Marketing in the credit crunch

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Marketing in the credit crunch

In times of economic uncertainty it's important to be on your toes when it comes to advertising your holiday home rental. Whether they are budgeting, booking up early or waiting to get a last minute deal, people are still in the market for a holiday.

Getting the enquiry is just half the story - the way you deal with your potential guest can be a deal breaker and is just as important. As well as reading the reminders below, have a look at our advice on converting enquiries into bookings.

From clever pricing to added extras, there are various measures you can put into place to help you ride out the financial downturn:

Deals. To catch those holidaymakers looking for a good deal, consider offering an Early or Late Deal for guests. Any special prices for booking early/at short notice will be highlighted on your advert page on as well as on the search results pages. The adverts will also appear in our dedicated Late/Early Deal sections on the site. You can add deals via your Home Management page.

Start the way you mean to go on. Make sure your Home Summary and first photo are up to par. These are what holidaymakers see on the search results page so need to stand out from the crowd and entice people to click into your advert. More advice on getting the most from your advert on can be found here.

You can edit your Home Summary in Stage Two of your Home Management page. Photos can be added, swapped around or updated in Stage Five.

Value. Be sure not to undersell your holiday home and highlight the value for money it offers, both in your advert and in any communication you have with holidaymakers. If you offer any extras such as baby equipment, free Wi-Fi, beach toys, parking or the use of bikes and boats, for example, then emphasise these bonuses!

Make good use of Stage Two of your Home Management page - Property Details. This is the best place for listing all that your holiday home has to offer.

Photos. Your photo gallery is an essential part of your advert and gives people a real idea of what your property is like - it's also the first place people look to gauge an impression of the property. Make sure the pictures are doing your holiday home justice and you make full use of all the slots and captions - you can have up to 24 photos on your advert.

Incentives. Think about offering a small extra to help you clinch the deal. This could be a small discount for a holidaymaker who wants to book more than one week, or a couple of bottles of local wine for guests upon arrival, for example.

Respond quickly. Respond to an enquiry as soon as you can with as much information as possible. If the enquirer leaves a telephone number, call them if possible. People often enquire about several properties at once, so your efficiency could pay off.

Contact previous guests. Let your previous renters know of any changes you've made to your property or of any special prices you may be offering. If any new air routes have started to serve destinations near your holiday home, then include this in your update to show that it's even more accessible.

Complement your paid advertising. Use every opportunity to drum up interest in your property. Word of mouth, work noticeboards and email signatures are all free methods of getting the message out there. Find out more about maximising marketing opportunities for your holiday home.

Network. Social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace are other sources of free advertising. If you don't fancy starting your own blog, then consider using a service such as Twitter. For more information, read our advice on marketing your holiday home using social networking sites.