Fair Or Not? These Cape Town Accommodation Agents Are In Spain & Germany While I Am In Cape Town

 Fair Or Not? These Cape Town Accommodation Agents Are In Spain & Germany While I Am In Cape Town

It’s winter in Cape Town. And some of us are in Spain:

 

And another team member is in Germany drinking beers:

Is that fair? Let me tell you a little about us while I have your attention:

CapeHolidays.info is a family run business. But today I am left alone with the dogs while the women are having fun.

How ddid this all started?

Elmarie started doing such a great job of helping people find accommodation our Cape Town accommodation agency just grew and grew. As a side line job I was responsible for the website and Nandi; an aspiring actress.

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What’s Your Sunrise Like?

 Whats Your Sunrise Like?

Every morning you wake up and what do you see? Smog, or your neighbours face? How long can you see nothing? The other day one of our Cape Town holiday maker’s said he wanted a house with a view. If not he can just as well get fogged over in Johannesburg.

We are lucky enough to run our family business – CapeHolidays.info – from home in Simonstown. Now, if you are awake early in the morning this is what you will see.

Looking out over False Bay we get entertained by massive schools (or is it pods) of dolphins. In the next few months we expect to see Southern Right Whales again. On perfect days their snorting can wake us up.

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3 Top Best Restaurants in Cape Town Area – Have You Been?

 3 Top Best Restaurants in Cape Town Area   Have You Been?

These 3 Cape Town restaurants have made it to the top 100 fine dining restaurants in the world. The Elite Traveller compiled the list based on traveller votes. While trying to show how they compiled the list I also came across another link where they list top Cape Town restaurants. Have a look as list some interesting restaurants. For interest; the top restaurant in the world is Alinea in Chicago.

According to Elite Traveller at number 45 is..

The Test Kitchen

by Luke Dale-Roberts at the The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Cape Town 7915.

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Quick Cape Town Holiday Quiz

 Quick Cape Town Holiday Quiz

 

Cape Town is such a huge area where you can find self catering accommodation. One of the problems most holiday makers have is that they don’t know Cape Town.

Here are seven quick questions to check how well you know Cape Town’s self catering accommodation and other trivia.

 

Short Term Rentals Pushing Up Housing Prices

Short term rental websites been blamed for pushing up housing prices because they remove rooms from the rental market. Chicago Tribune 

 

I suppose anything is possible in the USA. Sometime ago I read that USA hotels are worried about the impact self catering accommodation has on their profitability (but I could not find it).

Chicago Tribune article continues:

Sites like Airbnb, which help landlords list rooms and take a cut of the payments, have operated in a legal gray area in many U.S. markets – and sometimes outright illegally in cities including San Francisco, which outlaws rentals for less than 30 days.

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Why Does Sean Penn Visit Cape Town?

 Why Does Sean Penn Visit Cape Town?

The answer is obvious. Sean Penn is like everyone else. They love Cape Town. There’s something magical about Cape Town. Is it the mountain? The people? The Camps Bay beach? 

Sitting at one of the street restaurants in Camps Bay, with Elmarie and Nandi on a perfect winter’s day, it was obvious why Camps Bay beach is one of the top beaches in the world.

By the way Sean Penn was visiting Dias Tavern. This Portuguese restaurant is a great place for a meal and some serious fun. Not because Sean Penn visited, but because we have been a few times.

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Cape Town Suburbs Map – Plan Your Holiday

 Cape Town Suburbs Map   Plan Your Holiday

Why another Cape Town suburbs map? We have many clients who want to visit Cape Town but does not know that Cape Point is part of Cape Town and more than 60 mins away from Cape Town CBD. And the confusion continue…

Interactive map below

Holidaymakers tell me they want to stay anywhere in Cape Town but when we send the accommodation in Simonstown they think we must be joking. To them Cape Town means V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Clifton and Table Mountain. Anything beyond could just as well be another country.

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Are you giving your guests water?

If you are giving guests water then why not give them DSTV at R29 per day and ADSL at R98 per month + phone line costs?

I know this is extreme but others take this ADSL Bandwidth (internet) idea even further:

Talking to Cape Town accommodation owners I would expect that they are the Perrier class. Or close. But some still don’t invest in free internet.

Today is not about complaining it’s purpose is to share tips with you. 

In the past I believed we needed uncapped ADSL. It’s cheap and the right thing to do. But our ADSL data providers are clever. Uncapped is not uncapped. It’s throttled uncapped. Uncapped is not cheaper. Uncapped is today more expensive than what these providers call capped data. And you may safe a lot money going for capped ADSL.

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Cape Town Self Catering Rates: How Long You Stay

 Cape Town Self Catering Rates: How Long You Stay

You know Cape Town is popular. Very popular. And the most popular time is between Christmas and old Year’s Eve up to 15 January. The period after Christmas, including Old Year’s Eve by far the most popular. (Read this article with the article on Cape Town self catering rates).

Luxury Bakoven Villa

The next most popular time is from 15 December until end February – even up to March and April now. May, June, July, August, September are the quieter months. But then it builds up speed like an African elephant running down Table Mountain.

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Cape Town Self Catering Accommodation Rates

 Cape Town Self Catering Accommodation Rates

What are Cape Town self catering accommodation rates?

Today I will only discuss rates in general. Then in another post I would discuss rates per area, and then how length of stay affects your rate.

You’ll agree that Cape Town self catering accommodation rates depend on where you want to stay, how long you want to stay, the luxury you expect and your budget. And the story can become pretty boring. Today. Let’s keep it short. Let’s start with extravagant luxury:

I am sure you have seen this luxurious mansion in Cape Town:

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Joburg Has Cash Cape Town Has Class As Long As We Don’t Get Blunt

 Joburg Has Cash Cape Town Has Class As Long As We Dont Get Blunt

Last week I told you how popular Cape Town is. And it never ends. Business Day now has a story saying Joburg has the cash but Cape Town has the class. Now we all know that. That’s why you come here for your holidays. And you spend mega bucks. Only R14.6 billion during 2012. But does this give us a reason to blunt our knives?

 

Even Cheryl Cole wants to buy a house in Cape Town. Excellent. We are getting so popular we may become blunt. 

But this story today is not about bragging it’s about bluntness, arrogance or ignorance.

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Cape Town The Best City in The World: The Consequences

 Cape Town The Best City in The World: The Consequences

I read everything on Cape Town. I have to because Cape Town is one of your chosen holiday destinations. But when I get regular newspaper listings saying Cape Town is the best then I get worried. And you may as well.

The New York Times Listed Cape Town as the No 1 City.

The Daily Mail in the UK ride the Mandela wave.

They describe Cape Town:

With the country also celebrating 20 years of democracy this year, it seems the perfect time to explore the country that produced one of the 20th Century’s greatest heroes.:

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If You Are In Cape Town You Are Lucky Enough

 If You Are In Cape Town You Are Lucky Enough

Yes it’s the season. Everyone is in Cape Town. Let me qualify. Everyone who was lucky enough to find accommodation is in Cape Town. We had a very tough time trying to find accommodation for last minute Cape Town holidaymakers. We assisted many of you but lots we could only disappoint. Let’s try harder next time.

If you are lucky enough to wake-up in Cape Town and see this view or just any view of Cape Town then enjoy every moment. How can you not be happy to be in this chilled place. A place where everyone goes at his own pace, even the GP cars are not in a hurry.

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How’s Your Cape Town Bumper Season?

 Hows Your Cape Town Bumper Season?

Yes. The season is upon us. And depending on your view it’s already over. We can now take a short break and then focus on 2014.

At the end of the high-peak late bookings became frustrations. We could not help all the people all the time. Agents and homeowners scrambled. The only way to help them was to go out; break bones and spill buckets of blood. For that we employed our own bonebreaker. And we forced a few reluctant homeowners out of their homes. Ha Ha.

[image credit]

Even with all these enquiries we had a few homeowners we could not help, for various reasons; late to the market, poor photos, virgin homeowners who were greedy or their listings had inadequate descriptions. Here we can only try to do a better job.

Now for more good news.

read:

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Was Mandela A Racist? (An Open Letter To A Small Minority)

 Was Mandela A Racist? (An Open Letter To A Small Minority)

If Mandela forgave all, unconditionally, how can you still justify being a racist? Mandela’s life was stolen from him because racists were afraid of his skin colour. Was this not enough reason for him to hate whites?

Why then can you tell me you don’t want people from Durban, from Johannesburg, or from Africa in your Cape Town holiday home. How can you justify your choice based on colour, nationality or what people eat? How superior are you that some people, according to your judgement, are not fit to stay in your house?

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Let The Madiba Spirit Be With You During Your Festive Cape Town Holidays

 Let The Madiba Spirit Be With You During Your Festive Cape Town Holidays

You are on your way to Cape Town. Or let me say many of you are. It’s going to be great and you cannot wait.

I know you have read a lot about Madiba. And have seen images like this one:

Allow me to add a short story on Madiba.

For the last few years we have heard very little of him. But today he is gone. R.I.P.

What has changed? You decide. What is important, I believe, is that his spirit will always be with you. And this is my story today.

On your visit you’ll drive past Table Mountain remembering what Mandela said:

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Solving The Frustration Of Accommodation Managers Worst Nightmare: Keys

 Solving The Frustration Of Accommodation Managers Worst Nightmare: Keys

Let’s solve one of the most time consuming headaches faced by accommodation managers:

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I am going to share the benefits of a keyless remote unlock system used by most progressive accommodation managers and DIY short-term rental owners. After the benefits I want to ask your opinion on various options I am considering. Would this interest you? I will also share the results with you.

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Before I get to the benefits let me explain how a Keyless lock works:

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As the manager you get a black-box with software and a special lock. This software talks to the lock through various means. Some communicates to the locks via WiFi, GSM, or only a code. Let me explain.

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  • Your guest will arrive on Friday and leave next Friday.
  • You set these dates in your software while you sit in your offices – hours away from the accommodation you are managing.
  • It generates a secure code.
  • You send this code to your guest via sms, snail mail, fax, email or you call him.
  • This code gives him access to your home for these days/times and expires at the date/time you set. Cool. It even keeps a log of entry and exit. Some fancy locks even grab a photo of the person at the door and send it to you while they wait for you to send them a code.
  • Either the clever code is deciphered by the lock and opens up or a message is sent via from the lock via WiFi that sends the code to allow access. All of this is immediate.
You can create codes for anyone. Some may expire others may be valid for longer.

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Do you think this can solve the frustrations we have with physical keys?

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Benefits Of Keyless Remote Lock For Accommodation Managers:

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  1. The keyless lock expires upon check out time acts as a preventative to guests overstaying their welcome.
  2. It ensures us that we will have the proper amount of time to clean the property for the next arrival!
  3. Renters appreciate the fact that there is no key involved.
  4. Headaches and cost of lost keys, rekeying locks, and guest lockouts are one less worry for yourself and staff.
  5. You can even do it on the go from your smart phone!
  6. Saving money on fees as the accommodation management company reduces call outs – meet and greets, and other.
  7. This accommodation owner had this to say: “We received a call from our neighbour that water was running off one of our home’s roof top deck and it wasn’t raining. I called the plumber immediately. He was in the area and told me he would be there in 5 minutes. When I told him I wasn’t in town he asked me how he was going to be able to get in. I told him I would text him a code and all he had to do was punch it into the keypad. I used my smart phone and generated a temporary code and texted it to him immediately. He was able to stop the leak quickly and help us avoid what could have been a costly issue. What was even more interesting is that apparently the plumber had left some tools in the house, knowing we were out-of-town he just decided to go by the house the next morning to pick them up. When he arrived he was surprised to find out he couldn’t get in, so had to call me for another code”.
  8. She called me on my cell phone to let me know she was at our place 2 days early, had no place to stay, and was hoping that I could meet her to let her in early. I was 250 ks away in the middle of a home center store! I went to your website on my Smartphone, generated a new code for the early arrival, and was able to text it to her within 10 minutes. She got in early and I went back to my shopping. How great is that?
Cool. Just plain simple and very clever. Why have we not thought about this sooner?

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But You Object?

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But before I continue. I can just hear your objections: “What about meeting and greeting my guests? I will lose that personal touch”.    These are valid. Very valid. And many others will agree with you. But they quickly came to realise that they can design their keyless practice around their own business. You may want to meet guests but how often do you want to meet your plumber or the cleaning lady?

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Today many accommodation managers use keyless locks to allow flexible and uncomplicated access to guests without meeting them to transfer keys. Instead they visit the renter at a time after arrival. Now they can kiss and smile at each other at the convenience of both parties.

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You may say: “Now they can steal my stuff as there’s no supervision!” Yes. I hear you. Any accommodation manager worth his salt will have trustworthy staff and maintenance people she employs. If they want to steal they can steal today. Even your guests can steal if they are inclined too.

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TJ Mahony from Flipkey.com said, The value of property management is much deeper than the process of key exchange. It’s about making sure both parties – guests and owners – have a seamless and comfortable experience. It’s a juggling act of coördination, hospitality, and presence.

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And I agree. If you want time you can design your juggling act in such away that your hospitality improves and your being present at any and all time does not feel like rope around your next tied to rock going down to the bottom of the ocean.

Let’s design the best alternative from the two choices I have found

Have a look at this simple questionnaire and share your best guess. As I said I am asking to decide between two very different concepts. I also don’t want to bias the results by discussing the pros and cons of each system :

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Thank you for taking part. For reading. If you enjoyed the read and the idea why not leave a comment, share it and send your accommodation managers to come and read.

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If you are not on my accommodation owners newsletter why not subscribe today?

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Are You Going To Braai Fresh Fish In Cape Town?

 Are You Going To Braai Fresh Fish In Cape Town?

If in Cape Town you can do many things. But if you don’t braai fresh fish then you are missing out big time. And I mean big time. No restaurant can give you such flavor as your own fresh fish on a braai. With friends in your own space. And with a view like this what more do you want?

The first thing you do is to call Sylvia at Kalk Bay harbour at 0722669328.

Sylvia, Nandi with the Yellowtail

We buy Snoek, Yellowtail or anything else from Sylvia. Yellowtail is now our favourite.

The other day Nandi invited a few friends over for a braai. She contacted Sylvia. And Sylvia arranged a cleaned and filleted Yellowtail for R110. Fresh. Soft white meat.

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Rosa: Pay Me Fairly And I Will Send You Lots Of Paying Guests

 Rosa: Pay Me Fairly And I Will Send You Lots Of Paying Guests

The Worth Of Cape Town Short Term Rental Agents

This is an open letter to the Cape Town short-term rental owner who sent me this email after I mentioned her less than par 10% commission. (Don’t read it if you are sensitive

Re the commission, we really try to stay as affordable as possible so don’t have any spare ‘fat’ to throw around too much on commissions, especially when it’s peak season, as we find we fill up anyway, without any commissions…………I think 10% is quite acceptable just for a couple of emails! Rosa

Interesting: Being an accommodation agent in Cape Town is really a lot of fun. Most accommodation owners do very well-paying agents a competitive commission. Generally 20%.

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5 Short Term Rental Ideas: Book More Guest And Ensure They Return

 5 Short Term Rental Ideas: Book More Guest And Ensure They Return

5 Short Term Rental Ideas To Retain Your Guests

Getting more guests to your accommodation is not as easy as it seems. Your opposition is grabbing your guests. Hotels are doing a great job doing the same. And you have bed nights you can fill. But what can you do that’s free and effective? For some accommodation agents and owners with high occupancy it’s second nature. And they win the race. What can we learn from them?

I believe short term rental ideas based on the automation of tasks will bring you more happy returning guests. And a 5% retention can increase your profits by 95%.

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