GIVING your holiday home website that something a little different is key to making you stand out from the crowd.
And former IT specialist Neil Du Cros offers a piece of website wizardry that gives potential guests the chance to take a tour of your property.
Neil, with his wife and children, left the Cambridgeshire countryside behind because of the pressures and strains of work.
They headed to Magalas, near Beziers, in the Languedoc region of southern France last year and Neil is slowly building up a computer consultancy business.
As well as useful contacts for himself within the village.
“The main thing I am doing is building websites for English speaking businesses, most often holiday homes,” said Neil.
“But what I am also able to provide is a virtual walkabout through someone’s gîte that gives people the chance to look around the place as if they were there."
Neil’s own IT experience involved overseeing support teams with Customs and Excise, as well as working within outsourcing companies and Sony.
But he has been a little taken aback by some of the computing systems that he has seen being used by businesses in France.
“I had a look at the IT system of an estate agency in the area and found that it was around eight years out of date,” Neil said.
“It was riddled with viruses and it made me realise that many firms are missing out on the benefits a simple IT system could bring.”
It was with this in mind that Neil came up with the idea of providing a free resource for local businesses around Magalas.
He is currently building an internet based directory that would allow shops and suppliers to gain a toe-hold on the web.
Neil is working alongside his local mairie to get the scheme up and running soon.
But what brought Neil and his family to Magalas in the first place?
“We were keen to ensure that our children had as smooth a transition into the French way of schooling as possible,” explained Neil.
“So we looked at the school in the village here and another a little further away and decided on here, as the facilities for such a small place are ideal.
“But there are also lovely views over to the Mediterranean coast from the hillsides and with the coast only forty minutes away, it is a perfect spot.”
To visit Neil’s website, PanoMidi, please click here…