So So says Rachel Littleworth, resort manager at Club Las Calas in Lanzarote for over 20 years, who shares her views on operating a successful mature resort in a competitive holiday environment.
As an industry, the Holy Grail we are continually searching for is: how to attract new owners.
What we must never lose sight of is the importance of keeping existing owners on board and happy.
I have an excellent team at Las Calas, many of whom have been with the company for over 20 years and we are supported by the team at Resort Solutions who handle the day-day back office management.
A consistent customer-facing team is vital and owners love returning to the resort every year to be greeted by familiar faces – and this helps provide the all-important home-from-home feeling.
The management team is constantly looking at ways to improve the resort as we think it is important owners notice something different every time they return.
Sometimes these are small improvements such as new sunbeds or enhancements to the pool area, but more recently the changes have been bigger as we progress with the apartment upgrade programme.
The programme includes fitting new kitchens with state-of-the-art white goods and stunning new bathrooms. This gives owners confidence and peace of mind that their maintenance fees are financially well managed.
Having a controlled and financially healthy long-term fund gives us the opportunity to complete large projects without asking for supplements on the yearly maintenance fees.
As we want to cater for all owners and guests, we have recently installed a lift and made the whole resort accessible to those who are less mobile.
Las Calas has stepped up the fun activities on-site with a great new animation team that offers different fitness options, sangria and cocktail demonstrations and the very popular quiz and bingo.
As well as four swimming pools, Las Calas has a well-equipped leisure centre with mini shop, gym, sauna and children's ballpark. The much-loved Charlie Bears Kids Club gives parents important free time.
Our owners are the best ambassadors for Las Calas and we want them to rave about the resort to friends, family and other guests.
Many of them love meeting up with their holiday friends so we have improved the facilities at the resort to encourage the social side. This includes happy hour and special meal deals persuading owners to stay on-site for the whole evening enjoying the fabulous entertainment.
Encouraging owners and guests to integrate and become friends often leads to a new owner, as people want to be part of the Las Calas experience.
Owners want to be kept informed and Las Calas communicates with owners through the club’s website and Facebook page. On arrival, owners receive a resort bulletin that gives an overview of what has happened and what is planned.
The most popular form of communication is the weekly owners’ meeting, which not only keeps them up-to-date but also gives them the chance to discuss ideas, raise concerns and allows the resort management team to give accurate information.
When it comes to managing a mature resort it is about offering the whole package. Our mission statement is: creating a lifetime of holiday memories year after year.
The team is highly motivated to meet this and strives to make owners feel special by providing the best possible service. We want them to be excited about returning for their next holiday.