Finding it difficult to encourage holidaymakers to book after they’ve sent you an enquiry? We ask holidaymakers all the time about why they decided not to book. Read on to find out their top reasons and what you can do to secure those all-important bookings.
Tip #1 Keep your calendar up to date
We recently received this email from one disgruntled holidaymaker:
“Dear Holiday Lettings,
My son and I spent a considerable amount of time over three nights sifting through the villas on offer until we found exactly what we were looking for, available at the time we wanted and for at a price we could afford. Sadly, we allowed ourselves to get excited about the prospect of our sunny Italian holiday.
The reality was something of a letdown when we found that the availability dates were wrong and that the villa had been let for some considerable time. We looked again, only to find the same result. This was followed by another similar experience.”
Out of date availability is one of the main gripes that holidaymakers have when trying to make a booking. This can easily be avoided by updating your calendar as often as possible by logging into your account and going to Properties > Availability. They might keep your ad in mind for next year if it’s booked this time, but will steer clear in future if they have a bad experience.
Tip #2 Respond as soon as possible
Sadly, many enquiries that are sent through the site never receive a response. Even if you can’t accept a particular stay, responding is crucial if you want to be considered again. Speed is also key if you’re going to be the one to secure the booking before anyone else.
“The owner never responded to my request! Every time we called the mobile number provided, it just rang out to answer phone. This upset us, as obviously we wanted to book. However, we have booked another home through your site, which we are all looking forward to. Shame about the other villa owner. “
“I did not book the cottage as someone else got back to me a little sooner.”
“I have had no response from the owner of the property, I am disappointed that I have not heard anything back, I was a genuine customer wanting to let this property but because of this I have arranged to book another apartment.”
As it’s now possible for owners to take online payments via their Holiday Lettings advert, guests can book straight away. If you don’t use online bookings, you’ll need to bear that in mind and respond to enquiries as soon as they come in. Want to start taking online bookings? Find out more. You can also respond to enquiries on the go by downloading the Holiday Lettings app. This way, it doesn’t matter where you are – you’ll easily be able to respond to enquiries and booking requests.
Tip #3 Set your changeover day and length of stay
“… I did have a prompt reply from the owner but it seems that during peak periods you can only take a letting for 2 weeks min. It would be helpful if this was flagged up more clearly so time is not wasted on properties that are unavailable.”
“We have found somewhere else that was able to offer a Friday start date.”
It’s really important to make it clear on your advert what your minimum stay and changeover day is so you don’t have to disappoint anyone. It’s easy to specify –just go to Properties > Prices > General settings and give extra details if you need to in the Notes section on the same page.
Tip #4 Keep your prices up to date
“I was very interested in renting this property but the price quoted when I enquired was substantially more than that stated on the website for the period I’m interested in so I have decided not pursued this further.”
“When I had a reply the price was nearly £20 a night more than was quoted on your site, which was very disappointing as it was then over our budget.”
“We changed our minds because the price quoted on the price list was £1000 per week but it came through at £2000. We are looking at other options.”
Whether you’re using online booking or not, it’s important that your prices are right. Update often but also, keep your prices all inclusive so there are no hidden charges that might put holidaymakers off at a later date. Go to Properties > Prices to update.
Tip #5 A complete advert is an enquired about advert
“I haven’t booked, as I was hoping to see further photos of the property (only the bedroom and kitchen are shown.)”
“They weren’t clear about how I can pay. I want to know that the process is secure.”
“I did send them a message but now I’m worried because they don’t have reviews. Has someone else stayed there?”
Did you know that just one review can boost your enquiries by 40%? Find out more.
You’ve got space for 24 photos so fill your gallery with plenty of pictures of your home and the surrounding area. Log in and visit Properties > Photos upload your images.
Online booking gives guests extra peace of mind by giving them a safe and secure way of paying (and saves you the hassle of chasing up payments!). If you’re not using online booking, make sure your advert says how you accept payments, for example, bank transfer. We recommend guests never pay by wire money transfer (such as Western Union).
See more tips about keeping your ad in shape to keep the bookings rolling in all year round.