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Case study: St John's Guest House

A Hard-working husband and wife team Justin and Jade first bought St Johns's Guest House, a four-story, Victorian seafront property back in 2007. Following an extensive renovation (including ripping out avocado and pink bathroom suites) they opened the doors of their newly upgraded eight-bedroomed house to guests. The pair has extensive experience in the hospitality industry but buying and running this guest house is their first accommodation business together.

Having successfully used freetobook's online room booking for several years, the couple then added in the freetobook channel manager to a number of OTAs including Booking.com and most recently, the managed channel with Expedia. "Around 60% of our bookings are coming in from these OTAs. They give us huge exposure."

This year their guesthouse has welcomed visitors from as far away as Taiwan and India. Overall the makeup of staying guests is mixed and for both leisure and corporate trips. "We have two bedrooms on the ground floor which suit our older guests but we have had German families book a number of rooms to cater for all ages, from kids and grandparents. We find many Londoners head over for weekend seaside breaks too."

Running St John's Guest House has proved to be Justin and Jade's greatest challenge but also their greatest success! "We have been managing the business with just the two of us so have been working at full capacity for some time. A new addition to the family, our daughter, three years ago has stretched us that bit further too." However, as they get ready for the cooler autumnal days and the seasonal slowing down of the business, their occupancy rate to date shows that 2015 is their best year ever!

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