Marketing tips for larger holiday homes

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Marketing tips for larger holiday homes – attract group bookings

If you have a holiday home that can cater for large groups or families, it’s important to tailor your online marketing and your level of personal service to appeal to these groups and their needs whilst on holiday.

Here are some tips to help you secure those group bookings:

Know your groups and understand their needs.

Consider which groups your home appeals to and make this known on your advert. On Holiday Lettings you can select from a number of check boxes when setting up your advert to say which groups you accept at your home, what activities are nearby and what facilities you have available. Aside from these check boxes, however, it’s important to broaden your appeal within your home description to reach a wider audience.

Tips to help your home advert appeal to groups:

  • Promote your maximum group size. Make sure you say the maximum number of people that can stay in your home on your advert; this may include numbers you can accommodate on a sofa bed.

  • Introduce rental rates table for different group sizes. sometimes groups of 6-8 might want to splash out a bit more for more space and stay in a larger home that sleeps 10. On Holiday Lettings you can add more than one rental rate table to show prices for groups of four, eight and 12, for example.

  • Add a floor plan. Use one of your photo slots on your advert for a floor plan of your home. This will help them to plan their stay and ensure your home suits their needs.

  • Show the right photos. Help groups imagine themselves at your home by using all your photo slots in your advert. Make sure you include images of communal areas such as the large table in the garden or barbeque area. Consider the needs in the table (Fig.1) and ensure you highlight as many of these through photographs as possible. Try not to use people in your photographs as this can be off-putting for some.

  • Groups book early. Groups tend to book accommodation 6-12 months ahead of time to ensure they get the best choice and rates. It’s a good idea to offer early booking incentives for groups to help secure these early bookings.

Go the extra mile to encourage repeat bookings and word of mouth.

Once your online listing has been optimized to appeal to groups it is important that the service and communication you provide to these guests matches their expectations. Here are a few ways that you can help your guests and go that extra mile:

  • Be available to answer emails and phone calls as quickly as possible responding to any queries or concerns they might have. Recommend local attractions and restaurants according to their group type and size.

  • Secure some discounts. You will be sure to impress your guests if you can secure some discounts at local restaurants and local attractions that will appeal to their group. Mention these on your advert, offer them to help secure your bookings or send them to your guests once a booking has been approved.

  • Stay in touch. Thank your guests after their visit and encourage them to post a review on your listing. Also ask them to provide any feedback that might help you prepare for future guests. Stay in touch and send them future offers to make sure they come back to stay again, or tell their friends.

Here are some common group types and some of their typical requirements. Make sure you mention these where applicable within your advert or consider these for greater appeal:

Families with babies, young or teenage children:

  • Cot(s), twin/bunk beds, high chairs

  • Child friendly gardens/gated swimming pool area

  • Microwave and baby equipment

  • A wide range of activities nearby e.g. horse riding, water parks

  • A selection of games and toys available, consider computer games

  • TV with digital channels and DVD player in case of poor weather

  • Less than 1 hour from airport – after a flight it might be hard to travel long distances with young children

  • Welcome pack with some basic food and toiletries on arrival

Families with grown up children or large groups of friends:

  • Communal eating/seating areas (inside and out), barbeque. Group meals will be important

  • Well equipped kitchen with basic condiments

  • Activities nearby to suit different interests

  • Parking available as many will hire a car

Hen and Stag holidays:

  • Large communal seating and eating areas

  • Possibly more remote homes are appropriate in case of noise from large groups

  • Music player, speakers, iPod docking station

  • Welcome hamper. A bottle of champagne and nibbles on arrival would be a nice touch

Corporate groups/teambuilding:

  • Rooms with twin beds and multiple bathrooms

  • Large communal seating and dining areas

  • Large gardens or barn/covered area for activities

  • Catering option or catering companies nearby – corporate groups might not want to self-cater

  • Teambuilding activities nearby within 20-30 mins drive

Parties e.g. weddings, family occasions:

  • Large garden area, possibly a flat area for a marquee, or a barn on site

  • Secluded/rural - away from other homes in case of noise

  • Spectacular views

  • Near to a registry office/ church or venue with a wedding license (or consider applying for one yourself)

  • Easy access i.e. less than 1 hour from an airport for guests, or with a train station nearby

  • Ample parking

  • Other accommodation options within easy reach for other party guests

Author: Sophie, B2B Marketing Manager

Date: December 2011