by Amanda Clarke
03rd July, 2018
Blue C Coolangatta has proactive industry managers
Extraordinary accommodation, Blue C Coolangatta provides an enviable seaside lifestyle overlooking sun-drenched Southern Gold Coast beaches.
William and Michelle Wetere, originally from New Zealand have been the resort managers at this fantastic resort for over two years, attracted by this exciting business opportunity, unique location, and desirable lifestyle.
Previously, Michelle ran her own beauty therapy business in New Zealand for over 20 years and William was in the FMCG industry selling well-known brands to the supermarket trade in both Perth and New Zealand. He was involved in building and marketing online ecommerce stores.
William told us: “Our daughter was the catalyst for our interest in the management rights industry because she was working in the front office of a holiday complex in Main Beach. After a visit we were intrigued and began to look at management rights businesses in the area.”
With four of their five children living in Australia (one remains in NZ) this location works well for their whole family. They are also very proud (and busy) grandparents to 10 children.
“We purchased from another Kiwi couple back in May 2016 via a partnership structure. When we took over the property it was an Accor franchise known as the ‘Sebel Coolangatta’ and before that it was known as the Grand Mercure” William disclosed.
“Being a franchise was a great learning experience and provided us with an understanding of how a large corporate operates. However, there were extra layers of reporting structures and accounting procedures that added complexity to what we felt should be a simpler system.
“Therefore, after 18 months of working under a franchise model we decided to return to be an independent accommodation and in December 2017 we renamed the business Blue C Coolangatta” he added.
The resort’s management rights takeover turned out to be a sharp learning curve for William and Michelle due to having to learn two booking systems – that didn’t talk to each other! “Then again, most properties would never encounter these difficulties” William stated.
Blue C Coolangatta “a 4-star property with 5-star views” offers large fully furnished one, two and three-bedroom apartments and a four-bedroom penthouse, over 15 floors. All the clean and modern apartments are open plan and face the pristine waters of Coolangatta beach with large balconies that have shutters for privacy. The upper levels of the building boast incredibly diverse views: looking toward Surfers Paradise, over Kirra Hill, towards the hinterland, Mt. Warning and north to Coolangatta`s beaches.
This is a perfect accommodation choice for couples, honeymooners, bridal parties, families and for business trips. Also conveniently located to the airport with great facilities including three lifts a large heated lagoon style pool, spa, sauna, gym and BBQ entertaining area plus under cover parking.
William said: “Our resort is an outstanding choice for the perfect Gold Coast get-away and we really enjoy doing a great job for our guests! We are assisted by: one full-time front office person, a part-time accounts person, two body corporate cleaners and we outsource our housekeeping. We are also very lucky to have great owner residents, we remember that the most important people in our business are the body corporate and apartment owners.”
AP readers would love your wisdom and advice for potential/new MR. owners...
William warned: “The process of getting in and getting out of the industry can be daunting for new people. Get advice from management rights specialists, you may think you own a property but in fact it is the other way around. The property owns you!”
What other industry advice do you have? He offered: “While trust account management and managing expenses have high priorities marketing would be the number one skill to acquire or outsource.
“I look at Booking.com and Expedia as the major accommodation supermarkets. You will need to know how to list your products (room inventory) how to position them (3,4,5 star or special niche style) and most importantly how to promote your rooms/apartments on these channels. I strongly suggest that you develop a great relationship with your Booking.com and Expedia account managers
“Other channels provide options to base fill your property however their price points may be sharp and returns low, so you will need a plan to offset this.
“You will hear many managers or investment partners talk about the importance of direct bookings. These bookings will come via word of mouth and return guests, but return guests make up only 10 – 20 percent of your total bookings because they tend to book based on events (school holidays) this means that you will still have 80 percent of your inventory to sell!
“It is true that your own website is key to driving commission free bookings and it may be commission free but there is a cost! You will need to use Google, search engine optimisation or Facebook advertising and most managers would not know how to set up advertising on these platforms, so will need to outsource. Companies charge around $500 per month to manage this advertising.”