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BETTER, BY A COAST & COUnTRY MILE… So what really goes on, to make sure


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A HOLIDAY LETTINGS AGENCY 7 Dart Marina


embark on a long journey to the region, these customers are looking forward to their afternoon ‘check-in’ and the opportunity to unpack before relaxing in the sunshine with a glass of fizz, or heading out for a walk along the edge of the River Dart with a delicious locally made ice cream. For a holiday lettings agency like Coast & Country Cottages, the busy changeover days of Friday and Saturday entail much more than simply taking keys from the reluctantly departing guests, or handing keys out to those happily arriving for their holiday. Coast & Country Cottages are one of the very few agencies in the area to offer owners a fully managed service, arranging everything from cleaning and gardening to property maintenance and winter checks. In the hours before arrival an extraordinary amount of effort is put in to preparing a property for incoming tenants. With over 120 cottages in Dartmouth alone, sleeping up to 12 people, there are as many as 300 bathrooms to clean and in excess of 1,000 beds to change in the course of a weekend!


F 5 Ridge Hill, Dartmouth


or the majority of holiday makers heading down to a cottage in South Devon, this is something they have been excitedly anticipating for months. As they


a holiday property is ready for arriving guests? Before anything else, a team briefing takes place at the start of a busy changeover weekend. Crucial information is passed amongst team members regarding any tenant require- ments, individual maintenance issues and any minor problems - that may have come to light over the week – to be resolved. At 10.00am - the designated check-


out time for departing guests - keys are returned en masse and the task begins of ensuring they are all back in the office, ready for the cleaners and the changeover team. Soon after this, the cleaners begin arriving to collect their linen and keys before heading off to complete their cleaning. Depending on the size of the cottage, it may take a team of three or more cleaners to prepare the property within the time frame, whilst smaller ones can be ‘turned around’ in a matter of hours by one conscientious housekeeper.


Over the next few hours, the team With over 120 cottages in


Dartmouth alone, sleeping up to 12 people, there are as many as 300 bathrooms to clean and in excess of 1,000 beds to change in the course of a weekend!


spend time preparing for their change- over inspections, and taking telephone calls from a variety of people including contractors and last minute enquirers. Often during this time of year, where there is last minute availability, book- ings will come in at very late notice! At around 1.00pm, the property


checks begin. Coast & Country Cottages Dartmouth office has a team of up to four people who head out to inspect 10 or so properties each, in the space of just a few hours (flat, comfortable shoes are a must!) The properties are checked to ensure they are clean and well presented, that all equipment is working, and that indi- vidual requirements are met (for instance a cot and high chair are provided if requested). The Coast & Country


The Linhay, near Dartmouth


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