Vacation Rentals 101: Tips For Turning Inquiries Into Bookings
February 2, 2012
So far, we've pieced together the founding principles of holiday rentals: listing your property, setting your rates, and marketing your rental. Now, it's time to turn your attention to CanadaStays.com's tips and tricks for turning inquiries into bookings, a.k.a. closing the big deal.
Once you've set your rates, built a captivating listing, and began an online marketing campaign, you'll be whetting the appetites of travelers in no time. Yet, the story doesn't end when a traveler knocks on your virtual door. When a potential renter inquires on your property, it's deal-closing game time, a process that depends on particular procedures and propriety.
Get in the renter's psyche for a moment: when searching for a holiday rental he or she will have some typical concerns. Is the property accurately represented? Who is the owner? Is the listing factual? Has the owner received and opened my inquiry? Will the owner meet my deadlines?
To Do List:
- If someone found you via the internet, then you can bet they've found others, including hotels that can process a traveler's credit card and confirm a reservation in minutes. As such, you should be replying to rental inquiries like greased lightening. Responding quickly is a professional and assuring gesture, which increases your credibility and user-friendliness.
- When pursuing a holiday rental, travelers tend to address the above uncertainties by sending out inquiries to multiple property owners. By replying quickly, you minimize the chance that your potential customer moves on to another option. Attend to potential customers with a proactive and diligent demeanor.
- Make it a priority to stay on top of rental inquiries by syncing your rental email account with your mobile phone or other handheld device. Since you won't have your inbox open every time you receive an inquiry, forwarding incoming email to your cell is an easy way to ensure you consistently receive and respond to time-sensitive inquiries.
- Even if you're fully booked and cannot accept a reservation, don't ignore inquiries: acknowledge and keep good rapport with potential customers. To avoid receiving inquiries when you're fully-booked, keep your availability calendar updated.
- Provide as much information as possible in your listing so there is less guesswork for travelers. It is simple logic: less guesswork = less questions and concerns = less back and forth correspondence = more bookings in less time.
- Activate an on-site booking management system if possible, such as CanadaStays.com's Book It. With Book It, you can accept payments and reservations on your listing page. This straightforward and secure booking process puts travelers at ease. Further, you retain complete control over who rents (and doesn't rent) your property - property owners have 48 hours to accept or decline any booking made through Book It.