Tag Archives: refresh

Are you ready for the Boxing Day rush?

Keep your up to date to avoid disappointing travellersFor many people, Boxing Day is the first day of the Christmas holidays where they can spend some time doing whatever they fancy – for millions of people that includes booking holidays.

The dinner’s done, presents have been exchanged and sock drawers everywhere have been restocked. And with Christmas money to spend, it’s easy to see why many like to put their feet up and shop online for some sunshine. Boxing Day is the catalyst for the traditional summer holiday booking period. Traffic to our website kick-starts its steep rise from here and if you’re listing’s not in tip top condition you can bet someone else’s is and that they’ll be ready and waiting for the booking too.

So, what can you do to make sure you maximise on the Boxing Day rush? In short: get your listing ready for 2015 and get yourself ready to respond to booking enquiries and requests. Here’s how to get it in shape and get 2015 off to a roaring start:

Your prices

  • At the very least set your default prices (a base weekly and nightly price that will enable travellers to book dates not yet covered by your seasonal prices.
  • Without prices, your ad will appear at the bottom of the search results and won’t be displayed at all in dated searches. If you use online booking, no prices against future dates means guests can’t send you a booking request.
  • To set default prices, log in and go to Properties > Update prices.
  • Add seasonal prices to indicate pricing specific to periods throughout the year, e.g. summer, half term, off peak, etc.. You may want to increase prices at popular times such as the school holidays or for special in-demand periods such well-known local events. Lower, out-of-season prices will encourage guests to book for the quieter periods. We ask that you set seasonal prices for at least the next 12 months. However, we often see travellers wanting to book 18-24 months in advance, particularly for larger group trips.

Need help updating your prices? Check out our video guide.

Your calendar

  • If you’re not letting the property for any period of time, for example, if you’re staying there yourself or are doing maintenance work, be sure to mark these dates as unavailable on your calendar.  You don’t want any disappointed guests on your hands having enquired about dates already booked but not shown as booked.
  • Don’t have any changes to make to your calendar?  It’s still a good idea to update it often so that travellers can see your ad is well maintained. Log in and go to Properties > Update calendar, click on Update my calendar and the date that appears just below the calendar on your ad will change.

Our video guide explains how to keep your calendar up to date.

Refresh your ad

  • Give your ad a quick refresh to make sure all the info is up to date and it sounds as enticing as possible. If you’ve had some reviews or feedback, use the comments as inspiration to talk about what other guests have enjoyed most when staying at your place. Ask a friend to take an objective look at your ad and see if they would choose your home over the other homes in the area.

Get ready to respond

  • Make sure standard messages in your account are current and you’re happy with them. Go to Bookings > Update booking settings to check your standard messages. You can also download the mobile app so you can respond to booking requests and enquiries on the go.
  • Protect (or improve) your response rate: 24 hours is the maximum time we want to keep travellers waiting for a response so please respond as quickly as you can to every enquiry or booking request you receive. Your response rate is shown on your listing and reflects how timely your guest communication is.
  • Familiarise yourself with sending quotes – they’re quickest way to convert an enquiry into a paid booking (and the only way if you’re using our free listing). A quote enables travellers to book and pay once they’ve heard back from you with answers to any initial questions they may have had.

Watch our video guide on how to respond to enquiries with a quote.

 

More like this

5 easy ways to refresh your listing

Why updating your calendar is the key to securing bookings

 

 

My simple steps for boosting enquiries

Rowena - Ad refresh

It’s a good time as any to review and refresh your ad. Rowena shares what she does to help give her enquiries a boost. 

There are a few simple steps I always abide by that can really help boost enquiries.

General advert update

I make sure everything on my advert is up to date and seasonalised with new year prices and an updated availability calendar. I remove my ‘pitch’ for long term winter lets and update my descriptions with the promise of some summer sunshine!

Photo update

Sunny holiday shots are key to attracting bookings in the bleak winter months, so make sure your advert has lots of them! We make sure all the photos do our home justice and are a good representation of the type of holiday our guests can expect.

Optimise your exposure

It’s also a good time to consider using some extra advertising opportunities available through Holiday Lettings like Spotlights and Late Deals. Since our Spotlight went live last month we’ve started seeing more enquiries.

Always act fast

If you’ve received an enquiry from a potential guest chances are they’ve enquired with at least one of your competitors too, so sending a quick response with clear information is absolutely key. You can sign up for free SMS text alerts every time you receive an enquiry. Now there’s also the new Holiday Lettings mobile app, which is free and a great way to manage enquiries and bookings when you’re out and about.

Now over to you: what do you do to get the enquiries flowing at this time of year? Do you have any tips or advice to share with other homeowners?

Good luck!

Rowena