Congratulations on your new enquiry! You must be feeling on top of the world at the moment, but the hard work is just beginning, so put away the champagne and let’s focus. Advertising your private rental on a website like Cherished Holiday Homes was a smart decision to make, but as you know, holiday letting is competitive and can be shaky in terms of how successful it can be.
You want to get those enquiries, but more than that, you want those enquiries to convert to bookings and paying guests. This is not the easy part and the race to secure the booking begins from the moment you advertise; it doesn’t end until the deposit is received, and the date is confirmed. So, to ensure you have that deal in your hand, you need ten top tips to increase your chances of making those enquiries go further than just a question. Let’s take a look!
1. It’s All About Speed
Have you ever made enquiries about a product and chosen one of the first people who have replied to you? The last thing that you want are late replies when you’re eager to book something, and if you know that by experience then you should consider responding as quickly as possible to any enquiries that come your way. Guests who have messaged you have probably messaged three other people, so the clock is now ticking. You want to reply within an hour if possible, and if you leave it any longer, you could lose your guest. Call or email immediately and seal the deal.
2. Fast Response
Some guests will leave you with a contact telephone number when they make an enquiry about your rental, and if that’s the case, use it! A phone call gives you a chance to impress the guest and sell your holiday in a way that typing an email just doesn’t always do. Follow up the call with an email too, so that you can ensure that you get that booking completed. Confirm everything that you’ve discussed in the email and that way your guest knows that you are as good as your word - because you put it in writing!
3. Get Organised
Know all your information before you rush to contact your potential guest. Know their name, know how to spell it too, because it’s a big deal to spell it wrong. Pay attention to the notes that they have left you and answer any questions that they may have had. If they’ve asked specific questions, give particular answers and make sure that your response to them is well-thought-out and when you reach your potential guest, they will feel confident in you as a rental owner. They’ll know you’re trustworthy and will be happy to book with you!
4. Be Personal, Remain Professional
It’s nice to give your emails or calls the personal touch, but this is still a business transaction. You want to avoid the automated response if possible because you want the potential guest to see that you put your time and effort into the answer that you give. You can do this and stand out to them, which makes you look far better in their eyes and gives you a better chance of a conversion. If they’ve mentioned that they’re bringing children, ask their ages and make sure that you have suggested things to do in the area that are child friendly. Building that relationship can help you to connect with your guest and give them the confidence that you need to provide them with so that they book with you.
5. Upsell You!
The best thing that you can do is give your guests more information about you and what you can do for them. Add links for reviews, photos, videos and testimonials and even a private website if you have one to an email and send it along. Include a phone number - it’s a personal touch that makes you stand out from other homeowners that are advertising their property.
6. Offer Incentives To Guests
If you are offering any exclusive deals, freebies or limited offers as part of your booking, it’s essential to make those known from the moment that they contact you the first time. This could be all you need to push the booking from an enquiry to confirmation, and you should ensure that the rate that you quote your guests is inclusive with no hidden extra charges. If you want to go the extra mile, offer an incentive just to book with you in the first place, such as a free grocery pack if they book within 24 hours or flexible payment plans.
7. Never Ignore An Enquiry
Some guests will be looking at renting privately for the very first time. Even if you are booked on the date of the enquiry, be helpful and answer any questions, make suggestions for their date, or even show them to a nearby available rental. Guests always come back to the same areas when they fall in love with a place, and they could quickly come back to you when you are next available.
8. Always Follow Up
Even if you get an enquiry which never replies after the first message, always follow up and check with them as to whether they are interested in the area. You would be surprised how many bookings you will get from guests who did not receive the original email or have enquired to more than one property and have forgotten. Your email could be the nudge that they need!
9. Always Keep In Touch
There is every chance that you’ll get enquiries from those who will never end up booking, but these have the potential for the future. After all, they were interested in your property once. Take advantage of special promotions and social media and keep plugging your property.
10. Make It Simple
Guests are planning a holiday and they don’t want a long and complicated process to deal with. They don’t have time for long processes and swathes of paperwork. They don’t want to make their holiday booking another stress in their life; it’s busy enough!
Nobody said that converting an enquiry into booking is an easy job. In fact, this is a full-time job. Typically, the first enquiry response, provided it’s informative, personal, and sells the emotional benefits of the rental usually wins the day.