Simply Owners was established in June 2016 when I and two other business partners were not happy with the changes and charges that the monopoly players in this market were now imposing upon us as holidaymakers and holiday-home owners.
“I advertised one of my summer houses on tripadvisor’s Holidaylettings.com for £49/night, it appeared on their site for holidaymakers to pay £81.40/night. (over a 60% increase on my price) I placed it with Owners Direct at £49/night it appeared on their site at £54.64/night. (almost a 10% increase on my price)” Some properties had a 20% addition to the owners’ price.“
It seems as though when a small company grows to form any kind of threat to the monopoly players they are simply bought out. It became obvious that this market was controlled by just a few companies. The property databases becoming more and more overpopulated by the companies they had taken over and by allowing other massive companies to add their thousands of properties to the already oversubscribed databases. We were crying out for a sensible alternative provider that simply dealt solely with real owners and didn’t allow agencies and other companies to overload their database. A company was needed that simply connected holidaymakers directly, by phone, with holiday-home owners as had happened in the past. It was clear that many other holiday-home owners, like us, were not happy with losing control over renting their properties or with the changed arrangements for them and their holidaymakers.
Simply Owners Founders
We then began to search for an alternative provider

We searched for a realistic alternative to the massive companies only to find nothing. There were some good small private individuals offering a cheap and responsive service. None of them however had the huge budgets to invest in the advertisement campaigns necessary to attract large numbers of holidaymakers. In the event that holidaymakers were able to stumble across the smaller providers’ individual web sites there were not enough holiday-homes on their sites to retain their interest. None of these providers incorporated a payment protection guarantee to give the holidaymakers the confidence to book through them which was now needed given holidaymakers were being frightened by the scammers. It seemed that the big companies were going in a direction we didn’t want to go and the smaller companies were unable to provide what we needed. This left lots of customers, like us, wanting the old system but with no-one who could provide it. So we decided it was time to invest the millions necessary to set up a replacement business to fill this growing need.

We researched the review sites such as trust pilot to be sure that, in addition to our own dislikes of the new models, we had a comprehensive understanding of the detail that holiday-home owners and holidaymakers disliked about the changes in provision. Some of the issues / comments made on the review sites that we needed to address included;

Introduction of an additional 10% up to 60% on some agency properties via a hidden service charge
Holidaymakers charged up to £299 per booking on top of the owners’ price
Control taken away from holiday-home owners and holidaymakers
Holiday-home owners being bullied into online bookings and payments
Lost business due to flooding site with tens of thousands of other companies/agents properties
It’s become impossible for individuals to find their own property
Lack of trust – owners unsure whether other companies’ and agencys’ multiple properties were getting a priority weighting to come higher up the search results
Concern over how holidaymakers would now find their properties
Bookings fell off a cliff – blamed on increased costs due to new service charge and flooded data base of properties diluting bookings
Holiday-home owners having to wait for their money.
They just sit on our money
Holidaymakers credit cards charged without making a booking
Subscription renewals automated despite owners’ instruction to the contrary
Statements made such as greed, abuse of monopoly position.
Failure to listen to customers
Hidden charges
Broken promises
Clunky and over sophisticated web-sites
Treating loyal homeowners like fraudsters
Scaremongering holidaymakers away from booking and paying the owners direct
Spending hours to find perfect holiday only to find by the time the owner had been contacted it was no longer available
Security issues with access instructions to my property being shared to all and sundry
Communication or lack of it – been on phone now for hours – after 4 attempts I have given up
Critical measures therefore that we felt needed to be addressed in the establishment of Simply Owners included:

The very first and most important dimension was to ensure that we demonstrated that we valued our customers and actually cared about their business.
This would be addressed by simply applying good old fashioned British values where the customer comes first. To do this we would need to start with the basics of recruiting, training and remunerating the right staff to a UK service centre. Further, establish standard operating systems and procedures for them to work to that would ensure excellent customer communications and care.
The next thing was to ensure that we built a search engine for both holidaymakers and holiday-home owners that did not get overpopulated and was very relevant to individual needs. We needed to ensure that this was not skewed by advertisers paying extra to appear at the top of a holiday-makers search. If a holidaymaker searched for Scarborough the first properties to appear needed to be those in Scarborough and not Bournemouth just because the Bournemouth holiday-home owner was paying a premium.
This would be achieved by simply capping the number of property listing in each area in line with demand and treating all holiday-home owners fair and equal by having just one flat annual subscription.
We had to ensure that holiday-home owners would have complete control over the exact price, together with when and how, holidaymakers would pay for their properties.
This would be achieved by simply putting holidaymakers in immediate direct telephone contact with the holiday-home owners. By simply keeping out of the business between holidaymakers and holiday-home owners and not charging any booking fees.
We needed to attract 100’s of thousands of holidaymakers to our website to view our home-owners’ properties.
This would be achieved by simply investing in and creating a multimillion-pound advertising campaign. Google predicted that our marketing strategy would generate 800,000 views of our adverts per month. That is viewings by holidaymakers who have specifically searched for holiday lettings direct with property owners.
There was a definite need to provide holidaymakers with a 100% payment protection guarantee given that a cloud of distrust had now been dispersed over us holiday-home owners by the scammers
This would be established by simply determining tight procedures for holidaymakers to follow when making payments and guaranteeing that process.
We had to avoid any hidden costs such as booking fees from holidaymakers.
This would be achieved by simply avoiding any form of booking fee altogether and being very transparent with our charges.
We had to only advertise holiday-homes that are owned and cared for by individual proprietors to ensure that holidaymakers can book properties knowing they have been loved, cared for and provided by real owners or their appointed Property Manager and not agencies with their thousands of properties handed on and on to them from third party organisations.
This would be achieved by simply only listing properties that are truly owned by individual holiday-home owners and managed by A 'Property Manager' just one line removed from that real owner. We will prohibit third party companies/agencies listing their 1000’s of properties passed onto them by third parties.
This would be achieved by simply only listing properties that are truly owned by individual holiday-home owners and prohibit third party companies/agency listings.
We had to refrain from interfering with owners’ secondary sales such as insurance, car hire, airport transfers etc.
This would be achieved by simply prohibiting any third party sales such as insurance, car hire etc on our web-site
We had to give holiday-home owners the ability to budget and plan for future years knowing what future costs would be and reward loyalty.
This would simply be achieved by pegging our fees for 3 years from the date of subscription.
We had to provide holiday-home owners with the confidence that they are not going to place their business with a company only to find that in a few years’ time that company would cash in and sell out on them to the monopoly players.
This would be achieved by simply making and keeping the public promise that the company would never sell out to the monopoly players whatever the price.
From this you will gather the name of our business had to be Simply Owners With a mission to only deal with real owners and operate with Simply - No nonsense providing first rate customer care.

SIMPLY OWNERS LTD Reg No. 10215052