At the heart of Forever Cornwall are Maria and Phil Gendall. Maria’s background is in customer service and housekeeping — Phil’s background is in tourism marketing; he played a key part in branding the Eden Project and continues to provide consultancy for tourism businesses in the South West, including for the Isles of Scilly. Together we have a shared passion for beautiful homes and magical places. We launched Forever Cornwall in 2009 with our own holiday home — a pretty beach chalet at Gwithian Towans. A bit like many of our owners, we found we were under-using it, even though we live locally. Guests came, and loved it, and various friends in Cornwall asked us to help them prepare and promote their properties too. Our collection has grown almost entirely through word-of-mouth, and we now represent cottages, chalets and apartments throughout Cornwall. We continue to let our own holiday home ourselves, which gives us invaluable insights into what it’s like from an owner’s perspective.
What makes a Forever Cornwall property?
We don’t have a ‘type’ of property, rather, our collection is a delightfully eclectic mix of old and new, large and small, luxury and down-to-earth. We are proud to represent some of the smallest and most quirky holiday homes, and well as some real show-stoppers. That’s why our strap-line is Unique Retreats — we really believe each one is special in its own way. However, we do have two important principles;
- We represent properties that are cherished by their owners. In many cases they have put heart and soul into builds, renovations, restorations or conversions.
- They are in special places where the pulse quickens, emotions come alive, and the stresses of 21st century living fall away like the leaves of autumn trees.
Dealing with housekeeping, linen services and maintenance
We don’t do housekeeping services, because we believe these are best provided locally to your property. Instead, we have a great contact book of housekeepers in most areas of Cornwall. Owners contract and pay housekeepers themselves — which means more control and transparency, and no unnecessary handling charges. We do, of course, work closely with housekeeping teams, making sure they are fully briefed on who’s staying. Housekeepers will usually provide a linen hire service or work in tandem with a linen provider or laundry.
Similarly we have a list of helpful trades, from roofers to plumbers, and from gardeners to decorators — and we are more than happy to work together with those you already know. Flexibility and cooperation are the watch-words.
We have a competitive commission rate, which we’ll happily discuss with you. Bear in mind that the overall success of your letting enterprise is based on a range of factors; commission rate, occupancy, and cost of changeover. Our approach is to optimise all three.
Help with getting ready to let
We provide owners with helpful, friendly and effective service from advice and guidance when getting ready to let, to ongoing support. We are well connected with all of the ‘trades’ you may need, in most areas of Cornwall. So whether it’s the PAT testing or the new curtains, a man-with-a-van, or a woman-with-a-paintbrush, we can probably help. What’s the charge for this service? Nothing — it’s just what we do to help you, so that you can help us… to help you.
Some agencies have very strict rules that govern how and when you can use your holiday home. We don’t think that’s fair, and never forget whose property it is — so we take an informal and flexible approach based on the principle that we are in partnership with you with the shared goal of ensuring that your property is sustainable for you, and part of a sustainable business for us. Similarly, we have an owner-friendly contract that doesn’t hold you over a barrel and is written in plain English (well, as plain as the lawyers will let us).