Category Archives: Letting advice

Help managing cancellations (annual listings)

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes things get in the way to scupper holiday plans and you, or your guest, might have to cancel. If you do, it’s vital that you have a plan in place to make it as pleasant as it possibly can be. After all, your guest might have been looking forward to their stay at your place for weeks!

Read our top tips to help make cancellations as smooth as possible:

  1. Always provide a booking contract that will ensure you and your guest are on the same page should either of you need to cancel. You can use our sample booking contract as a starting point.

Help managing cancellations (free listings)

calendarIt’s unfortunate, but sometimes things get in the way to scupper holiday plans and you, or your guest, might have to cancel. If you do, it’s vital that you have a plan in place to make it as pleasant as it possibly can be. After all, your guest might have been looking forward to their stay at your place for weeks!

Read our top tips to help make cancellations as smooth as possible:

  1. If you or your guest needs to cancel, your chosen cancellation policy will kick in so make sure you’re happy with the one you’ve selected. You can change your cancellation policy for future stays from your Dashboard by going to Bookings > Update booking settings > Policies.

Collect reviews with our email template

If you have time, it’s worthwhile sending a personalised email to all of your guests on the day after check-out. Many of our advertisers tell us that they have the biggest uptake when requesting reviews this way because the email comes directly from you and they’ll probably recognise your email address. As an example, you could write something like:

Dear [insert guest's name here],

Thank you for staying at our home in [location here]. It was lovely to accommodate you and we do hope you enjoyed your stay.

Responding to guest reviews: top tips

Did you know that the way you respond to a review can be more important than the review reviewsimageitself? Our studies suggest that, whatever their rating, reviews on adverts with responses get an average of 12 per cent more enquiries than those without.

Tips for responding to reviews:

  • Respond as soon as you can but make sure you have carefully considered your response before submitting it. Don’t forget to check it for spelling and grammar.
  • Once you’ve written your response, sleep on it and look at it again with a fresh pair or eyes in the morning; you’ll probably find that you end up changing it again for the better.

The step-by-step guide to securing bookings

For owners with free listings

Travellers can contact you with a booking request or an enquiry. Normally, they will send booking requests when they are ready to book and enquiries if they want to discuss their stay first.

Guests can only send booking requests for dates that are marked as available in your calendar and that have prices. The booking request must also match your changeover day and specified number of guests.

For booking requests

1. Guest requests booking
You’re alerted by email and text. The message also appears in your Holiday Lettings Inbox. For 24 hours, the dates the guest has requested will be marked as reserved in your calendar.

5 pricing tips for more bookings

Don't miss out on bookings - read our top tips for pricesHow much will it cost? Alongside ‘Where is it?’ it’s the burning question guests ask when they’re booking a holiday.

So do guests get the answer when they click Prices on your ad? If they don’t you’re wasting their time and yours. But most of all, you’re losing out on bookings and revenue.

With online booking guests can query the price by entering their holiday dates and number of guests. However some guests will look at your table of prices if they’re not quite ready to book so it’s still important for the prices to be crystal clear.

Stay up to date with your dates

Keep your up to date to avoid disappointing travellersSearching for a holiday can be time-consuming, especially when your plans aren’t flexible and you have specific dates in mind. There’s nothing worse for travellers after finding the right place to stay and requesting to book it, to then discover that it isn’t available.

In fact, out-of-date calendars are a massive time-waster and the number one guest complaint. Plus they’re a sure-fire way of missing out on bookings.

Easy to update

But the good news is it’s really easy to keep your calendar up to date on Holiday Lettings and make sure you maximise your booking opportunities.

UK school holidays 2014 & 2015

Attract more family bookingsAn easy way of attracting more family bookings for your holiday let is to arrange the price bands on your calendar by the school holiday dates for 2014 & 2015.

Most travellers can relate to school holiday dates – whether they’re families booking for when the kids are off school or other travellers, like couples or groups of friends, wanting to get away when the roads and resorts are not as busy.

The school holiday dates below are the combined holiday dates for schools in England, Wales and Scotland and can be used as a guide for your price bands. For example, use them to determine when your Easter price band should start and finish, or when your peak summer season should begin.

Response rate: time for 24 hours

Response rate calculation is now 24 hoursGetting in there quick is so important when it comes to booking enquiries – replying promptly not only helps guests with their holiday planning, it also boosts your bookings. With this in mind, we’ve changed the way we calculate response rates.

From now on, when we’re working out your response rate we’re only looking at replies within 24 hours. So, if you reply after 24 hours this won’t count towards your all-important response rate percentage.

Why 24 hours?

#1 A plus for owners

This is the most compelling factor for the change. As you can see from the graph below, quick replies clearly get more bookings. And what’s more, if you reply within 6 hours your booking opportunities double!