality Control Manager

FALL is in the air! Visions of orange, red and yellow leaves, pumpkins and turkey twirl through our minds, as the soothing smell of apple pie has us dreaming of coziness. It is in this spirit that our Quality Control Team aims their efforts to a special welcome of all guests during the upcoming Holiday Season…

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Although restaurants and bars have lifted their gathering restrictions in Florida, we predict the pandemic will drive most of our guests to opt for a home cooked meal during their Thanksgiving stay this year.

Rest assured that your kitchens are abounding with roasting pans, basters, baking dishes and all accessories needed for a true culinary experience that will leave our guests amazed! Basters were ordered in bulk.  Last year’s roasting pans are being inspected and replaced as needed.  And of course, The Cottages will follow our annual Thanksgiving tradition of providing a holiday pie to every family joining us this year!  We encourage you to reach out to Fallon if you plan on staying with us this year, and have a special holiday pie request.

The following are current and forward-looking key highlights:

* Key Highlights

  • Well equipped kitchens throughout the year with emphasis on family gatherings and traditional holiday dinners.
  • Detailed inspections performed during the slower season with detection of any leaks, landscape, or other ad-hoc problems.
  • Toilet paper scarcity (COVID-19) has declined. Our high-quality toilet paper product is expected to be replenished in all homes by November.
  • Effective today, a “Deep Cleaning” program will launch with bi-annual cadence including but not limited to curtain-washing, sofa cover washing, high ceiling chandeliers and fans, crown molding, door panels, and other detailed cleaning focus areas.

* Did you know?

  • On average our team delivers one thousand cupcakes a month!

We thrive to improve every aspect of Quality Control as we grow and are open to any suggestions you may have.


A Word from Our Executive Assistant

Can you believe it is October already? Autumn is my favorite season. It is the time of the year in which our CottageCrew has the ability to take a step back, appreciate our achievements, and learn where we can improve…

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I am very excited to introduce you to our most recent creation, CottageCollective! This new council is composed of members of our CottageCrew with a special interest in our social media strategy. CottageCollective meets weekly to identify methods of supplementing our social media content to produce various campaigns with goals ranging from increasing our following as means to generate more name recognition, to promoting homes to benefit their yearly revenue goals. Social media is a multifaceted tool that can assist us in better understanding trends and creating a dialogue with our past, present, and future guests. We are also delighted to have initiated another opportunity to further cross-train our staff. CottageCollective meetings serve as a creative outlet to our Crew, to think outside of our normal to-do’s, which we find to be extremely important in maintaining a positive office culture.

This month, be on the lookout for some of our new campaigns, like Cottage of the Week  (featuring our traveling pumpkins) and Five-Star Review Friday! Our followers will also be seeing more faces of our CottageCrew! Do not forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Have suggestions of how we can improve our social media management? Let us know. My email is always open! 

Until Next Month, #CottageOn!