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Converting guest enquiries for your holiday rental home
What holiday home owners can do to convert new guest enquiries.
Activate all free SMS alerts that many holiday rental booking portals offer.
Check junk mail. Some emails could well end up in your junk/filtered folders. Save the enquiry email addresses of the holiday booking portals where you are advertising.
Check your emails throughout the day – you might become obsessive but the early bird will very often catch the worm. People love prompt replies and will thank you for it.
If you give a mobile/landline telephone number for guests to contact, check your voicemail at least once a day
Reply as soon as possible, be polite and friendly, make sure your full contact details are in the reply. Also call any enquirers that have left a phone number. Calling makes you more personal and gives your potential clients more confidence in what you have to offer.
Don’t overdo follow-up calls or emails as this will just annoy potential guests. One should do. You could include a special promotion to seal the deal like a percentage early or late booking discount or free wifi.
We are still amazed at the amount of owners that place adverts on booking portals that don’t reply to enquiries.
Reply to emails even if you are booked as they may (unbeknown to you) be flexible with their dates. Alternatively you can suggest that despite not being available you can check with your neighbours for similar properties. This way you gain favour with your local contacts and possibly get their surplus enquiries reciprocated in the future.
Basic information which you need to include in your reply…
Always address the guest by their name
Thanking guest for email
Answer all question the guest has asked
Contact details – your name!
Extra information which could make the difference in getting that booking…
Inclusions (can you offer anything free?)
Possible early or late special discounts
Location and distance to nearest attractions
Local area expertise knowledge information (give you further credibility)
Flight and travel information
Turn a simple enquiry into a pleasurable and easy booking experience. However don’t overdo the length of your responses – 3 bite-sized paragraphs should be long enough.
Prepare an email reply
To save you time replying to each enquiry, formulate an email template which includes all of the information above. You can then simply copy and paste this each time and just change the name, dates and rates.
Some websites state that you should aim for 30% conversion rate from enquiries into confirmed bookings. While I find it overly-optimistic to suggest that owners achieve a booking in nearly every 3 enquiries a 15-20% conversion rate is a realistic and attainable goal. At very least be aware of your success rate and how you might improve it year-on-year. Many enquirers won’t reply to your replies – don’t get sensitive, that’s just the way it is.
Reply as soon as possible, pick up the phone, be friendly, include as much helpful information as you can and become aware of your conversion rate.
For further information visit: http://www.needmorerentals.com