Private House Stays NEW Webinars Announced!🎉
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Welcome to Our October 2021 Newsletter

Hello friends,

Welcome to our October newsletter. We hope you are all keeping well as we move into Autumn.

We are excited to be able to announce that our booking calendar integration software with Rentals  United  passed the final testing stages with flying colours and  we have connected our first few properties today.  A momentus milestone for us here at
Private House Stays Thank you all for your patience, and for joining us in reaching this this long awaited day!

The most pressing matter of this month is the ongoing short-term lets licensing regulation currently being discussed by the Scottish Government. As many of you will be aware, this could have a deeply negative impact on Scottish short-term rental operators. A new survey has opened by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing, and Planning Committee inviting views on the matter from players in the short-term rental sector.  It is a great relief to us all that, following over 1000 responses already, the Scottish government has elected to overhaul the legislation to take into greater account rural needs. Read more on this (and the changes proposed by cabinet secretary Shona Robison) below. We urge any of you who have Scottish operations and have not yet had the chance to do so to respond to
this survey to ensure your views and interests are represented.

In more good news, Cassie was able to attend the Book Direct Show 2021 in London last month and has brought back a bounty of knowledge to share with us all. We will be feeding top tips gained from the show into our newsletters over the coming months – to start us off, this months’ newsletter contains some excellent advice from Nancy McAleer on Professionalism, and how a few key changes can close the chasm between full occupancy and mediocre results.

We are also thrilled to announce the first
Private House Stays Webinar, with talks from sales expert Barry Clark and digital marketer Paul Thomas, which will take place on 5th November and open to all. 

Thank you for reading our newsletter, and please feel welcome to reach out with any enquiries. We wish you all the best for the month ahead!

Update: Short-term Lets Licensing Regulations - Scottish Government responds
Cassie recently met with Fiona Campbell from the ASSC to discuss the Scottish Government’s forthcoming short-term rental licensing regulations. For those who are not aware, these regulations will make it compulsory to obtain a licence to operate short-term rentals in Scotland, will introduce a wide range of compliance requirements for operators irrespective of the size of their operation, and could lead to individuals being prevented from operating if there is a perception that there is overprovision of short-term lets in their area. 

Latest: On the 8th October, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison wrote to the Scottish Government’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee setting out changes to their short-term let licensing legislation and guidance. The changes to licensing will be in the following areas:
  • Removing overprovision powers
  • Simplifying publicity and notifications
  • Adding an appeal for temporary exemptions
  • Reducing public liability insurance requirements
  • Focused use of inspections
  • Stronger guidance on fees
  • Facilitating home sharing and bed and breakfast
  • Removing natural names from the public register.
It remains the intention of the Scottish Government to lay the Licensing Order before parliament in November and also publish a revised BRIA. A full copy of the Cabinet Secretary’s letter to the Committee can be accessed here.

 The STAA (Short Term Accommodation Association) is continuing to engage with policymakers in Scotland on this issue, representing the sector and making constructive suggestions to improve the proposals. It is exciting to read that the overwhelming response to these surveys thus far has meant agreement by the Scottish government to readdress the policy to better reflect rural needs. You can read all about this in this Scottish Housing News article (excerpt below).
If you have any questions about any of this, please let us know.

"Chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, Sarah-Jane Laing, said: “We welcome news that the Scottish Government has taken on board the collective call of stakeholders including SLE to have a serious reassessment of its short-term lets proposals.... The fact that the Scottish Government received over 1000 consultation responses and the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee recently launched its own consultation a month before the legislation was due to be laid before in parliament shows the strength of feeling on this issue."
The deadline to respond to this survey is 29 October 2021, so there is still time left if you have not responded yet. You can respond to the survey here.
Click here to make your voice heard
Featured Property | Scaurbridge House
Stylishly furnished with care and attention to detail in which the discerning visitor is assured of the best of individual attention. The surrounding gentle hills and romantic moors, peaceful woodlands, and crystal clear rivers and streams make Scaurbridge House in Dumfriesshire the perfect area for walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing, and other countryside pursuits to be found far from the cacophony of city life.

Scaurbridge House is just 4 miles from Drumlanrig Castle and 30 from Dumfries House. Elizabeth Ann, who runs the bed and breakfast, can help you to create an itinerary or wander at will if you prefer. Whatever you choose, you can be assured of her attention to your individual requirements. The garden is a haven of peace and calm. Sit at the table beside the little fish pond watching the interesting birds which visit. If you are very quiet and lucky, you may see one of the rare red squirrels scuttling along the dry stone walls on their way to collect cones from the old Scots Pine in the quietest corner of the garden.

Penpont is the birthplace of Joseph Thomson, the African explorer and the home of world-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy. Not far from Dumfries House, Crawick Multiverse, Charles Jencks' Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Craigdarroch House where Annie Lawrie (of the famous song) lived after her marriage, and the Galloway Forest and Dark Sky Observatory. Robert Burns farmed at Ellisland, just 10 miles away, and Greyfriars Church was the scene of the killing of the Red Comyn by Robert the Bruce. The Sanquhar Tolbooth Museum is only 20 minute's drive away in nearby Ayrshire.

For bookings or more information please click here.

Welcome to All: Private House Stays Webinars

We’re committed to providing all our property owners and potential new members with useful, up-to-date industry information to help them get ahead. Part of how we will be doing this going forward is through webinars. Our first webinar, taking place on 5th November at 11am, will feature talks by sales expert Barry Clark and professional digital marketer Paul Thomas with advice on how you can make the most out of your business.

More about Barry:
Barry Clark is recognised as a commercial expert, having the revenue and business management skills to drive profitability in hotels of all sizes. At the upcoming Private House Stays members event, Barry will be sharing his thoughts on the key business drivers that member owners should be focusing upon, to drive revenue, margins and ultimately to drive your profitability.

More about Paul:
Paul Thomas will talk to us about the value of social media. He will focus on the benefits of using channels such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to establish both your business brand and personal brand and the importance of both these things to an increasingly discerning public. Most importantly, Paul’s approach is to make digital strategy exciting and accessible, so you’ll leave this session ready to jump in with confidence!


Visit Scotland Responsible Tourism and Sustainability Research

In anticipation of the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November 2021, set to attract the world's attention, The Scottish Government has set ambitious climate change targets regarding NetZero Greenhouse Gas emissions - with a strong focus on supporting a green recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

VisitScotland is currently working with partners to support the Scottish tourism industry enable and encourage adoption of low carbon and responsible tourism practices. One of these, Progressive Partnership, is an independent market research agency that has been asked by VisitScotland to conduct research on Scottish tourism businesses. The aim of the research to is understand the current attitudes and behaviour towards a carbon neutral economy within the industry; the results of the research will be integral in informing the immediate and longer term strategy for industry support needed to meet Scotland's NetZero goals.

The below survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, and we urge you to fill it in if you are able. The more responses, the better understanding of the Scottish Tourism industry's current attitude will be gained, and the better served the Scottish Government will be in helping our industry to meet eco-friendly goals!

The closing date for the survey is Wednesday 27th October 2021.
You can access the survey here

Visit Scotland’s International Demand Marketing Campaign

Did you know that American tourists spend 4x more when holidaying in Scotland then domestic tourists? And Europeans 2x more? Visit Scotland’s new campaign, which is set to run from October 2021 to 2024, aims to capitalise on the opportunity the international market provides.

Bringing international guests to Scotland starts with idea accumulation/concept forming – planting seeds of inspiration that Scotland is the place to go! We are seeing trends at the moment in unique experiences, spending time outdoors, and buying local/connecting to local areas – all themes in which Scotland has a lot to offer. Visit Scotland has committed 6.5 million to marketing and creative endeavours to spread the word – under the banner “Scotland is Calling.”

How can you get involved?
  • All members of Private House Stays, are already involved! We are currently working on social media advertising campaigns working adjacent to Visit Scotland, including on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest – in which our properties feature. Click on the links to follow us and see what we’re up to
  • Share what you’re up to – especially anything related to responsible tourism (a big theme in upcoming months) with Visit Scotland’s PR at [email protected]
  • If you’re active on social media, you can join the conversation by following or using the hashtag #scotlandiscalling
Read more about Visit Scotland’s new campaign here. Find out more about how to get make the most of the campaign for your business by reading their industry guide.

Professionalism – The Chasm Between Full Occupancy and Mediocre Results with Nancy McAleer

The Book Direct Show 2021 provided an abundance of excellent advice we are excited to pass on to you all. This talk by Nancy McAleer, Co-Founder of Florida Rental by Owners (a rental booking website with a very similar ethos to Private House Stays, designed to allow hosts full control of their properties with the high commission fees associated with large online travel agencies) was a particular highlight.

Professionalism in hosting is super important in an online market inflated by low quality rentals. Airbnb’s assertion that “you can host anything, anywhere” simply isn’t true! Maintaining a high standard of service (and prioritising this above profit in the first instance) is super easy to do and makes all the difference when it comes to repeat bookings and guest recommendations.

Here are 3 key ways Nancy says you can make your property as professional as possible:
  • Have a professional listing.
    • This means a clear, well-written description with all the necessary information (cancellation policies, are pets allowed? etc) and readily available answers to any questions you are asked frequently.
    • Professionally taken photos are a must, and a professionally shot video is never a bad idea.
    • Host representation is also incredibly important for building trust. Potential guests like to see a face and learn a little about their hosts.
    • Private House Stays provides the space for you to include all of this on your listing. If you would like any help with making your listing more professional, let us know! We can help you to write an excellent description that reflects your brand and voice and help you find a good photographer.
  • Use ‘guest nurture’ email marketing to showcase how professional you are.
    • Providing a human touchpoint during the booking process is really important for making customers feel secure and makes it more likely they will book again or recommend you to friends and family.
    • ‘Guest nurturing’ includes sending an email prior to their stay welcoming guests and any providing any information they may possibly need – from numbers to call in case of emergencies to how to use the coffee machine. You may even consider calling guests before they arrive just to get in touch.
    • After their stay, send guests a further nurturing email thanking them for their visit – and use this an opportunity to ask for a review.
  • Maintain excellent standards of health and safety.
    • A lot of Airbnb rental horror stories come from bad standards concerning this.
    • Make sure any keys providing entrance to the property are safely stored and there are no duplicates lying around – you could even consider going keyless and using electronic entry.
    • Make sure your level of cleaning adheres to industry standard – follow provided guidance.
    • It is also very important to do background checks on any supporting vendors such as external cleaners.

Featured Testimonial

Tanderlane Farmhouse | Sarah and Niall
Why did you choose Private House Stays?
I chose
Private House Stays because a friend recommended them to me. Their knowledge of Scotland is particularly good.

How has
Private House Stays helped your business?
Private House Stays have been incredibly helpful with getting my original site set up, even recommending the excellent designer. Cassie has been consistently helpful and supportive and is always at the end of the phone if needed. She has kept me informed of Covid-19 developments and restrictions. Her enthusiasm and support are invaluable.

Would you recommend Private House Stays to other owners?

I would definitely recommend
Private House Stays to other owners. With the new website and the focus at the moment on staycations I expect the business to grow and grow.

It's always nice to know what people are saying about our brand, and about the brand that is carrying your name. For a more complete list of testimonials from the members of Private House Stays please click 
We Would Love to Hear From You

Do you have any suggestions, compliments, or complaints?
We would love to hear from you!
We would love to improve in our Quality, Service, and Accommodation, and you can help us do that.

Thank you for being part of the Private House Stays club. We appreciate you, and we look forward to seeing you again soon. In the interim, drop us a note.
We'd love to hear from you!
Looking For That Perfect Holiday?

You'll find it when you for Scotland's Bed & Breakfasts, Inns, Hotels, Guesthouses Self catering and even glamping. Whether you are looking to get away alone, with family, or with friends, you will find a holiday to suit your social need. Are you looking for an adventurous holiday, a romantic getaway, or just somewhere to kick back and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday? You need not look any further, with Private House Stays the possibilities are great. Private House Stays is a "treasure chest" of extraordinary holiday experiences.
Drop PHS a Note

For your convenience, you may contact Cassie on +447990595895 or via email

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272 Bath Street
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United Kingdom