How can you generate more bookings for your holiday rental?
Know your market
It’s vital to identify what kind of guests you want to attract. That is really important – to know what your specific market would be.
Setting prices is tricky if you're new to the game. How much you think your property is worth might be a bit different from what holidaymakers are willing to fork out.
Have a look at the competition in your area to see what their rates are like. You can change your rates at any time if you reckon they need adjusting. Make sure you take into account how your property stacks up against the ones you're comparing with - they're not all going to be the same.
If you've promoted your property as a luxury stay, make sure your price reflects that. Renters want value for money, but you'd be surprised what people will pay if you're offering something really special.
When peak seasons end you may see a lull in bookings, so it is more important to be flexible during these times. To make sure you get enough bookings to keep your revenue as high as it would be in the peak seasons, you’ll probably need to lower your rates. This means your holiday home will stand out and off-season travellers will choose yours as it is the cheapest option. Along with regular engagement and positive reviews your rental will be more attractive and stay booked up throughout the season.
Open your booking calendar early
There are guests who book last minute, but there are also travellers who plan far in advance. Think about the group that plans their holidays for the next 12 months at the beginning of the year (for example, their next family holiday). These guests will appreciate being able to book their holiday home rental months in advance.
There are also travelers who like to book a year in advance. Therefore, to fill your calendar, it is important to open your availabilities far in advance (at least 1 year) and thus benefit from early bookings.
Accept last minute bookings
You shouldn’t miss out on spontaneous last-minute bookings. They fill your booking calendar and increase your revenue. A channel manager helps you manage last-minute bookings and avoid double bookings or other problems.
A channel manager also allows you to synchronize your calendars automatically and in real time. This way, your potential guests will always have access to the correct availability of your rental.
Enable instant bookings
The instant booking option makes the booking process much easier for your guests.
Offer flexible cancellation policy
To increase your bookings and attract additional guests, you should offer flexible cancellation options. Psychologically, people are more inclined to bookings that they can cancel flexibly and free of charge.
Respond faster to increase your bookings
In addition, you can also improve your booking rate with your response to messages.
If a guest is interested in your accommodation, they may send you a message before booking because they still have questions. You should respond to this quickly, as this shows that you are a responsible and engaged owner. In addition, it may be that the guest has contacted several owners. Therefore, the faster you respond, the better your chances of getting a booking.
Have the Best Amenities
Beat the competition by offering the best amenities and extras to your guests. By investing in features such as high-speed Wi-Fi, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and docking stations you already put yourself ahead of the curve. Give your property a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) with something quirky like a fire pit or tipi tent. Offering luxurious soaps and bedding will add more appeal to the property, and if your property is animal friendly, be sure to include bowls and beds for the furry guests.
Have the Best Profile
It’s important to make your profile stand out, so be sure to use the best photographs and include as much information about the property as possible. Use a high-quality digital camera, not your smartphone camera. You may want to enlist the help of a professional or amateur photographer here, to make sure the images are representing your property well. Consider making a short video presentation too. Finally, don’t forget to fill out the entire profile informing guests of the amenities, local transport information, proximity to the city center, beach, or other attractions, etc.
Offer an experience guests won’t get at home
Consider offering a couple of large incentives – a really nice lounge suite and a really nice bed. People want a better sleep than they have at home.
A library of books could also be a treat not necessarily available at home.
Outdoor bathtubs, hanging chairs and climbing walls are also popular, as most people were unlikely to install these features at home, but might like to try them out on holiday.
Added bonuses to listings
Having a list of worthwhile extras is an easy way to add to your holiday rental’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and increase holiday bookings. Think of places in the local area e.g. food, shops and attractions, and consider what added bonuses your guests would really appreciate. For instance, leaving a spare pair of wellies, tourist leaflets, pool inflatables or mention a high-speed wifi.
Leverage your existing customers
Do you have good reviews? Then show these! An astonishing 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations nowadays, so work to integrate these throughout your website.
Alternatively, if you are getting bad reviews, then work to fix what is being complained about, especially if many people are saying the same thing. You may be able to positively advertise this change later down the line.
Channel manager software to increase your bookings
A powerful channel manager offers many benefits:
- Simplify property management with a complete tool that provides powerful rental management through a single interface.
- Automatic real-time synchronization of your reservation calendars on different rental portals via API connection or iCal calendar: No more double bookings! Plus, you can generate new reservations by multiplying your contact points.
- Lightning-fast price management: Your prices are set up and synchronized on your used platforms in no time. There are numerous options for rate settings and pricing rules: Basic rate, reduced rate, standard rate, special offers, surcharges (pets, tourist tax), etc.
- Automated communication: manage your guest communication easily and automatically using message templates and send them automatically at specific times.