Seven top tips for holiday home owners entering their first peak booking season

7 tips

Are you about to enter your first peak booking season? Want to make sure you secure as many bookings as possible for 2014? Then read on…

After the presents have been unwrapped and the turkey’s been eaten people’s thoughts often turn to their next holiday. The period immediately following Christmas and New Year is always one of the busiest times for holiday home owners, but what makes guests book and why would they choose your property over someone else’s? Here are some tips to help you fill up your calendar for 2014.

1) Entice guests with a stand-out summary
When a guest searches for a holiday home on Holiday Lettings, they’ll arrive on a search results page listing all the relevant properties. You have up to 300 words to sell your home in your search results description and encourage people to click through to your main ad listing. Make sure this is written as effectively as possible, outlining your home’s unique selling points, nearby attractions and any special offers.

2) Help people to imagine themselves in your home with fantastic photos
The more your guests can imagine themselves relaxing by your pool, eating breakfast on the balcony or reading on your comfy sofas the more likely they’ll be to book. You can upload up to 24 images on your ad – the more the better. Make sure you’ve included a good selection of both the exterior and interior of your home and remember to set your best image as the lead photo, as this is the main picture that will appear on the search results page.

3) Get your prices right
No one’s going to book your place if they could stay at a similar property nearby for half the price, but at the same time you don’t want to charge too little. Check out the competition to see if your prices are reflective of the area your home is in and make sure you’re aware of school holiday dates or any events happening nearby which could justify you charging more at those times.

4) Collect reviews
Even if you’re new to Holiday Lettings, your home can feature reviews starting from any time in the last two years. Ads that have just one recommendation receive up to 40% more enquiries than those that don’t, so if you’re in touch with anyone who’s stayed in your home over the last year why not ask them to write a quick review?

5) Quick communication is key
Once you’ve perfected your ad and the enquires have started pouring in, you need to make sure you secure those bookings!

Always try to respond as quickly as you can – ideally within 24 hours. Guests will often enquire about several properties when researching holiday lets and the owners who respond quickest are more likely to get the bookings. Plus, if you respond quickly you’ll maintain or improve your response rate on your advert, increasing trust and encourage even more people to get in touch.

To find out about new enquiries as quickly as possible, check your emails regularly, make sure you’re set up to receive SMS notifications and download the My Property app.

6) Respond to enquiries with quotes
If a guest sends you a message asking for more information you can respond not only answering their questions but by providing them with a quote detailing exactly how much they’d have to pay for their stay. A guest can book and pay for their stay instantly upon receiving a quote – it’s the fastest way of securing their booking. Watch this video to find out more.

7) Familiarise yourself with how to accept booking requests
If a guest is sure they want to stay at your home they can send you a booking request. Watch this video to learn how to accept a request to secure the booking.

What are your tips for making the most of the peak booking season? Tell us in the box below.

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