Up-selling school holiday periods

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Up-selling school holiday periods

The annual calendar is lined with school holiday periods that along with local events create peak periods for guest demand, full occupancy and maximum income.

Preparing and editing your Holiday Lettings advert to up-sell your home for these periods and to stand out from the crowd is vital. Understanding your target audience for these periods all matters – families with children will dominate your guest demographic during these times and your advert and holiday offering should appeal accordingly.

Here are our top tips to get you and your advert ready for peak season:

  • Start early
    Give yourself every chance of filling your peak weeks early on by thinking at least 9 months in advance of the season you’re trying to fill – some parents book next summer’s holiday as soon as they’re back from this year’s so at the very least ensure you list prices for at least 18 months ahead.

  • Talk the talk
    Unless your advert mentions school holiday offers, family friendly facilities or activities, or includes photos that show you have gone that extra step to furnish your home with families in mind (think playroom, children’s bed linen) potential guests scanning through multiple listings could miss you.

  • Update your Home Summary and Home Description
    The two most important parts of your Holiday Lettings advert are your Home Summary and Home Description. The former is what appears in your listing on the search results pages – this should push your unique selling points, seasonal offers and any new offerings for the forthcoming season. Maximise the impact of your advertising by updating this regularly. The latter is your chance to say in more detail what’s great about your home and the type of holiday your guests would experience there.

  • Make an impact with your photos
    Refresh and rotate your photos regularly. People buy with their eyes and good photography that shows a range of internal and external property photos plus some of the local area and some of your unique selling points will serve you well. Your first photo the biggest sell, so use it to show off the very best of your offering (i.e. not the bathroom!).

  • Give a sense of perspective with a video
    Take a video next time you’re at your holiday home in peak season. Include pans of the property and the view, but also the beach, the main street and some of the best attractions suited to your guest audience for that season. If it snows in your location, video winter and summer separately and alternate your video content.

  • Encourage repeat bookings
    Build on the relationships you have with previous guests to fill next summer’s weeks early. If you can afford to, maybe offer them seven nights for the price of six as a reward for their loyalty.

  • What's on
    Keeping the kids busy and the adults stress-free is the major challenge of a family holiday. Take the strain off your guests' shoulders by recommending places to visit and things to do: perhaps the local hills don't just offer amazing views but also a great place to fly a kite; the local market might well have amazing, fresh, local ingredients but you can also mention the ice-cream and sweet shops; even knowing that local bars will let the children use the pool table in the evening can reassure holidaymakers that this location is for all the family. The local tourist information centre should have plenty of advice if you're not an expert on the family-friendly places and events.

  • Use social networking sites
    Market your property through as many channels as possible. Social networking sites such as Facebook are effective portals for reaching a wide audience as people share things they like. You can join the Holiday Lettings Facebook page and post a link on the page that will direct people to your advert as school-holiday periods approach. Or, ask friends, family and previous guests to click on the Facebook ‘Like’ button your Holiday Lettings advert. A link to your advert will then appear on the walls of those people whose friends in turn my click to find out more.

  • Maintain the conversation
    Talking enthusiastically about your holiday let business to friends and colleagues ensures they understand what you have on offer and can in turn tell their friends and family as appropriate. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing tools available. Sharing photos from your own holidays at your holiday home via your personal Facebook profile will give friends a clear idea of what’s on offer.