Owning a vacation rental property can be a great way to earn money, but only if you can generate a steady stream of bookings. You may well be looking at similar properties in your area which don’t have as much charm or as many amenities as yours, but they’re still busier. Why? The reality is that while you could have the best property in the world if your marketing strategy isn’t up to scratch, you could be missing out on a significant number of bookings to the competition. Here are 4 ways to improve your marketing strategy and increase bookings for your vacation rental.
Use More – and Better – Photos
The photos you display are your most persuasive selling tools so if you are showing too few or photos which are of poor quality, you could be losing guests at the first hurdle. Photos reassure prospective guests and show them what they’re paying for, so it’s worth investing. You can take photos yourself, but you may want to hire a professional photographer to get the job done properly. You should also include as many photos as possible. The higher the number of unique images which show every angle of the property, the more likely someone is to book.
Widen Your Online Presence
If you have multiple properties, you want to consider vacation rental channel manager which will display one or several properties across a number of listing sites, booking platforms and online travel agencies. By updating one portal such as Airbnb channel manager you can ensure that all the channels are displaying up to date calendars and rates. Hopefully, this goes without saying, but if you can’t accept online bookings for your vacation rental you will be missing out on a huge chunk of the market. Modern consumers expect to be able to research, compare, and book their accommodation online via a secure payment portal.
Respond to Booking Enquiries ASAP
When we book accommodation, we don’t want to have to wait a matter of days before we know if the booking has been confirmed or not. If you take a long time to get back to an inquiry, it may suggest that you aren’t committed to running the property or have a lack of attention to detail. A matter of hours might be acceptable, but the sooner you can confirm the better. Once the booking is confirmed, be sure to keep responding to any queries or concerns to provide a high level of service which they may refer to in a review.
Actively Request and Display Reviews
We are far more likely to book a property if we can see reviews from previous guests. Reviews provide a degree of reassurance that what you’ve stated in your advert is accurate and what kind of experience they can expect when they book with you. Try to request reviews from guests soon after they have left when it is fresh in their mind and be sure to make your request as personal to them as possible. It’s not a problem to be upfront about why you need reviews, and if they have enjoyed their stay, they will probably be more than happy to help. If you receive negative feedback, don’t panic! This can actually help you as it can highlight areas for improvement and gives you an opportunity to address their concerns so they (and anyone who reads it) will see you are committed to delivering the best service.