When a traveller sees a holiday letting they like the look of on HomeAway.co.uk or Owners Direct, they make an enquiry to show their interest. Most enquiries are serious. Once you receive an enquiry it’s up to you the holiday home owner to covert this into a booking. If you find you get lots of enquiries but far fewer bookings, the following tips might help.
1. Check your emails regularly
Make sure you check your emails at least four times a day, once during the morning, once at lunchtime, just after you get home from work and once before bed time. Too many owners miss out on opportunities because they don’t check their emails regularly enough. Be sure to respond to emails immediately. Why not download our free Sample Enquiry Responses, which have been designed to make the job easier?
2. Or even better …
Sign up to receive free SMS enquiry alerts. You'll free be sent a text message as soon as you receive an enquiry from a traveller. So you can respond to enquiries immediately. This service is available for free for homeowners who advertise on HomeAway Holiday-Rentals or Owners Direct.
3. Reply to enquiries immediately
We cannot stress how important this is to converting an enquiry into a booking. Our research shows that owners who respond within 3 hours of receiving an enquiry are 50% more likely to secure the booking. Some travellers may make several property enquiries; chances are the first owner to establish contact will be the most successful.
4. The phone is your best friend
In these days of impersonal contact, making a phone call can make the world of difference. When we survey owners, we find those who call potential guests, have a higher rate of converting enquiries to bookings.
See more here
5. Always return a call
If you miss a call from a potential guest you should always call them back at your earliest convenience. Don’t let this great opportunity go to someone else!
6. Follow up any correspondence
It’s acceptable to give an enquirer a polite follow up call if they haven’t got back to you in a few days. True, they might have decided on another property, or they might be torn between your holiday rental and another. A friendly chat with you could remind them why your property is great and close your deal.
And most importantly …
Always remember that renting a holiday home is a very personal decision for the most travellers. it is important that the they feel comfortable with you, especially as they are unlikely to have seen the property in person. Remember, as wonderful as your home may be, it won’t be right for everyone, so there’s no point being pushy. Always be polite, honest and sincere, and the right guests will know they’ve struck gold.
And here are a few extra tips for managing holiday lettings enquiry responses…
Create a seperate email account
It’s a good idea to have a separate email address for you holiday rentals business, which you use on all of your promotional material (internet adverts, personal website, business cards etc). This makes it easier to keep track of your enquiries and customer relations.
Create a personal signature
Every email address will allow you to create a signature. This is a few lines of text that will always appear below every email you send. You should include: your name, phone numbers, email address and a link to your online advert or personal website. The links are very important, because if a traveller has made lots of enquiries it will remind them which property is yours.
Have an auto responder
You can also set up an auto responder, also known as an out of office message. This means if someone contacts you by email they sender will receive a tailored message from you. This will reassure your potential guest that their enquiry went through, and you are a real person. You should include extra information about your property such as a link to a personal website, additional photos, or a list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).