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.
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Published: 11 March 2014
Draw holidaymakers to your advert and boost bookings with these simple tips:
- Pick great pictures. Your first photo should be the best as it appears next to your home summary text in the search results page – this picture has the power to draw holidaymakers to your advert. Pictures of unique selling points such as a pool, roof terrace or sea view work well, but keep it relevant to your home: those sea views will look much more appealing if your garden is also in shot.
Impress guests with your first four photos as these appear on the search results page. Choose high-quality pictures that show off different aspects of your place and really shout ‘holiday’.
Keep your photos fresh: remember, you have 24 photos to play with so why not update a few throughout the year to reflect the coming season? Quality seasonal photos really help holidaymakers to imagine what their stay will be like.
- Write to excite. Your home summary appears next to the photo in search results – this is your chance to entice holidaymakers in around 30 words. Talk to your target audience, say what makes your place special and add keywords for a search engine boost: well-chosen words can boost your bookings.
Most holidaymakers head straight to the gallery before reading the rest of your advert, so use captions to set that holiday mood. Rather than simply writing “Terrace”, why not “Start the day with breakfast in the sun”?
- Consider how your ad looks at a glance. Guests browse lots of ads before choosing which to read in depth. Try looking at your ad in the search results; does it jump out at you? If everyone else has a pool picture, maybe your beautiful bedroom will catch the eye?
Refine your search data, add reviews and keep your prices competitive to stand out in the search results and tempt holidaymakers to pick you out of the crowd.
- Draw on local knowledge. Tell holidaymakers about things to do in your area to tempt them to book. Many holidaymakers want to go beyond the guidebook’s advice and your local knowledge can give your place an edge over the competition.
- Collect reviews from your previous guests are so powerful. That extra testimonial could persuade a holidaymaker to book your home over another, so get collecting! Ask your happy guests to write a review for you through the Reviews page in your account. Find out more about collecting reviews.
- Keep your pricing structure simple and easy to follow. Make sure your table is as short as possible and group time periods together giving them a name for easy reference. E.g. ‘Summer’ or ‘High season’. The easier your pricing is to understand, the better the experience for the guest.
You don’t have to be a marketing mogul to have a great advert. With just a few simple, regular updates and improvements, you can keep the bookings rolling in all year round.
Has your calendar been updated recently? As a holidaymaker, there’s nothing more frustrating than setting your sights on the ideal holiday let then discovering it’s already booked. It could deter them from enquiring in the future so it’s a good idea to update your calendar every week or so.
What’s new at your home/in the area? If you’ve recently refurbished one of the rooms, added a new unique selling point, such as a barbecue, or a new attraction has opened in the area, get the camera out and take some snaps. Update your photos and descriptions so you can shout about the new features.
Are your prices up to date? People are more likely to enquire when they can easily see how much it will cost them to stay at your home. Keeping your prices up to date will save you time when it comes to responding to enquiries, too.
Asked all of your guests to leave a review? It’s a good idea to ask your guests to leave a review as soon as they leave, either by mentioning it to them in person, sending them an email at the end of the stay with a link to your advert or leaving a business card in the property with a reminder. Adverts with reviews perform really well as there’s no better recommendation than that of a happy guest.
Take online bookings. With more and more people paying for most of their purchases online, take the fuss out of payments by using our online booking system. Easy for you, easy for your guest.