We're Hiring!

We Have Big Hearts and High Standards

Are you yearning for a working environment that nurtures a sense of belonging, offers an authentic opportunity to grow personally & professionally, and cares deeply about people?  Wegotchu! 


Are you an elite performer who excels at everything you do, and who thrives in a challenging environment where a lot is needed of you?  Rather than following others blindly, do you love deeply understanding the why behind what you’re doing, and thrive on holding responsibility to make great sh!t happen?  We need you!


We’re different - both in what we do and how we do it.  We’re looking for someone who’s resilient, courageous and open minded - you meet challenges head on, and love soaking up the wisdom of the people around you.  In turn, we offer an environment that warmly appreciates your talents & energy in genuine, wholehearted ways.  Let’s build community & grow together!


“Old Rule: Lead with dominance. Create Followers.
New Rule: Lead with humanity. Cultivate Leaders.”
– Abby Wambach


WHO WE ARE

We’re a small & mighty cottage rental business making some great sh!t happen.  We’ve been renting out our three large Muskoka lakeside cottages for more than 15 years.  We excel at what we do by being human - offering enlivening experiences & authentic connections to our guests & ourselves.  We’re heartfelt about giving people from all walks of life a fair shake at enjoying fabulous cottage getaways, while also working hard to be a thriving business.


NON-NEGOTIABLES

We’re looking for someone who will thrive in our working environment and who wants to create deep bonds, both with the people we work with and with the work that we’re doing.  We choose our co-creators carefully.  You must possess all of the following:



We’re going to wait patiently for the right co-creators to join us, so avoid wasting your valuable time & energy (and ours) with applying if you don’t already possess the above Non-Negotiables.  And if you do possess, and have been embodying, them for eons, whoot whootWanna work with us?  Let’s make it happen :)


“Daring leaders who live into their values 

are never silent about hard things” 

Brené Brown


PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

All of the above Non-Negotiables plus you possess a:

And you are:


“A true leader is not someone who feels fully informed 

but someone who continuously receives insight and guidance.”  

– Martha Beck


SCHEDULE

You must have the ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends and holidays.


BENEFITS

Open Positions

Check back soon :)

Closed Positions

[CLOSED] Finance & Admin
WFH (Manager or Coordinator)

JOB OVERVIEW

As long as you possess the above Non-Negotiables and Personal Attributes, we’re open to hiring either a Manager or Coordinator depending on your level of experience.


This position reports to the Business Manager and is responsible for ensuring that our Finance & Admin (F&A) work is done with care & precision, in a joyful & enlivening way.  One that supports our guests having a FANtastically memorable experience at our cottages, as well as ourselves having an enlivening, connected & joy-filled working experience, whoot whoot.


On any given day, 35% of your time will be hands-on, caring for guests and booking administration with your exceptional customer care skills (over phone, email, social media, and the like).  A further 35% of your time will be recurring F&A and HR activities, while the remaining 30% will be devoted to executing strategic business, HR, Finance & Admin projects.

Projects range from straightforward (eg optimising our financial reporting; designing new workflows & procedures; preparing short-term-rental license applications) to relational (eg event management of work retreats, guest weddings, & fan experiences; sourcing a new CRM solution; implementing a heartwarming employee manual) to creative (eg inventing wonderful ways of surprising & delighting our guests; evolving our Escapades™ offering; finding opportunities to appreciate & celebrate with one another).

Success in this role involves being exceptional at: organisation, attention-to-detail, and finding order in chaos; managing toward intrinsic financial health; delivering projects by identifying, focusing on, and achieving objectives; and caring deeply about people.


To help you visualise the fun & challenges of this position, we’ve pulled together a first-hand view of what “A Typical Day” often looks & feels like, which we’ve included at the bottom of this posting.  


RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES

Manager level:


LOCATION

We’re looking for someone who’s comfortable working from home (90% of the time), and eager to periodically commute to the cottages at your own expense to connect in-person with colleagues for the remaining 10% of the time. We like to pile in to work on DIY projects together, so the 10% onsite work is usually done in chunks of time, once a quarter (such as a Mon-Fri working getaway that includes staying overnight at the cottage. Bring your loved ones too!) We’re located in the heart of cottage country - beautiful Muskoka. If in doubt, check us out on the map at the bottom of our hiring page (www.trenanthiacottage.com/hiring).

QUALIFICATIONS

We are open to hiring either a Manager (who will come prepared to lead us in our strategic direction as well as making some great sh!t happen) or a Coordinator (who will come prepared to learn and grow toward becoming a Manager by soaking up insight, wisdom & experience). In either case, we’re adamant that being hands-on with our guests & cottages provides us invaluable wisdom to excel at this position - if you think that answering the phone or rolling up your sleeves is “below your pay grade”, you won’t enjoy working with us. (And if you think connecting with our guests & our cottages is exciting & inspiring, you’re gonna love us!)


Education:


Skills & Experience:

Optional (not required but a great bonus):


SALARY

Full-time, permanent position with salary from $35,000 per year depending on your skills and experience (Coordinator, Sr. Coordinator, or Manager) plus the fab benefits listed above.


Up for the joy & challenge of it?  We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Laura (and the whole Trenanthia Cottage caboodle)

A TYPICAL DAY

Ah, great!  It’s so hard to put what I do into a box.  We like to design our jobs in a way that’s meaningful & inspiring - I get to use my left brain, right brain & heart - which rather defies categorisation, lol.  I’ve had many people in my life ask, ask, and re-ask what it is that I do, so I’d love to share what a typical day looks like for me…


Caring for Guests

While obviously Finance & Admin are important in my position, we keep our guests at the heart of everything we do so my day starts with caring for their getaways.  It includes recording, updating, and administering the details of their booking but doesn’t stop there.  I have opportunities to be really creative by adding personal touches, like composing heartwarming welcome messages, personalised experiences, and other ‘surprise & delight’ that the lovely peeps who work at the cottage will bring to life on the day.  I also get to connect with our guests, answering their questions (on the phone, email, live chat, social media, etc), addressing their concerns, and generally being my helpful & caring self, whoot whoot.


Caring for Finances

Since I also adore dotting i’s and crossing t’s, I usually swing into finance mode next where I process daily banking transactions, update our bookkeeping in Xero & Dext, and ensure our legal requirements are being met.  Once a month, I’ll pull together our financial reports by collecting, analysing, and summarising account information & trends.  On any given day, I could be caring for spending plans (aka budgets), forecasting, or audits.  And I care for our tax obligations, including HST & Income tax return preparation, quarterly instalments, and end of year accounting.


Of course, depending on whether I’m a Coordinator or Manager, I do more or less in-depth work with our finances & accounting.  I started off as a Coordinator and am now a Manager because I love diving into the opportunities we offer ourselves for learning and then practiced, practiced, practiced.  I came in with an understanding of bookkeeping, for example, and now I can talk finances, business & investments with the best of ‘em, lol.


Optimising

Speaking of learning, I’m continually evolving our processes, policies & procedures, and optimising whatever I can.  Some projects that come to mind include researching insurance brokerages & policies for the most appropriate choice for us and our business; optimising our guest booking process; negotiating with our bank for enhanced terms on loans, credit cards, lines of credit and other financial vehicles; and generally researching, exploring & advising on opportunities for business growth & expansion.


It’s important that I approach financial management with a balance of being frugal (we’re a small business, afterall) and understanding the value of investing in what we believe in.  I do a lot of work to care for our funds in a way that honours abundance over scarcity.  If there’s something we want to do and we don’t have the funds right now, we simply find ways of making more while still being our favourite versions of ourselves.  It’s tricky but I looooooove the challenge of being who I want to be in the world :) 


Administering Loveliness

Oooo and then there’s all the various admin bits & bobs where I get to use my organisational & research super powers!  One day I’ll be pulling together our short-term licensing application; comparing ISP solutions; or supporting the board of directors.  Another day, I’ll be caring for guest feedback metrics & analysis; helping to create our guest experience mapping; keeping our guest photo library up to date; or creating a fab new process to care for our Fans.  I generally like dipping my fingers into as many pies as I can - cuz it tastes great (lol) and it keeps the day zooming by.


Putting the Human in HR

As you may have noticed by now, a lot of what I do - and what we do, as a whole - centres around being humans and respecting each other’s humanity.  Sure, there’s straightforward administrative HR work that I do on a regular basis (setting up employees; running payroll; caring for WSIB and other payroll taxation; etc).  And anytime we’re exploring a new idea or direction, I slip on my Humanistic HR hat and open up my head & heart - whether it’s creating an employee manual, formulating our wellness package, or embedding our hiring & onboarding strategy.  People matter to us.  People matter to me!


Building Community

Following the thread of connection, I also do a lot of work around building community - with our guests, with local partners, and with each other.  I’m part of the team who create & execute our social media strategy, which really just means connecting with as many people as possible, as authentically as possible.  As I like to say, we don’t “do socials”, we “are social”.  


Internally, I’m constantly coming up with creative, authentic, & meaningful ways to celebrate together as individuals (anniversaries, appreciations, and the like) and as a group (work retreats, shared meals & seasonal celebrations), whoot whoot.


Another out-of-the-box element of what I get to sink my creative teeth into is caring for event management.  Everything from our own retreats, to guest's hosted retreats; from fan experiences to painting parties; from weddings to connecting charitable groups with free getaways.  Anything that combines people & organising is my cup o’ tea!


Managing Projects

Finally, there’s oodles of different business, HR and F&A projects that I manage (both functionally & financially) as they arise.  I’ll care for many of them from inception to completion by identifying our business needs, sourcing solutions and implementing them.  Some examples are implementing a new CRM tool; evolving our Escapades™; or setting us up with a new VOIP phone service.  Whatever it is, I focus on getting us up & running as soon as possible and with as much heart as possible.


Feeling Free

I hope that gives you a sense of the breadth of what I do, and a bit about how I do it.  As a small business, we all wear a lot of hats, and even as we grow, we fully plan to keep the love, care & challenge in what we do.  For me personally, I feel a wonderful sense of freedom.  Freedom to do work that matters, and freedom to be my favourite version of myself.  It’s enough for me :)

[FILLED] Cottage Experience Designer
WFH & Muskoka, Ontario (Manager or Coordinator)

JOB OVERVIEW

[Thank you for caring!  We're excited to share that this position has been FILLED but look forward to hearing from you for any of our Open Positions]

As long as you possess the above Non-Negotiables and Personal Attributes, we’re open to hiring either a Manager or Coordinator depending on your level of experience.


This position reports to the Business Manager and is responsible for ensuring that every guest has a FANtastically memorable experience at our cottages, from their first, “Wow.  Wow!  WOW!”, to their joyous (& slightly tearful) wave goodbye to ’er when leaving.


On any given day, one-third of your time will be hands-on operations work - planning and actioning repairs & maintenance; managing/coordinating 4-10 team members; caring for guests staying at the cottages; fostering our environmental stewardship; managing supplies & inventory; and generally ensuring that policies & procedures are followed and evolved as necessary.  The remaining two-thirds of your time will be devoted to executing strategic design, renovation, operations & guest experience projects.


Projects range from straightforward (installing new flooring; designing new workflows & procedures; and project managing renovation work) to relational (crafting ways to empathise with our guests’ experience; helping them feel connected to one another, nature & themselves; and revving up their memory-making) to creative (infusing storytelling into the cottages; implementing a fab interior design strategy; and creating new Escapades™).


Success in this role involves being exceptional at: managing projects by identifying, focusing on, and achieving objectives; being deeply driven toward efficacy & order; finding joy in root cause problem solving; loving to care for our guests’ feelings & needs; and thriving on getting the best out of the people you work with.


To help you visualise the fun & challenges of this position, we’ve pulled together a first-hand view of what “A Typical Day” often looks & feels like, which we’ve included at the bottom of this posting.  


RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES

Manager level:


LOCATION

We’re looking for someone who’s comfortable working from home most days (75% of the time), and eager to routinely commute at your own expense to care for the cottages and connect in-person with colleagues for the remaining 25% of the time.  In order to get larger projects done, the 25% onsite work is usually done in chunks of time, once a month (such as a Mon-Fri working getaway that includes staying overnight at the cottage.  Bring your loved ones too!)  We’re located in the heart of cottage country - beautiful Muskoka.  If in doubt, check us out on the map at the bottom of our hiring page (www.trenanthiacottage.com/hiring).

QUALIFICATIONS

We are open to hiring either a Manager (who will come prepared to lead us in our strategic direction as well as making some great sh!t happen) or a Coordinator (who will come prepared to learn and grow toward becoming a Manager by soaking up insight, wisdom & experience).  In either case, we’re adamant that being hands-on with our cottage improvements provides us invaluable wisdom to excel at this position - if you think that rolling up your sleeves & getting dirty is “below your pay grade”, you won’t enjoy working with us.  (And if you think rolling up your sleeves is exciting & inspiring, you’re gonna love us!)


Education:


Skills & Experience:

Optional (not required but a great bonus):


SALARY

Full-time, permanent position with salary from $35,000 per year depending on your skills and experience (Coordinator, Sr. Coordinator, or Manager) plus the fab benefits listed above.


Up for the joy & challenge of it?  We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Ping (and the whole Trenanthia Cottage caboodle)

A TYPICAL DAY

Oooo, so you wanna know what a typical day looks & feels like?  Alright, challenge accepted!  Every day is a little bit different ‘round here so lemme start off with the bread & butter: our guests.


Caring for Guests

One of the most matterful things I do is care for our guests, which I’ll do a little bit of, most days.  When they arrive at the cottage, I’ll reach out to connect and further deepen the relationship that my colleagues have been building for weeks or months.  I’ll keep in touch throughout their getaway to introduce them to all of the lovely shenanigans (have ya found the secret room, yet?!), hear how everything is going (especially for the wee furry family members, woof woof), and help with any small issues that pop up.


Occasionally, something bigger will get in the way of our guests’ enjoyment, such as a plumbing issue or equipment wear & tear.  In those cases, I’m very careful to first actively listen to their concerns and help them to feel seen & heard, before then energetically leaping into addressing the issue, calling in some support, and generally putting the pep back into their step.


Caring for Feedback

I also meticulously note down all the little comments and general feedback our guests share with us.  On another day, I’ll sit down with the whole team to explore the opportunities hidden in the feedback and then get into creative solutioneering mode together.  Sometimes, it’s a simple solution that we choose to go with, such as when we heard that on a short, two-day getaway, the fancy coffee machine felt overwhelming with all its bells & whistles, so we chose to replace it with a simpler, yet equally yummy coffee machine.


Other times, we’ll look deeper to find ways to address the feedback by evolving our overall guest experience strategy.  After all, our real goal is to create cottage experiences that build meaningful, lifelong memories for our guests.  One guest’s side comment about stubbing their toe on the leg of the couch can translate into a new interior design strategy for our living room that’s ingeniously crafted to help our guests connect with one another, themselves & nature (while also avoiding any more stubbing, lol).


Problem Solving

Speaking of looking deeper, we’re also super careful not to just go barreling into solutions that don't actually work.  Instead we choose to do root cause problem solving, using techniques like five-whys, which sees us dig deep to find & solve the real cause of the issue (rather than just the surface-level symptoms).  If there’s one thing we like to avoid it’s the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over & over again, expecting different results!


Being Great

There are some things, however, that we love doing over & over again because we’re jazzed about the results.  When it comes to curating experiences for our guests, it all starts with the basic building blocks of a clean, well-maintained cottage, that’s fresh & ready for guests to make it their home-away-from-home.  Add a dash of personalisation and a smidge of surprise & delight (a handwritten welcome note here, and a favourite chocolate chip cookie there) and we’ve got the beginnings of a FANtastic, memory-making recipe.  


To get that loveliness to happen, on any given day you may find me dreaming up & pulling together enchanting personalisations and poignant surprise & delights; or perhaps training our team members on how to meet our high standards with consistency and attention-to-detail, or how to excel at a new part of our process that I’ve recently developed.


Caring for the Cottages

On a different day, you may find me making sure the cottage is well-maintained.  I organise our team to get the most out of our six hour window between when one set of guests check-out and the next set of guests check-in.  I do a lot of project management, planning & organising (both functional & financial) ahead of time to make sure that we have the necessary supplies and equipment on-hand for any repairs & maintenance work that needs to be done.  We use Agile & Lean principles to keep ourselves focused on doing the right thing, at the right time, with quality.  Oh, and I take some fabulous before, during, and after photos for both our advertising and social media, whoot whoot.


We may choose to book out dates at the cottage so that we can complete larger projects like building a secret room, installing disability-friendly bathroom fixtures, or getting the septic tank replaced.  Other times, we’ll have last minute availability of a day or more that gives us an unexpected opportunity to get work done.  Regardless, in big and small ways, I’ll have a plan, supplies & equipment ready to go so that we’re constantly prepared to improve the cottages for our guests.


Working Location
On that note, I split my time between working-from-home (WFH) and working at the cottages.  Depending on what needs we have, sometimes I’ll be up a day or two a week, and other times I’ll WFH for a month or more before heading up for a long four or five-day stint during the week to get bigger projects done.  (When they can join, I bring my loved ones along too - there’s nothing quite like a sweet soak together in the hot tub after a day of getting great sh!t done.)  


Meeting High Standards

Most of the time, I’ll be doing the work myself or with teammates (like installing new furnishings or fixtures, or replacing flooring) unless it’s specialised knowledge, in which case I’ll hire & manage a skilled tradesperson (like replacing a septic tank, or doing electrical work).  In either case, I keep us focused on meeting our high standards, with a wonderfully fulfilling level of care and attention-to-detail.  It feels energising to do great work that we’re all proud of!


Building Loveliness

Oh, which reminds me: I feel downright giddy when working with my hands, so I relish opportunities to create loveliness from home when the cottages are all booked up.  Anything from stripping & refinishing dining table chairs; to making artistic, upcycled decor items such as wine racks out of pallet boards or lamps out of antique tea pots, lol.  I may even rent out some time at a local woodworking shop to get larger projects done like making fun & funky bed headboards; a drop dead gorgeous, living edge dining room table; or the elements of an Alice in Wonderland style decorative outdoor shed.  I delight in going a bit wild, while still matching our strategic look & feel and interior design plans.


Tracking Metrics

Before we make larger changes at the cottage, I’ll take some time to create, measure & track a number of metrics that help me, and the whole team, to understand what’s working and what’s not working - from the impact of our chosen renovations to the overall satisfaction of our guests.  We also use independent reviews on platforms such as Airbnb and Google to stay on top of how we’re doing.  Even after all these years, it’s still thrilling to me every time we get a five star rating!


Occasionally, we’ll have metrics, reviews or direct guest feedback that lets us know that we aren’t meeting our high standards.  It’s important to me that I approach these situations with an open-mind and both a possibility & a growth mindset - we’re all doing our best, anything is possible, and we’re all capable of doing better.


Holding Responsibility

For me personally, I pride myself on being self-aware and “knowing what I don’t know”.  When I fall short, I’ll hold responsibility for my errors, which includes apologising, making it right, and ensuring it doesn’t happen again.  I’ll actively seek wisdom & knowledge - either from those around me or through outside training - to learn and grow in the necessary direction.


When one of my team members falls short, I’ll hold responsibility for my part in the situation, apologising when necessary, supporting them to make it right, and actively seeking to learn & grow together.  Of course, I can’t control whether my teammate will approach each situation with an open-mind or a possibility & growth mindset (though I am actively hiring team members who excel in those areas).  When that’s missing, I still give it my all to help where help is welcomed - we both feel empowered when we’re able to find ways of overcoming challenges together and I love how it deepens our relationship.  Ultimately though, it’s my job to uphold our collective boundaries, have courageous conversations, and ensure that everyone on the team meets our high standards, or ask them to leave.


Caring for the Environment

Speaking of stepping up to challenges, on any given day you may find me pouring over my environmental stewardship initiatives.  We’re actively making choices that put the long-term health of the planet above our short-term financial gain, like making informed & green choices on which cleaning products I’ll order, how to sustainably care for our outdoor spaces, and how to reduce, reuse & recycle in everything we do.  I love making a difference with every choice I take. 


Understanding Why

Fairly regularly, I get to do another of my favourite things, which is setting and maintaining visibility of the overarching intention of the projects, tasks, and processes that we take on - helping the team to understand the “why” so we can achieve the outcome together.  Once every three months, I’ll connect with everyone as a team, and also one-on-one, to talk about our individual & collective performance and ensure we’re all on the same page, headed in the right direction in unison.  (I’ve specifically sought mentoring from the experienced directors of the company on techniques for team performance & direction setting that have been wonderful to learn - and heartwarming to learn from them!)


Understanding Strategy

On that note, I’m currently a Coordinator (rather than a Manager) so I still have a lot to learn, particularly on how to devise a guest cottage experience strategy that really elevates our product offering away from “a roof over our guests’ heads” toward “a memory-making experience”.  I’m aware of the power of making interior design choices that really spark joy, and I’m starting to understand the power of connecting with all five senses and storytelling.  I’m learning everyday - from each other & outside sources; from our guests; and by listening to my inner voice.  Turns out I know a lot more than I thought I did!  I guess I just needed the right environment, with the right people, to help me shine.


Being Me

Oh, and when it comes to shining, I adore that every day I get to use my left brain (for doing methodical & logical things like planning & organising), my right brain (for doing creative & artistic things like  problem-solving & decorating) and my heart (for connecting with the wonderful peeps I meet & work with).  There’s something magical about getting to practice being my whole self while I’m at work :)


Concluding

So there ya have it: a whirlwind tour of a typical day.  I’d say it all boils down to People, Place & Pride.  “People”, in terms of our guests, and my colleagues - or more accurately, my co-creators.  “Place”, in terms of caring for the cottages and their place in our guests’ hearts & memories.  And “Pride”, in terms of excelling at what we’re trying to do & who we’re trying to be in this world.  I feel proud when I reflect on my (not-so) small part in our big plans <3

[FILLED] Guest Experience & Marketing
WFH (Manager or Coordinator)

JOB OVERVIEW

[Thank you for caring!  We're excited to share that this position has been FILLED but look forward to hearing from you for any of our Open Positions]


As long as you possess the above Non-Negotiables and Personal Attributes, we’re open to hiring either a Manager or Coordinator depending on your level of experience.


The WFH (work-from-home) Guest Experience & Marketing Manager/Coordinator reports to the Business Manager and is responsible for ensuring that every guest has a FANtastically memorable experience with us, from their “love at first (web)site” initial exposure, all the way through to their future getaways with us as fans (see what we did there ;)  


On any given day, 25% of your time will be hands-on, generating bookings with your exceptional customer care skills (over phone, email, social media, and the like), while the remaining 75% will be devoted to executing strategic business, guest experience & marketing projects.  


Projects range from straightforward (eg mapping our guest’s experience; keeping our website up-to-date; devising advertising campaigns) to sociable (eg connecting with past guests; engaging with social media influencers; connecting with the local community) to creative (eg producing inspiring promotional or marketing material; arranging raffles for free getaways; finding ways to surprise & delight our guests).  


Success in this role involves being exceptional at shepherding our guest’s inquiries into bookings and translating that hands-on insight into wonderful guest experiences & impactful marketing that comes to life through our brand.


To help you visualise the fun & challenges of this position, we’ve pulled together a first-hand view of what “A Typical Day” often looks & feels like, which we’ve included at the bottom of this posting.  


RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES

Manager level:


LOCATION

We’re looking for someone who’s comfortable working from home and eager to routinely commute to the cottages to connect with the space & each other.  In the first year, you’ll be required to commute at your own expense once a month, and after that, once a quarter.  We’re located in Muskoka.  If in doubt, check us out on the map at the bottom of our hiring page (www.trenanthiacottage.com/hiring).


QUALIFICATIONS

We are open to hiring either a Manager (who will come prepared to lead us in our strategic direction as well as making some great sh!t happen) or a Coordinator (who will come prepared to learn and grow toward becoming a Manager by soaking up insight, wisdom & experience).  In either case, we’re adamant that being hands-on with our guests provides us invaluable wisdom to excel at this position - if you think that connecting with guests is “below your pay grade”, you won’t enjoy working with us.  (And if you think connecting with guests is exciting & inspiring, you’re gonna love us!)


Education:


Skills & Experience:

Optional (not required but a great bonus):


SALARY

Full-time, permanent position with salary from $35,000 per year depending on your skills and experience (Coordinator, Sr. Coordinator, or Manager) plus the fab benefits listed above.


Up for the joy & challenge of it?  We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Laura (and the whole Trenanthia Cottage caboodle)


A TYPICAL DAY

I love the variety of my day, every day, so this could be tricky to summarise, buuuuut lemme give it a whirl:


Connecting
I like bounding out of bed to check the inbox in the morning - seeing who’s looking for what sort of getaway and connecting with them.  We get emails from past, present & potential guests.  Most of the year, there’s only a few emails, and during the couple months of peak booking season, there’ll be twenty or more.  Whenever it’s possible, I reach back out to the guests on the phone which gives us a chance to genuinely connect - asking how their week is going; getting an update on their loved ones (including the wee furry family members); and sharing a bit about myself & my life.  I love getting to really know one another and deepen our connection.  Of course, if anyone is ready to move forward with booking the cottage, I help them along in that process.


Building Community

Next, I get the ball rolling with social media, seeing who’s saying what, building community and connection with some lovely peeps, both local and further afield.  It’s a time where I just let loose with being sociable, silly & real, all at once, which is inline with our overall social media strategy.


Sharing Empathy
Quite regularly, I get an opportunity to really make a difference, like when I see someone we care about has lost a loved one.  I rev up my heartstrings and creativity to come up with a genuine way to let them know we’re hear with them.  Like when I found out this sweet pupper who’d been enjoying coming up to our cottage for yeeeeeears had passed away.  We framed a lovely picture of the pup relaxing at the cottage, and sent it along with a sincere message from all of us.  Even now, it still makes my heart well up thinking about it 🫶


Keeping in Touch
I keep in touch by answering the phone and caring for both the inbox and social media throughout the day.  I also do various important elements of getting guest bookings, such as updating our dynamic pricing on booking sites like Airbnb; improving or creating special ads we have running; and reaching back out to potential guests who’ve gone quiet.


Doing Projects

The rest of my day is typically filled with proactive work on projects or strategic initiatives.  One day may be making some great sh!t happen on our Guest Experience Mapping (which maps out how our guests feel from the beginning to the end of their engagement with us) such as looking closely at what it feels like as a guest arriving at one of our cottages.  How can I make sure that if they arrive after dark, it still feels warm & inviting (rather than cold & scary)?  How can I bring a bit of sunshine to the beginning of our guests’ getaway even when it’s raining?  I love the creativity and ingenuity of coming up with solutions that make a real difference to how people feel.


Cottaging

I make a plan (both functional & financial) to bring the solutions to life by working together with the rad & wonderful peeps who are local to the cottages.  Many times, they’ll take it and run with it.  Sometimes I go up to the cottage myself to help implement it, which is great fun working together with everyone.  I’ll also take the opportunity to really feel what it’s like to be a guest by staying over with my loved ones.  (Whoot whoot to free cottage getaways and soaking up nature from the lakeside hot tub!)  I also make a plan & then get ‘er done on how we’ll develop metrics and unobtrusive ways of measuring the guest experience before and after our changes so we know we’re getting it right.


Using Head & Heart
I love that the planning uses my fabulous organisational & money-management skills, while the guest experience mapping has me tapping into the feelings & needs of our guests, and then devising solutions kicks in my creative side - I get my left brain, right brain and heart all engaged! 


Marketing Strategy
Another day may be about managing the implementation of one element of our marketing strategy.  I might be arranging to have postcards designed & created to be left at the cottages for our guests to send to their favourite peeps.  I might be cultivating our email marketing list to be aligned with our guest’s interests (such as pet-friendly getaways versus paddling-on-the-lake getaways), and sending out some well-crafted emails that inspire & engage.  I may be working on an ad campaign to get our available dates filled, which will involve writing the ad content as well as posting the ads in places such as facebook/instagram or google.  I didn’t originally know how to use facebook’s Ad Manager, which I shared with the peeps I work with, and everyone supported me to find some online training that helped me to add that to my repertoire.  Sweeeeet.


Thriving
I love learning and being challenged to look at our business from different angles - how can we enjoy our work, and feel like we’re adding to the world (rather than subtracting from it), while also finding ways to thrive as a business?  Love it!


Bringing Ideas to Life
Depending on my experience/seniority level (Manager or Coordinator, which is what I am, though I’m regularly pushing myself and my abilities to learn & grow into the manager position), we’ll either outsource our social media and/or marketing strategies, or I’ll create and evolve those myself.  I may also come up with entirely new marketing initiatives.  An example could be “Cottage Getaway Guides” that I share on our website and social media to help peeps identify if they’d enjoy a cottage getaway; how to book a dependable & exciting cottage for their loved ones; and inspiring them to imagine what it would be like to share time together at a cottage.  Perhaps once the stats I collect show us that these care guides are popular & helpful, I may choose to adapt the guides to a new target market of adults who have recently immigrated to Canada and haven’t yet experienced the quintessentially Canadian experience of going to the cottage.  I love helping peeps to feel comfortable & enthusiastic about their cottage getaways - especially their first!


Project Managing
As with all the planning, I carefully manage the project work that I, and others, are doing to make this great sh!t happen, which means coming up with the vision/intention of what we’re doing and why; making a high level roadmap toward our goal; breaking down that roadmap into matterful smaller chunks; and then managing us all toward completing our goal.  I soaked up a load of wisdom from the directors of the company on how to make an effective plan (using Agile & Lean techniques), and how to manage that plan to completion - it was wonderful learning & engaging together.


Making a Difference
So that’s a typical day in my worklife: I have some consistent elements of my work (answering inquiries & getting bookings), which make up about 25% of my day, and then I pile into business, guest experience or marketing projects, which make up the remaining 75% of my day.  I love the balance of consistency and challenge, as well as the fact that I know I’m making a difference every single day - to our business, to my co-creators, and to our guests :)

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Cottage Locations

Wondering where the cottages are located?  See our Map of the Cottages, easy peasy.