Property with 4 independent cottages
– What exactly is a ‘chartreuse’?
La Burague is an 18th century chartreuse, built by Léonard de Grézis in 1758, a doctor and notable of Domme, who had the ambition that his son be made a nobleman. It had to look like a chateau, with the codes of a chateau, but La Burague will never really be a chateau, because the French Revolution happened before he could be made a noble. So this is a’chartreuse’ i.e a rather long and imposing building with a wing at each end, a sort of rectangle with one long side missing.
– I see that you have several cottages in the same property, isn’t it inconvenient?
The main building is 35 meters long and was divided into 3 parts in the 19th century. We live in the central part. Each gîte has its own access and private garden with barbecue. The configuration of the place makes that nobody is disturbed.
The pool is secured by a roller shutter and barriers. However, we remind you that children should not be left unattended in the pool area. It is a large infinity pool, heated from May to September by solar panels. It works with salt. There are umbrellas, a dozen deckchairs and a hammock. When all the cottages are occupied, experience shows that people don’t go to the pool at the same times.
The sauna (infrared), hot tub, massage chair, game room (with indoor and outdoor games for both kids and adults), table tennis, football table, swing and hammocks are shared. But it is unlikely that everyone will be in the same place at the same time.
– What is our experience of running a gites business?
Of course running a gites business is quite a lot of work. But we can attest that the saying ” if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life” is true. Working without noticing you are working is such a good feeling.
– What are the key points?
- Choose a place where you would really like to spend your holiday
- Think what it is like to live there all year round (if this is going to be your case)
- Having a good website to have a good proportion of direct bookings
- Make sure you get the kind of guests you want
- Make sure your guests are happy
- Get your guests to leave a review on their booking platform or on Google
Running a gite
If you are going to live on site and manage the business yourself, here is what it is like in our experience.
- A couple can run the place easily: we did it for years while we each had our own full time job in Paris!
- Nevertheless, you have to be organised – so there is a pure management aspect – but it is also quite physical unless you get people to do the job for you. For instance we have a gardener who comes in 4 hours a week from April to October, and 2 or 3 persons to do the cleaning up on Saturdays
- We have tried not to rely too much on booking platforms, so we developped a website which can account for 50% of bookings
- If your SEO is right, if your website has an adequate presentation and decent photos you get your first bookings. If your guests really enjoy their stay and give you good reviews, there is nothing else you can wish!
- Running a gite business means you have to be tolerant. Even if our guests are always nice and polite, you will have to adapt.