Converting enquiries into bookings

Owner advice
Property services
Owner advice > Managing rentals > Converting enquiries into bookings

Converting enquiries into bookings

Handling booking enquiries efficiently is a key part of your holiday lettings venture and could be the difference between getting a booking or not.

Enquiries come in all forms - emails, phone calls and the odd letter from previous guests - but they should all be treated in the same professional manner.

To help you to convert your booking enquiries into concrete bookings, we've put together the following tips:

Preparing for enquiries

  • Compile a frequently asked questions list ready to cover all possible queries. For example, include details about how far your home is (distance/time) from the airport or station, how many cots/high chairs do you have etc.

  • Have some standard email responses ready that provide more details about your home or next steps in the booking process, and personalise them accordingly.

  • Keep your calendar up to date so you can see what dates are booked or reserved for potential bookings. If you update your calendar often your advert will get a boost in date related searches and holidaymakers are more likely to book when they can see the it's been updated recently.

  • Be sure to display a contact telephone number on your advert as to not miss out on any enquiries. You can do this by checking the box in the 'Display contact numbers' tab of the 'Edit my details' section in the Home Management page. Holidaymakers like to speak with the advertiser if they can, especially if they're looking to book last minute.

Receiving enquiries

  • Check your email several times a day so you can respond quickly to enquiries, not forgetting to check the junk mail folder just in case an enquiry were to be delivered there.

  • Sign up to the free SMS text message service on Holiday Lettings so that if you're not able to access your email for any reason, you will still know when an enquiry has been received.

  • Check your voicemail regularly and return the holidaymaker's call as soon as possible to acknowledge their interest, even if you are not in a position to confirm the dates.

  • Ask someone to deal with the enquiries if you are away or make sure your email has an auto-reply set up explaining this. Update your voicemail to impart the same information.

Responding to enquiries

  • If the potential guest leaves a contact number then do phone them. This is your chance to answer any queries they may have and your opportunity to sell your home to them. You may even be able to confirm the booking with them there and then.

  • Respond as quickly as possible as holidaymakers are likely to send out a number of enquiries to owners in your area.

  • Call back to acknowledge enquiries even if you do not have availability. Holidaymakers will remember your professional manner and may be flexible on dates.

  • Read the enquiry thoroughly to ensure you answer all of their queries in the first instance.

  • Make sure that they are aware of all the costs involved so there are no surprises or disputes later on.

  • Give your potential guest a follow up call a few days after the initial contact. They may be still deciding over a few properties and this may convince them to book with you.

Author: Ross, Account Executive

Date: November 2011