Guest Blog – Martina McKinnel


The photo shows myself and the lucky winners of our Facebook competition, Ashley Flannigan and Sean Gilchrist, who recently enjoyed a relaxing break away at Palmallet Cottage.

Hello, I am Martina McKinnel and I live with my husband Roy in one of the most beautiful areas in the whole of Dumfries and Galloway, on the coast near Whithorn. We were both born and bred in Dumfries and Galloway and because we are from different areas we know our region very well indeed. We love living in Dumfries and Galloway and now that we have a baby due in July we can’t think of anywhere else we would rather bring up our children. The region is packed full of interesting places to visit, amazing people and beautiful countryside. It really is a pleasure to live here and it is easy to see why it attracts so many visitors each year.

Last year we set up Palmallet Holiday Cottage and we just knew that if we could get people to come and stay that they would love the area as much as we do. We have simply been overwhelmed by the popularity of our cottage which proves that we are right about how wonderful our region is – Tourists just can’t get enough of our area!

As well as our holiday cottage both Roy and I enjoy investing in property. I have always been interested in property, I studied Interior Architecture at university and after qualifying returned to Dumfries and Galloway where I have worked as an Architectural Technician ever since. Last year we completed our first project together when we fully refurbished a flat in Dumfries. It was one of the most satisfying things that both of us have achieved and we have since rented out the property to a very happy tenant!

As Landlords we really pride ourselves in doing things properly and we think it is essential to provide good quality accommodation to our tenants. It is very important to be in full control of every aspect of letting out property and because of this we manage and let all of our properties ourselves. We advertise, interview and select tenants, source our own team of tradesmen and deal with tenant issues. We think the most important part of being a Landlord is to treat all tenants how we would like to be treated ourselves.

As we regularly advertise our holiday accommodation and properties ‘To Let’ we decided to design and launch a brand new local website with the help of web designer Nathon Jones. The aim of ‘Dumfries and Galloway Homes and Holidays’ is to provide good value advertising space to Holiday Accommodation Providers and Landlords plus web links to visitor attractions in the region. Alongside the website we also set up www.facebook.com/dghomesandholidays where people can interact and post photos and comments on the properties featured on our website. Still in its early days, we now advertise around 25 other Guest Houses and Self Catering Accommodation from across the region. Our website regularly attracts new clients and each one is benefiting from increased bookings throughout the year. Advertising online is without a doubt the most effective way to let property! This year we will be developing our HOMES section and we hope that Landlords, both private and agencies, will come on board to take advantage of our online advertising space for property lets.

We believe in ‘keeping local business Local’ and our website does just this – it is a website and Facebook page for everyone in Dumfries and Galloway to use and benefit from and one which will increase tourism in our region.

As someone who knew very little about creating a website or a Facebook page I am delighted with the way things have turned out so far. And for anyone reading this, who is thinking about setting up a website, be prepared for a challenge as it requires a lot of commitment and motivation. But, it is very rewarding as there is nothing more satisfying than watching your idea coming together and proving to be a success!

Martina McKinnel