By Pauline Stewart
The call came at 9.15pm. “ I have a busload of 12 people – can you help us?” It was a bus driver of a tour group whose accomodation in the period of recent storms was not able to happen for their pre-arranged booking.
There was only one apartment available at The Marina Apartments. Host On the Coast with their list of available holiday homes, within a few minutes, could assess which house or houses could be available within the hour. The results was bedrooms of two homes plus the one Marina Apartment were all prepared (beds made, towels, essentials in the fridge) within the hour. “We knew we could set up comfortable accomodation for these people from the list of homes we have available for holiday rent and we always have some of our properties ready for an emergency. Finding accomodation for the 12, plus the driver with that very short notice was a great exercise. They were very willing to pay and we felt good that our companies can meet such a need. When the bus was leaving in the morning, the passengers used the speaker phone on the bus to express their gratitude.”
This is a true to account story of what happened. Maree and Kevin shared this story with The informer and it explains how Pinnacle Rentals and Host on the Coast work together to provide a variety of accomodation needs. Kevin and Maree’s focus is largely Pinnacle Rentals which offers property management for long term rentals providing premium quality start-to-finish services.
Rowena is the Operations Manager for Host on the Coast which specialises in the availability of holiday homes, and this also means they look after all the management services required by someone wanting to rent out their home for holidays. Both companies extend their reach across the Coromandel Peninsula and work closely together - Maree, Kevin and Rowena are one team.
We cover the whole Coromandel,” says Maree. “We do everything for our clients – vet guests, organise payments, and prepare the house in terms of cleanliness, linen, everything so that the person who arrives late at night can just hop in between those fresh sheets. We also organise to meet and greet the guests. Personal service is very important, and we need to check all the details provided beforehand by both out long term tenants and the holiday rentals.
“With Pinnacle Rentals, there is no point in us taking a house for two or three weeks,” says Maree. “Our long-term tenants rent for more than 90 days, but holiday rentals are a different story - they are for one week or more.” “That’s what Host of the Coast does,” adds Rowena.
“This past summer and really, since Covid, the business has been challenging to say the least. We hope that somehow the extra distance and time the journey to the Coromandel will take, does not put people off coming, “says Kevin. “The Barrier Air service is not well known. However, it’s very good and word will travel; but people really want to use a car to explore the Coromandel. We need more synergy perhaps for Aucklanders to fly and rent a car for their holiday. Our approach is, ‘However you get here, the destination is worth it.’”
Kevin and Maree are used to challenges. In the 90’s, they lived in Papua New Guinea and ran a chain of supermarkets. Maree could not work legally, so she organised several community programmes for local people and developed assistance programmes for children with health issues. “I could speak the language which made it much easier to achie ve results. Then, we went to Brisbane for four years managing Myers department store in Indooroopilly. I have been in sales most of my life and at the same time I have worked in the disability field, as my sister is intellectually disabled.”
Though Kevin and Maree will have been in Whitianga for five years this June, they still feel they are newcomers. “When we took over, the previous owner had closed it down, so it was a matter of our re-starting and re-opening.” At the time – 21 August, 2020 there were still Covid restrictions.
“We could see that there was no major holiday letting pool, so we took up the challenge and re-started one,”says Maree.
Rowena came to Whitianga four and a half years ago as her husband was retiring. “My background is banking - all 41 years of it and I did not want to return to banking. For a time I worked with Bach Care but it wasn’t long before I met Kevin and Maree and the rest is history.”
Kevin comments, “With being local, we can resolve things for our renters and for our property owners. We have a lot of properties and are very amenable and prepared to find more owners to make their properties available for long term or holiday rent. “We won’t let them down in service or in any aspect.”
Really, the goal of this team is to keep growing. “If we grow, then we know other businesses in the area are growing. We want more people to come and experience what there is here and what we have to offer. We are not going anywhere. This is home.” Maree smiles.
Just to drive home that message. Kevin, Maree and Rowena have a new office. Host on the Coast and Pinnacle Rentals have now relocated to 6 A Cook Drive.
Tel. 0800 292 942