On 17th May 2019 we opened our doors to the short-term let market and took our first booking as a business. I am very pleased, and proud, to be writing this blog over 1 year later to reflect on our first year and say Happy 1st Birthday to Hilltop Serviced Apartments.
A warm start
As you can imagine, starting up an short-term let business
at the beginning of the summer period made for a brilliant first few months,
but it wasn’t without its learning curves along the way. Though we have been in
the property sector for several years, short-term let was a new venture, and to begin
during the height of summer was exactly what we needed to gain a vast amount of
experience, knowledge and guest interactions.
Leisure stays were a predominant feature from May to September,
resulting in a high turn over of guests and plenty of background work. Our priority
from day one has always been to maintain the highest possible standard of
cleanliness and quality within the apartments themselves, and the summer
certainly taught us that this is something you have to live and breathe within
the SA business.
A shift in focus
After a flying start the worry was always that the winter
months would bring with them a shortage of bookings. However, we took this quieter
period as an opportunity to really focus on the corporate market and build
relationships with businesses and working professionals alike. Though this took
some time, the fruits of our labour are still showing today and in particular
January and February 2020 saw our best performance to date, with some wonderful
corporate clients who we were delighted to host.
The last few months of our first year as Hilltop SA were as
challenging as they get, and of course not just for ourselves but for every
business around the world as we have all dealt with the unprecedented pandemic
of Covid-19. I am very grateful that we were able to cover our overheads during
the UK lockdown and would like to thank the team at Hilltop SA for their huge
efforts during this difficult time.
Achievements and Awards
I cannot finish this blog without mentioning my two favourite achievements of our first year. At the top of the list is most definitely earning the ‘Superhost’ status with Airbnb for 3 consecutive quarters! This is closely followed by our current rating of 9.4 out of 10 on Booking.com.
Although the next few weeks and months are uncertain times
for us all, it has been very rewarding to look back and reflect on the year
just gone. I look forward to what will hopefully be a safer and healthier time
for us all, and for us to continue to grow as a business.