Located in the well-known wine town of Margaret River, Rosewood Guesthouse has been hosting patrons since 1988.
Purchased by Jane and Keith Purdie in 2004, this charming getaway provides its guests from all parts of the world with warm, friendly, and knowledgeable Australian hospitality.
Embracing the role of entrepreneurship
Entering their 15th year of trading, Jane and Keith have overseen the refurbishment of Rosewood Guesthouse, previously known as The Croft and Rosewood Cottage.
“What makes us unique is a beautiful, lush garden which entices guests to leave their cares behind as they enter a very private setting,” shares Jane. They describe their hosting style as “very hands-on” as they strive to make their guests feel at home at Rosewood.
From day one, they’ve embraced their roles as entrepreneurs and focused on local networking to build their business. They explain, “From the very start of our ownership of Rosewood, we have sought to be a part of the very vibrant business community in Margaret River.”
They joined the Chamber of Commerce and a local tourist association which enabled them to meet key industry leaders, form lasting relationships with suppliers, and establish partnerships with complementary tourism businesses.
Marketing is an essential part of all successful businesses. Through personal experience, Jane and Keith have found that they constantly need to evolve in order to keep up with marketing trends and take advantage of all the possible avenues to reach more potential clients.
They both affirm the importance of a good website saying, “Over our 15 years of ownership, we have had at least five website rebuilds, each time making sure that we meet new technology, such as virtual tours, and ensuring the site is visible across desktop, mobile and tablet formats.”
Next, they’ve taken the time to strategise and determine how far to take SEO in order to optimise their business’s visibility. “It isn’t called the world wide web for nothing! Our guests come from Alaska to Zimbabwe,” they both state.
They have also built a strong network of online travel agencies as well as traditional travel agents who cater to tourists seeking a unique, personal experience when they travel.
In addition, they share, “Referral and repeat guests are still an incredibly important part of our business, and as we all know, they come back or refer because they have enjoyed our hosting and their accommodations.”
Jane and Keith are firm believers that they’ve experienced success with customer referrals because they absolutely love what they do and truly want their guests to enjoy their visit.
Honing your hospitality skill
The guesthouse sector caters directly to clients looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, so to achieve success in this industry, it’s essential to excel in the art of hospitality.
Jane and Keith offer three main skills they’ve found to be a necessity for operating Rosewood Guesthouse: exceptional customer service, time management, and sensible budgeting skills.
Although there are a myriad of other helpful attributes for a guesthouse owner to possess, these three have set the foundation for Jane and Keith’s success.
Managing the challenges
When asked about some of the challenges they face, Jane and Keith share that it can be difficult to meet people’s expectations.
They explain, “With social media … reviews and comments, it’s important to ensure you are consistent, approachable, and constructive. It helps to be confident that you have presented your rooms spotlessly prepared and that you attend to any maintenance issues promptly.”
In addition, as travel trends evolve, they both constantly review their performance and web presence across multiple platforms to make sure they remain relevant.
Jane and Keith express sincerely enjoying what they get to do every day stating, “We love working together and living in a lovely property in the region that Lonely Planet has just voted the number one destination in the South Pacific.”
One of the major highlights for them is getting to meet people from various walks of life. Jane states, “Our guests come from many parts of the world and are generally very well travelled, and we love hearing about their experiences in our wonderful region.”
Finally, they appreciate the absolute freedom that comes with being their own boss and the flexibility to choose when they want to take time off.
When they do take time for themselves, Jane and Keith like to experience all that Margaret River has to offer in the form of various attractions, wineries, breweries, and restaurants that they frequently recommend to their guests.
Their true fondness for their guests shines through as they encourage, “Come stay in our little haven; enjoy our lush gardens, our farm-fresh food (we are famous for our homemade waffles) and let us share Margaret River with you!”