Top 5 reasons holidaymakers say they don't book

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Top 5 reasons holidaymakers don't make that booking

You've had an enquiry and responded to it, but you don't hear back. Why? You'll probably be left feeling disappointed and wondering what you could have done differently to secure the booking.

Aside from using our tips for converting enquiries and responding as soon as you can, you might be interested to know what the holidaymakers are really thinking after they've made an enquiry.

We survey our enquiring holidaymakers regularly to ask if they've booked and if not, why not! Here are the five most common reasons why and some recent feedback from our holidaymakers:

Lack of additional information such as photos, accepted payment methods and reviews.

  • "I haven't booked, as I was hoping to see further photos of the property (only the bedroom and kitchen are shown.)”

  • "There are insufficient photographs of the property for us to make a decision."

  • "They [the advertiser] weren't clear about how I can pay. I would want to know that the process is secure.”

  • "I did send them a message but now I'm worried because they don't have reviews. Has someone else stayed there?”

Is your advert as comprehensive as it could be? Fill your photo gallery with enticing photos showing the important features in your home. If you don't post a photo of every room, have the others to hand if a potential guest asks for a photo of something specific - it could make all the difference!

Be ready to accept payment in the safest way possible for you and the holidaymaker. See our taking payments page for guidance.

Price was not as quoted on the advert.

  • “I was very interested in renting this property but the price quoted to me when I enquired was substantially more than that stated on the website for the period I'm interested in (June 11-18th) so I have not pursued this further.”

  • “When I had a reply the price was nearly £20 a night more than was quoted on your site, which was very disappointing as it was then over our budget.”

  • “We changed our minds because the price quoted on the price list was £1000 per week but it came through at £2000 so for that week we are looking at other options unless of course there was something that I've misunderstood.”

Current rental rates are vital. It's not worth losing a booking just because you've not updated your rates in a while. We also advise that your rates are all inclusive so there are no hidden charges to put holidaymakers off at a later date.

Changeover day/length of stay was not as advertised.

  • “The advert says flexible changeover but when we made an enquiry we were told to make a midweek booking we would need to pay for 3 weeks as changeover was Saturday and the prices was 2700E for three weeks inclusive of linen and cleaning.”

  • "I rang the owner who wasn’t interested in taking a short term (3 day) rent – could have made this clearer on his page.”

  • “Thank you for giving me the chance to offer feedback - yes, I did have a prompt reply from the owner but it seems that during peak periods you can only take a letting for 2 weeks min. It would be helpful if this was flagged up more clearly so time is not wasted on properties that are unavailable.”

  • “We have found somewhere else that was able to offer a Friday start date.”

  • “Yes I had a response but we were only looking for 7 days and only 14 days was available.”

Flights in/out of your nearest airport often determine your changeover day but if you can be flexible it is appreciated by guests and if you can't always state your changeover day and minimum stay.

The home was not available/the calendar was incorrect

  • “Actually we were really quite disappointed - we sent an enquiry to the owner of the property and subsequently replied saying we would like to book, but we received a reply saying they had let it out to someone else after telling us it was free during the dates we requested! Really quite disappointing.”

  • “The apartment looked good, but it was already booked...won't be looking at this place again!”

  • "I noticed they haven't updated the calendar since May 2011! Won't bother as it's probably not free for my dates"

We probably bore you with our regular reminders to keep your calendars up-to-date but you can see that it is one of the biggest bugbears for holidaymakers. We really can't stress enough how keeping your calendar up to date is beneficial to your bookings. If you need a hand updating your calendar, check out our 'How to' guide.

And finally...No response

  • “The owner never responded to my request, nor the several requests from the family that we are holidaying with! Every time we called the mobile number provided, it just rang out to answerphone. This upset us, as obviously we wanted to book. However, we have booked another home through your site, which we are all looking forward to. Shame about the other villa owner :(“

  • “I did not book the cottage as someone else got back to me a little sooner.”

  • "No, I haven't had a response from the advertiser of the home but am very interested in booking.”

  • "“I have had no response from the owner of the property, I am disappointed that I have not heard anything back, I was a genuine customer wanting to let this property but because of this I have arranged to book another apartment."

  • "I have not yet had a reply back from the owner but we are still interested in getting prices etc."

  • "As instructed I have contacted the owner directly through your website, 5 days ago and am still awaiting a reply. I would like to finalise my travel arrangements as soon as possible but cannot proceed until I hear from the owner."

People want to stay in your homes! Responding as quickly as you can you will have more chance of securing the booking.

We understand that handling booking enquiries isn't always easy but by responding quickly and following our practical conversion advice, your efforts will really pay off.