About Dart Valley Cottages
Dart Valley Cottages is a long-established family run business with over 30 years’ experience in the holiday industry working locally within the Dart Valley and the surrounding South Hams.
We offer a professional yet friendly service for our guests and pride ourselves on having a good working relationship with our owners most of which have been with us for many years.
Our small dedicated team has a great local knowledge of the area and know all the properties well enabling them to match the right customers to your property. We have a loyal following of returning customers and many regularly taking more than one holiday a year, in the safe knowledge that Dart Valley Cottages will look after them.
Run by Christine Clark and her son Tom, Dart Valley Cottages has a small dedicated team who have excellent local knowledge of the area and know all the properties like the backs of their hands.
We were originally named Dittisham Cottages, with a handful of pretty cottages in the village Dittisham on the River Dart.
Over the years the company has flourished and grown purely by word of mouth taking on cottages in Cornworthy and Tuckenhay, as well as Dartmouth and the neighbouring coastal villages.
The business has only ever been passed from friend to friend and we all love the area we are lucky enough to live and work in.
We are an independent family run local business offer a professional yet friendly service and pride ourselves on having a great relationship with our guests.
We have a loyal following of returning guests many of whom now feel more like friends.
Numerous guests regularly take more than one holiday a year, in the safe knowledge that Dart Valley Cottages will look after them.
We like to stay involved in the local community sponsoring the Crabbing Competition of Dittishams annual regatta (a great day out!)
Christine is the managing director, back in 2002 she purchased the business from the previous owner. Moving from managing the Dartmouth Tourist Information Centre to these beautiful properties was seamless. With a hands on approach and great knowledge of the local area and holiday market Christine has built the business from a handful of properties to the 70 plus we have today. Being on call to handle guests and owners queries alike working tirelessly to cover all bases and going above and beyond the call of duty for the business.
Tom joined the business in 2016 after gaining experience post university in a selection customer facing roles. He has brought a technical edge to the business improving the way we use ICT to enhance the guest experience and push the company forward. He shares Christines work ethic being on call out of office hours and ready to solve any issues that may arise in a hands on manner. Being born and raised in Dartmouth has given him an extensive knowledge of the area.
Together they make a great team with complementary skills to ensure the guests have a positive holiday experience and the owners get maximal bookings whilst keeping a friendly, down to earth business ethos.
Letting With Us
Unlike other agencies in the area we are not owned by a global conglomerate, when a guest calls it will either be Christine or Tom (maybe Mandy on accounts days) on the phone including out of hours. There are no call centres, when a guest calls for information about a property or the area the answer to their question is coming first-hand.
We are a letting agency but we are not afraid to help with your property management. As part of our service we primarily market your property through a combination of online and offline platforms, we communicate with the guests and handle all payments. We can also help find and co-ordinate with cleaners and laundry suppliers.
We are happy to arrange specialists to make sure the property is compliant for bookings (fire risks assessments, gas safety checks). Once guests are in, we ensure all properties are supplied with a welcome folder detailing the finer nuances of the property, we are also on call if any issues were to arise during their stay.
As they do, often with no rhyme or reason issues do arise, we are on hand to answer all calls and work tirelessly to get the appropriate tradesmen to get the problem resolved. There is no additional charge for this, we simply pass the cost of the invoice across. Accounts are settled for the months bookings on the last Friday of the month.
Owners are all supplied with their own login to the website to keep track of their bookings as well as add and remove owner bookings as they wish.
Marketing and Advertising
As well as our own website which we promote through an optimised adwords budget, we also advertise through the large booking platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com etc… We control the listings through some very smart software which allows us to synchronise the calendars and the listings as well as uplift the prices to negate the platform fees to ensure the owners get their agreed rates.
Being the hands-on agency we are, we pride ourselves on being quick to react with changes to our listings, if the owners make any adjustments to the property we can usually make changes that day. For new owners; as long as the property is ready, we can get the photos taken and edited, the listing created and live for bookings within the day. We are always open to suggestions from owners with improvements they would like to see made to the website.
We have an ever-growing audience on the social media platforms which is an area we would really like to see balloon in 2021, we are also in contact with our database through targeted e-marketing campaigns to get those all-important bookings. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have ongoing adverts in national papers and well-known national magazines.
On an annual basis we produce a hard copy brochure, we take a great deal of pride in the final product giving each property pride of place with high quality paper and artwork that wouldn’t look out of place on any coffee table.
If you already own a property in the Dart Valley and would like to let with us, we would be more than happy to speak to you on 01803 771127. If you are looking to purchase and have a property in mind or want to know what to look for please call we are always happy to help.
We always prefer to visit the property and meet owners face to face, to help us give an honest appraisal of the property and it’s letting potential. We can supply checklists of all the basic requirements for getting started as well as feedback on the potential niche audience we would expect the property to attract and suggestions that will help capitalise on the properties features.
However we don’t always stick hard and fast with niche suggestions as a lot of the time owners do have their own take on what they would like to achieve from their property.
If you only want to concentrate on booking the summer and close the property for the winter that is fine with us. If you want to price it lower and achieve more bookings or price it higher and achieve fewer weeks, we are entirely flexible. We do not put a cap on the number of weeks an owner can book.
If you are looking for a holiday property to buy in the area there is a holy trinity that guests look for:
Parking, outside space and views, maybe not in that order but we know that these are all key features for top rentals. We also know that couples travelling together (out of season) prefer their own bathrooms.
Living space and bedrooms need to be proportionate, a property that sleeps too many for the dining room and living room will offer a decreased product and increased wear and tear. On the other hand properties with excess living space will have increased running costs with too few guests to justify the price.
We are very passionate about the business we are in and could go on into the finer details of plug socket locations, showers and fridge freezers if we were to continue.