Holiday property rentals boom in south of France.
That was the tile of an article listed in the Google Alert for Aude France that I received today. "Really" I thought, "where?". Because no one that I know who has a gite for rent is enjoying a rental boom. The article was on a site called Easier Property, part of a group called Easier Media which includes Easier Advertising. (If I were them I’d make a site called Easier for You to Say – wanna bet my editor doesn’t think that’s funny?)
On the Google Alert the item was identified as a press release. Interesting because on the site it was presented as an article, no mention that it was a press release. My guess is that the press release was originally from French Connections. The ‘article’ quotes one of their managing directors extensively. The Aude is identified as one of the top two departments where people want to rent vacation homes.
"Enquiries received so far this year at frenchconnections.co.uk leading
online French property specialist, show a marked increase over 2007
throughout France. But the greatest leap is in the top five departments."
What’s a marked increase? What’s a boom?
What constitutes a ‘marked increase’? Could we have a percentage
please? Something like ‘10% higher than the same period last year’ or
‘a 20% increase in enquiries compared to last year’? A marked increase
does not make a boom. If you had 400 enquiries in January and February
last year and had 800 this year it’s definitely a marked increase, it’s
definitely not a boom. Not all of the enquiries end in a booking. And
the vacation rental market in the Aude has been abysmal for the past
few years, as anyone with a rental property knows.
Why am I writing about this?
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood, maybe I’m having a bad day. Maybe I think that the information is less than complete. Maybe to me it seems less than open and honest. Maybe it sounds like bulls**t to me.
What was the point of the press release? To make people feel pressure so that they’ll book a rental property now? To make owners feel as if there’s something wrong with their advertising and rush to buy a listing on frenchconnections?
I’m not the arbiter of web site content but some things get up my nose. There are so many of us who write our own content, who are honest, it irritates me when I see non-news press releases grabbed and presented as content on what is essentially an advertising site.
It feels bogus.
It would be like me sending out a press release that says enquires from potential property buyers in the Aude were significantly increased in the last part of January and of February, compared to December and the beginning of January and that signaled a boom in the property market. Enquires were up. It signaled that Christmas and New Year’s were over and people were getting back to real life. It didn’t signify a boom, or even the beginning of a boom.
And the irony?
French Connection was mentioned twice in the article – www.frenchconnections.co.uk. Neither mention was linked to the site. There was no e-mail contact, no phone number.
I used to advertise my gites on French Connections and did get some bookings from them. I got most of my booking from my own well-designed, well written, well-optimised website.
It feels better getting that off my chest!