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“Retirement is so much more interesting now”

Ian, owner of Revel Retreat – Nr Whitstable, Kent | Sleeps 2+2
and Revel Stable – Nr Whitstable, Kent | Sleeps 2+2

Having been a civil engineer all his career, Ian floundered when a friend suggested going into holiday letting. It happened at the time when Ian’s sons decided to leave Dad and his outbuildings where they’d been working together for 18 years – Ian, now entering retirement, was lead into thinking further about his friend’s proposition.

“In many ways it was a mutually good thing to do - I got all the building back because my sons decided to move into some commercial building we had built. It did however mean that the barns seemed very desolate and deserted - it was then that I thought “Ok, I’ll think about holiday letting now.”

At this point, Ian decided to apply for planning permission for the stables and, as a result, gained permission for 3 lets. With the renovation well under way, Ian was in desperate need of some trusty holiday letting advice.

“After asking a few friends who had already delved into the world of holiday letting, Mulberry Cottages was definitely standing out from the crowd.”

Ian’s dedicated property valuation manager was Rowena, and she viewed the stables and assisted Ian with his decision-making. What was about to happen was far from what Ian had expected…

“Rowena had come to visit, as I wanted her input in the renovation, format and configurations of the stables. It was as we were walking towards the stables that she caught a glimpse of our log cabin summerhouse. “This would go down a bundle!” Rowena exclaimed. And that’s where it all began.”

“I loved our summer house - but we just weren’t using it. Adding a log burner, stove, loo, and wi-fi were all straightforward - it quickly became a unique taste of luxury and all very comfortable. Far more than just a shed at the top of the garden. I couldn’t believe it when we put it on the market - it was a hit straight away!”

With part of the stables (Revel Stable) coming online 8 months after the log cabin (Revels Retreat) – Ian and his wife became very busy between the two properties.

Living within the grounds, Ian’s house, stables and outbuildings are all set in 7 acres of land. The stables and outbuildings, which have now been converted, aren’t ‘in your face’ - being a good 150 yards away from the main house, with plenty of privacy.

Ian’s energy and passion for letting is infectious, and retirement has certainly come into its own for him. Fully hands-on with both properties - even doing the cleaning and laundry himself, Ian’s favourite part is meeting his guests and adding the little touches which cost very little, but make the real difference.

Ian is now bringing on a new let, due to be live at the end of 2018. Completing the conversion of the stables and expanding the size of the existing stable - giving it the flexibility to be either 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms.

“Getting mainly couples had had its positives and definitely is a less labour intensive scenario. However, there is only so much you can charge for couples and although I’m not money-focussed, it’s a nice move to reach new markets with larger sizing and earn a bit more.”