Our Backstory

Back in 2009 I, Darren Atkinson, was working as an Internet marketing consultant for a number of companies in various industries. One of my clients operated in an area closely related to holiday properties and I spent a bit of time looking at the industry.

I was particularly interested as one of my family members owned a holiday villa in Denia, Spain, and used the old Holiday Rentals website to advertise it for a few weeks a year to cover the bills.

This was back when you could pay a few hundred pounds a year for an advert on their website and dealt with customers and payments yourself.

To be honest owning a listing website looked like a great business model and my interest was piqued.

Over the course of a year or so a few listing websites were created and put live with properties supplied by a 3rd party company, visions for a fully online automated listing site were on the horizon.

Then life got in the way.

A young family combined with the growing success of an ecommerce website I’d launched a year earlier meant that plans for listing website domination were paused (temporarily of course).

A Ten Year Holding Pattern

The listings sites were kept live, fully functioning, and updated with new properties from time to time, but active development on the business was paused.

I dropped back on to the websites and into the industry at various times over the next 10 - 12 years, all the sites got a fresh new design, and at one point a blog was built out with articles about the industry which actually got a fair bit of traction.

Mainly though I sat back and simply watched what was happening in the industry.

I watched Holiday Rentals be acquired by HomeAway, the company that had already purchased the US site VRBO, which then went on to buy many others such as Owners Direct.

There was also the massive rise of AirBnB which seemed to go from a spare room rental platform to a goliath bigger than all other industry players in a relatively short space of time.

Next came Expedia’s move to acquire the HomeAway group and consolidate all listings under the VRBO banner.

Billions in funding and acquisitions proved that renting out your holiday property is part of a massive industry, reportedly worth over $80 billion a year.

Reassess and Refocus

Sometime in early 2022 I started getting calls from people looking to advertise directly on our listing websites.

From time to time over the years since launching them I’d often get the odd email or call, but I had a few long phone conversations with some highly interested people early that year.

The calls were all of a similar nature, people getting fed up of paying a large portion of their income to some faceless corporation for ever decreasing enquiries and bookings.

After some particularly exhausting years of working on my other business, along with some major personal life projects reaching a natural conclusion, I was ready for a new challenge.

The timing seemed as good as it would ever be to dive back into this industry and put together a long term plan for the listing sites and to develop the business as a whole.

A lot of planning and preparation work has been done in the past 18 months and the vision for this business is now crystal clear.

Our Current Position

As it stands our main listings are fully operational and our strong search engine positioning generates thousands of visitors to our property listings each month.

Home owners looking to list their property can sign up and create their own listing without any intervention from us for a low, all-inclusive annual fee.

We have our first batch of paying customers online who are getting genuine enquiries and bookings from our sites.

I am now heading into the final stages of the build process for our next tool for home owners, something with a much larger ambition and the potential to really make a positive difference for holiday home owners no matter where they are located.