Tag Archives: marketing

How romantic is your place?

Romantic escapesAh, l’amour! Your home doesn’t have to be in “Pair-ee” for your guests to get that warm, fuzzy feeling on holiday. With honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays and even ‘babymoons’ giving couples a reason to book a stay away, it’s well worth knowing how to get them to choose your home for their romantic escape.

  • Did you know that you can display up to three different price tables on your advert for different group sizes? Even if you normally accept larger groups of four or six, consider adding a price table for two so couples can book. Log in and go to Properties > Update prices to add new tables.
  • Couples are often happy to travel out of season and last minute, and can be very flexible when it comes to length of stay and changeover days. Having couples stay at your place is an easy way to fill shoulder season weeks/weekends.
  • A hamper with some flowers, chocolates and a bottle of bubbly (especially if it’s a special occasion such as an anniversary) will really impress and might result in a repeat booking and a glowing review.
  • Have a box of ‘things to do for couples’ leaflets ready. That way, you can tailor them to suit couples rather than including leaflets about adventure playgrounds and other more child-oriented activities. Include info about local theatres, restaurants, museums and romantic walks.
  • Set the scene in your photo gallery: decorate the dining table for two complete with candles, flowers and a bottle of wine. Beautiful sunsets, secluded beaches and lamp-lit restaurants help to stir up feelings of romance.

More like this…

What’s in your welcome hamper?

A picture tells a thousand words – why photos matter.

Do you know your audience?

From intrepid walkers to loved-up couples, there are many different types of traveller out there, all with their own specific needs. We’ve identified the most common groups to get you thinking about your audience, how you can accommodate them and how to encourage them to book with you, whatever your property type and season.

How romantic is your place?Romantic escapes for couples

Did you know that you can display up to three different price tables on your advert for different group sizes? Even if you normally accept larger groups of four or six, adding a price table for two can increase your bookings. Log in and go to Properties > Update prices to add new tables.

Many couples are flexible and are often happy to travel out of season so encouraging couples to book is a great way to fill off-peak weeks.

More on marketing your home to couples.

familiesFamily fun

Most families will want to get out and about as soon as their holiday starts. Go to Properties > Update location info and write about places of interest nearby on your ad. It’s a good way to remind travellers why your place is great for families and will encourage them to book.

Are you only accepting couples when you’ve got space for more? Investing in a sofa bed and a few z-beds could really widen your audience if you have the space to accept larger families as well as smaller groups.

dogPet friendly

Before agreeing to accept pets into your place, ask yourself: is there adequate outdoor space? Are you prepared for the odd ‘accident’ on your furnishings? Are there places nearby where dog owners will be welcomed?

According to a poll by travelsupermarket.com, two in five Britons now take their pets on holiday so the potential market is definitely out there. Log in and go to Properties > Update description > Suitability to change your pet preferences.

child-friendly-holidaysBaby and toddler safe

Demand for safe holiday homes for babies and toddlers is growing; there are even websites dedicated to helping travellers find suitable places for their little ones. Describe your baby-friendly credentials, such as a cot and highchair, by logging in and going to Properties > Update description.

Child-friendly holidays: are you stocked up?

Hen and stag parties

party

From our experience of talking to owners about accepting stag and hen parties they tell us that, despite their initial concerns, these groups have been some of their most considerate guests and have been a pleasure to host. As more and more hens and stags are taking a break with friends before their big day, accepting hen and stag parties can expand your audience and increase your bookings.

wildlife Walkers and wildlife enthusiasts

It doesn’t matter where your home is, wildlife is all around us. Parks and nature reserves are usually only a short walk/drive away even in busy cities. Photos of the local wildlife and green spaces look great on your advert and help to conjure up the feeling of getting away from it all. You can add photos by logging in and going to Properties > Add/update photos.

quietThe quiet life

Many of us look forward to our holidays simply for some peace and quiet. If your place is in a secluded spot away from traffic noise and pollution, describe its serenity in your advert. Recommend local ‘hidden gems’ including museums and restaurants. These travellers will be looking for places to visit away from the tourist trap. Go to Properties > Update location info to talk about what there is to do nearby.

Marketing your holiday let around French public holidays

Market your place as a treat for French travellersWith around 10 public holidays in France each year, there are many peak times when French travellers are looking for a short break or long weekend away.

Arranging your calendar around the French public holidays will widen the appeal of your holiday let (read on to find out more). And if you have a place in France, you can even encourage guests to come and be part of the festivities.

When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your listing will be translated into French and seen by thousands more travellers on www.tripadvisor.fr. It’s well worth taking the time to market your place to guests in other countries – also see our advice for the Spanish public holidays.

French public holidays in 2014-15

  • Monday 21 April: Easter Monday - Lundi de Pâques
  • Thursday 1 May: Labour Day – Fête du Travail
  • Thursday 8 May: VE Day – Fête de la Victoire 1945
  • Thursday 29 May: Ascension Day – Ascension
  • Monday 9 June: Whit Monday – Lundi de Pentecôte
  • Monday 14 July: Bastille Day – Fête Nationale
  • Friday 15 August: Assumption Day – Assomption
  • Saturday 1 November: All Saints’ Day – Toussaint
  • Tuesday 11 November: Armistice Day – Armistice 1918
  • Thursday 25 December: Christmas Day – Noël
  • Wednesday 1 January: New Year’s Day – Jour de l’An

Public holiday marketing tips

Here are a few ideas on how you can use French public holidays to bring in more bookings for your holiday let:

  • Add public holiday dates to your prices so travellers can easily find and book the correct dates. Go to Properties > Prices in your account.
  • Create price periods around the holiday dates – travellers can then see at a glance what you’re charging for the period around a public holiday. For example, for French Labour Day, list a rate for the long weekend from Thursday 1 May to Sunday 4 May.

Published: 14 March 2014

How to be a Holiday Lettings host

What makes a great Holiday Lettings host? Providing fantastic holidays will get guests coming back for more and spreading the word. But how do you get started and what are the best ways to grow your business?

We take a look at the crucial things to do when starting your holiday lettings business. Find out how to perfect your home, protect your business and your guests, and the best ways of marketing your place so the bookings keep on rolling in.

How to be a Holiday Lettings host

Not yet listed with us?

Get your place online today (it’s free!) and be seen by the world’s largest audience of travellers. Visit www.holidaylettings.co.uk/welcome-to-hosting

Published: 11 March 2014

Marketing your holiday let around Spanish public holidays

Attract Spanish holidaymakersSpain has more public holidays than most other European countries: 14 national, regional and local holidays are celebrated each year. And as the Spanish are big fans of turning a public holiday into a short break, their busy calendar creates some fantastic opportunities for marketing your holiday let.

When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your place will also be seen by thousands of Spanish travellers on www.tripadvisor.es (among others). So it’s well worth taking the time to widen it’s appeal (also see our tips for the French public holidays).

Spanish public holidays in 2014-15

  • Thursday 17 April: Maundy Thursday (not all regions)
  • Friday 18 April: Good Friday – viernes santo
  • Sunday 21 April: Easter Sunday (not all regions)
  • Thursday 1 May: Labour Day – día del trabajador
  • Friday 15 August: Assumption Day – día de la Asunción
  • Monday 13 October: Spanish National Day – día de la Hispanidad (Spain’s national day is usually on 12 October, but it’s moved this year to a weekday)
  • Saturday 1 November: All Saints’ Day – día de todos los santos
  • Saturday 6 December: Constitution Day – día de la Constitución
  • Monday 8 December: Immaculate Conception Day – día de la Inmaculada Concepción
  • Thursday 25 December: Christmas Day – día de Navidad
  • Thursday 1 January: New Year’s Day – día del año nuevo
  • Tuesday 6 January: Three Kings’ Day – día de los reyes magos
  • Saturday 28 February: Andalusia regional day (Andalusia only)

Public holiday marketing tips

Here are a few tips on making the most of Spain’s long weekends to help fill any holes in your calendar:

  • Add public holiday dates to your prices so travellers can easily find and book the correct dates. Go to Properties > Prices in your account.
  • Create price periods around the holiday dates – travellers can then see at a glance what you’re charging for the period around a public holiday. For example, for Spanish Labour Day, list a rate for the long weekend from Thursday 1 May to Sunday 4 May.
  • Local public holidays in Spain are usually colourful festivities – find out when they are in your area and list these too. For example, Valencia celebrates St Joseph’s Day for a week around 19 March and carnival celebrations (in the run-up to Lent) in Cadiz, Gran Canaria and Tenerife are big tourist attractions.

Published: 3 March 2014

Market your ski property: 4 easy tips

Marketing your ski propertyIf you’re the lucky owner of a ski property in a stunning location, read our tips for attracting more snowsports-mad guests in ski season with just a few updates to your listing.

To make these changes to your Holiday Lettings listing, log in to your account and go to Properties.

Tip #1 Organise your gallery

When it comes to skiing, exterior shots are essential for inspiring outdoorsy types.

  • Show a snowy outdoor shot, pistes and mountain views – particularly if they’re taken from the property itself. Add helpful info to your captions, such as ‘View of Mont Blanc from the master bedroom’.
  • Images of piste maps may not be as attractive, but some guests find them helpful.
  • Après-ski is almost as important as the skiing itself, so it’s worth uploading a shot of the local entertainment/nightlife, or even other activities for non-skiers such as ice skating.

When organising your interior shots, depict the warming scenes you’d like to see if you were booking the trip.

  • Show warmly lit bedrooms, a blazing log fire, hearty food and drink on the table – especially if the home is catered.
  • If you’ve got a hot tub, sauna or other facilities on site, snap them and show them off!

Tip #2 Use the search results to get seen

  • Skiers, especially those with families, need to plan far in advance. Make sure your prices are updated for at least 18 months ahead so you’ll appear in all the right searches.
  • If the ski lift is outside or within walking distance, mention this in your search results summary to attract instant clicks.
  • Pin your property’s location on the map so guests can see where the home is in relation to the resort. Your location will appear on your advert and also on the map view in the search results.

Tip #3 Create text for snow-mad guests

Use the various text sections in your account to provide all the vital practical info.

  • Use your main description to give details of the piste opening times, available levels, recommended ski hire shops and distance to the ski lifts from the property.
  • Mention air lines, car hire companies and any ski shuttles nearby to make travel to and fro seem simple.
  • Include après-ski activities and events, for example any Christmas or New Year parties, in the area info under location details.
  • If you can offer your guests a ski pass, add this to the notes section under your prices and mention it in the search results summary and main description too.

Tip #4 Use extra marketing at key times

Some skiers/snowboarders keep an eye on the weather for most of the year and plan well in advance, whereas others book at the last minute. Consider adding deals to give both early and late bookings a boost for peak seasons.

  • Use an Early Deal in October for stays in January/February to grab bookings from forward-thinking families and large groups.
  • Use a Late Deal in early December to attract bookings for the end of the month and early January.
  • Add a Spotlight to put your property right under the guest’s nose at the top of our search results. These can be really effective, as long as your photos are striking and, above all, snowy!

To invest in some extra marketing, log in and go to Account > Add deals and spotlights.

Prep your properties for autumn and winter guests

Attract more bookings for autumn and winterBe season savvy this autumn!

The last of your summer guests have departed so it’s time to gear your relevant listings towards autumn breaks and winter getaways. These are popular seasons for travellers who are keen to avoid the busier, often more expensive periods, so don’t miss your chance to impress these key customers.

With a couple of simple tweaks to your property adverts, you’ll be primed to maximise your off-peak bookings.

Seasonal shots

Start with the most obvious change: your photos. If you have properties in locations where the weather’s now turning cooler, you can swap shots of outdoor pools, sun loungers or water sports with autumnal landscapes, log fires and cosy candlelit rooms. Give some thought to your lead photo especially, as it has the potential to clinch more clicks from our search results lists.

Weather-friendly words

The same logic applies to your text. If your home description and local info text leans heavily on summery attractions and sun-baked fun, replace those elements with inviting detail for autumn and winter breaks. Think comfortable, warm lodgings, autumn strolls in the local countryside or town, or welcoming pubs and restaurants nearby. Don’t hesitate to include any upcoming local events or festivals, especially in your search results summary.

In short, display season-savvy adverts for your off-peak periods and give yourself the very best chance of reaping more customer bookings. Good luck!

Increase clicks with a great search results summary

Great text means more guests!Your search results summary is the text that appears next to your first photo in our search results. These few words have the power to grab a guest’s attention, convince them to click through and book a holiday.

Some holiday home owners like to pepper their summary text with popular keywords that match holidaymaker searches and stand out at first glance – things like ‘secure parking’, ‘private garden’, ‘Madrid city centre apartment’. Whereas others prefer to speak to potential guests’ emotional side, using carefully crafted, evocative sentences to highlight the property’s key features.

Here are some good examples from our site:

City centre canalside garden apartment with private access and secure parking. Wrap around, well stocked private garden overlooking canal and basin. Plenty of wildlife, peace and tranquillity. Summer sees many canal boats pass by. Extensive shared residents’ gardens.

Weaver Cottage is a charming 18th century stone weavers’ house with breath-taking views over Bradford on Avon. Surrounded by secret paths and terraced gardens, Tory enchants visitors. Weaver cottage is ideally suited to couples wanting a romantic getaway. The rooms are light and sunny with a mellow traditional feel. There is a south-facing courtyard garden.

Magnificent view of the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. The town centre is easily accessible and offers shops, a supermarket, restaurants and cafés. You can leave your car parked! The next bus stop is only 150 metres from our house, free ski buses run every 20 minutes. Summer: hiking, biking, golf, climbing, tennis, sailing and swimming in one of the Alps most beautiful lakes.

Move with the seasons

Your search results summary is also the perfect place to add seasonal selling points. For example, you might write about sun and sand in the hotter months then swap in a mention of the log fire and cosy local pub as it turns colder. Got a local festival or event coming up? Mention it here, then remove it once the time has passed.

Updating your search results summary

Log in to your account, go to Properties > Property details and write your brief text into the field marked Search results summary. There’s even an additional field for you to use if you’ve got more to say.

Also see: how to write your main description.

Marketing your holiday home on Facebook

facebook

Facebook is one of the world’s most popular social networks and is often seen as one of the most accessible ones, used by every generation. Not only is it great for keeping in touch with friends, it’s also well suited to spreading the word about your holiday home.

To market your holiday home on Facebook, you can either post updates and photos onto your own Facebook profile, or you can set up a dedicated ‘fan page’. You’ll be able to add a page when logged into Facebook. People who are interested in finding out more about your home won’t need to send you a friend request; they can simply become a fan of your page. Find out more about Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

You’ll be able to add a description to your profile so be sure to list your Holiday Lettings quicklink here. Take photos whenever you visit the property and upload these to your profile so they are available for your contacts to see.

Join us on Facebook – we talk about holiday home rental best practice, new and unusual homes on the site and the best deals of the day.

As with Twitter, make sure you regularly use these sites and continue to expand your contacts. You don’t have to talk about your holiday home all the time, but maintaining an active presence means more people will visit your page and be reminded of your business.

Social networking sites often have groups for people with a shared interest. Search for groups related to your holiday home (such as its location, general travel, your target market (skiers, young families or pet owners, etc), join them and join in the discussion.

Using social media to market your holiday home

nl200904_socialSocial networking is a simple (and free!) way of increasing your online presence and making other internet users aware of what you have to offer.

Twitter and Facebook are the most well known of the social networks with Google+ growing in popularity. Not only are they a great place to engage with friends and family, they also form the perfect opportunity to build a network or community of like-minded people around your holiday home and holiday offerings.

What’s more, promoting your home on social networks increases your presence on the web so any guests Googling your home are likely to find your Twitter feed or Facebook profile. Guests can contact you via social networks if they want to make a booking and also leave comments about their stay.

To get you started, why not hook up with us? You’ll find Holiday Lettings on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest.

Top tips for each social network:

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

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