Sample responses to guest enquiries

 
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Owner advice > Managing rentals > Sample responses to guest enquiries

Sample responses to booking enquiries

Holidaymakers often enquire about more than one property when they are searching for their holiday. They want to find the home that suits them in the right location and at the right price, but they are also considering if the owner is someone they feel comfortable letting from. If they can see from the outset that you're organised and approachable they are more likey to go ahead and book.

It's good practice to have a plan already in place for when an enquiry comes in. Not only will this give a professional impression to holidaymakers but it will also save time for both you and your potential guest. Our sample enquiry responses are designed to make the right first impression and can be used as a starting point when composing your own emails.

We've numbered them below for ease of reference and given you some tips to get you started:

  1. Auto-reply

  2. Response to first enquiry

  3. Home is booked - suggest alternative dates

  4. Holidaymaker looking for a discount – Option 1 (no discount offered)

  5. Holidaymaker looking for a discount – Option 2 (discount offered)

1. Auto-reply


You can set up an auto-reply from most email providers so that you can let holidaymakers know when you’ll be able to get back to them. There should be an option to set this up once you’re logged into the email account that you use to deal with your enquiries. Don't forget to link back to your advert by providing a 'quicklink'.

Dear [insert holidaymaker’s name],

Thank you for enquiring about [insert home name here] in [location]. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and aim to respond within 24 hours. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us by telephone [enter contact number here].

We update our availability calendar on our Holiday Lettings advert regularly, so you can double check to see if the dates you’re looking for are available.

Kind regards,

Name

Phone

Email

www.holidaylettings.co.uk/home number here

2. Response to first enquiry


If the holidaymaker has provided a phone number with their enquiry, we advise trying to contact them by phone in the first instance. If they have supplied a number they won’t mind you calling them, especially if they are looking to make a quick decision or book last minute. If you’re able to speak directly with the holidaymaker, you have more chance of sealing the deal there and then. If not, try to include all the information they need to proceed in your first email..

Dear [insert holidaymaker’s name],

Thank you for your contacting us about our home [home name here] in [location]. We’re pleased to tell you that the dates you are looking for are available: [enter dates]. The rate for one week [or other time period] is £XXX.

[Include a brief description of your home’s main selling points such as:

  • Number of double/single beds/cots

  • Distance to beach/ski/city centre/town

  • Distance to transport links such as airport/ferry port/train station/major motorways

  • Activities nearby such as museum/theatre/zoo/theme park

  • Facilities provided such as swimming pool/private garden/roof terrace]

To confirm your reservation, we ask that you sign the booking contract attached to this email and return it to us as soon as possible. We also require a deposit of £XXX to secure the booking. We can accept payments by bank transfer or PayPal: let us know your preferred payment option and we’ll send you the details. The final balance should be paid [insert time period here. For example: ‘six weeks’] before arrival.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards.

Name

Phone

Email

www.holidaylettings.co.uk/home number here

3. Home is booked - suggest alternative dates


If a holidaymaker enquires for dates that are already booked, it's a good idea to recommend an alternative. The holidaymaker might not have specific weeks when they have to travel. When suggesting alternative dates, why not consider offering a small discount to make your suggestion more attractive? Or maybe there's an event taking place in your area a different week that the holidaymaker is unaware of but you may be able to sway them into booking with.

Dear [insert holidaymaker’s name],

Thank you for your enquiry. I’m afraid the dates you’ve requested are already booked: [insert requested dates here]. However, we would like to be able to accommodate you and can suggest [insert alternative dates here] as an alternative. The rate for that week is £XXX.

[Include a brief description of your home’s main selling points such as:

  • Number of double/single beds/cots

  • Distance to beach/ski/city centre/town

  • Distance to transport links such as airport/ferry port/train station/major motorways

  • Activities nearby such as museum/theatre/zoo/theme park

  • Facilities provided such as swimming pool/private garden/roof terrace]

If these dates do not suit your arrangements, please take a look at our availability calendar on our Holiday Lettings advert which is updated regularly. We have particularly favourable rates outside of peak seasons [enter your low season months here].

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to accommodate you soon at [insert home name].

Kind regards.

Name

Phone

Email

www.holidaylettings.co.uk/home number here

4. Holidaymaker looking for a discount – Option 1 (no discount offered)


Don’t be afraid to refuse a booking if you’re not in a position to offer a discount. You may very well get another enquiry for that week from someone else willing to pay your full rate. However, if you need to fill the week you can negotiate on the discount and offer something more in your favour to secure the booking.

Dear [insert holidaymaker’s name],

Thank you for your enquiry. I’m pleased to tell you that the dates you have requested are available. The rates are as listed on our advert. For the dates you are looking for, I can confirm that the rate is £XXX.

We feel that our home offers good value for money when you consider the location, space and facilities on offer such as [insert unique selling point here. For example: ‘private pool’].

[Include a brief description of your home’s main selling points such as:

  • Number of double/single beds/cots

  • Distance to beach/ski/city centre/town

  • Distance to transport links such as airport/ferry port/train station/major motorways

  • Activities nearby such as museum/theatre/zoo/theme park

  • Facilities provided such as swimming pool/private garden/roof terrace]

Should you reconsider and opt to proceed with a reservation, we ask that you sign the booking contract attached to this email and return it to us as soon as possible. At the same time, we also require a deposit of £XXX to secure the booking and we can accept payments by bank transfer or PayPal: let us know your preferred payment option and we’ll send you the details. The final balance should be paid [insert time period here. For example: ‘six weeks’] before arrival.

If these rates are not appropriate for you, please take a look at our availability calendar on out Holiday Lettings advert which is updated regularly.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to accommodate you soon at [insert home name].

Kind regards.

Name

Phone

Email

www.holidaylettings.co.uk/home number here

5. Holidaymaker looking for a discount – Option 2 (discount offered):


In the current economic climate, consumers instinctively hunt for deals. Try to be prepared for this and consider it when deciding on your rental rates. When a holidaymaker is looking to strike a deal, you might want to consider explaining to the holidaymaker that you are willing to offer the discount on condition that the booking contract and deposit are returned by a certain date. This is a great way to secure a booking quickly.

Dear [insert holidaymaker’s name],

Thank you for your enquiry. I’m pleased to tell you that the dates you are looking for are available. The home is normally £XXX for that time period, but on this occasion I am willing let the home for £XXX: a discount of £X [could be £ or %].

[Include a brief description of your home’s main selling points such as:

  • Number of double/single beds/cots

  • Distance to beach/ski/city centre/town

  • Distance to transport links such as airport/ferry port/train station/major motorways

  • Activities nearby such as museum/theatre/zoo/theme park

  • Facilities provided such as swimming pool/private garden/roof terrace]

To proceed with your reservation, we ask that you sign the booking contract attached to this email and return it to us as soon as possible. At the same time, we also require a deposit of £XXX to secure the booking. We can accept payments by bank transfer or PayPal: let us know your preferred payment option and we’ll send you the details. The final balance should be paid [insert time period here. For example: ‘six weeks’] before arrival.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Name

Phone

Email

www.holidaylettings.co.uk/home number here

Things to remember when responding


✔ Include contact details such as name, email, telephone number (landline and mobile)

✔ Say when the holidaymaker can expect to hear back from you

Link back to your advert on Holiday Lettings; some holidaymakers enquire about more than one home at a time

✔ Attach a booking contract

✔ Confirm dates and rates

✔ Provide a timeframe for payments

✔ Outline any extra costs not included in your fee, though we recommend that all are included for ease

✔ Remind the holidaymaker about your home’s USPs such as the facilities and location

✔ Answer any questions the holidaymaker has about their stay

✔ Close the deal

Author: Kate, Customer Communications Executive

Date: January 2012