When you’re marketing a holiday cottage, getting noticed is only the first step in an important chain of events. What you do next will influence the rest of that process so it’s vital that you get it right.
If you’re new to the holiday cottage industry, you have an opportunity to hit the ground running with these tips. They have been learned through experience and are guaranteed to work. It isn’t often we can make such a statement!
So, without further ado, here are our top tips for turning holiday cottage queries into bookings.
Offer multiple ways to contact
In this digital age of instant everything, you need to provide a range of mediums for your potential guests to contact you. Not everyone is going to be comfortable calling, Tweeting or emailing you, so give guests a choice.
Provide a landline number if you can, a mobile number, an email address and/or a contact form on your own website. Add Facebook and Twitter is you’re going to be using them too.
If you offer multiple ways to contact you for holiday cottage bookings, you then have to monitor all those channels. The easiest way to do that is with a smart phone or tablet. While requiring an investment to buy, you can simultaneously monitor all your digital channels at one and can be alerted as soon as someone contacts you.
You can forward landlines to your mobile and use that if you want to cover all bases with one device.
Owning a smart phone or tablet is one thing. Keeping it with you at all times is another. Once you publish your contact details, you then have to make sure you respond to each and every contact.
Time is everything in hospitality. When the competition is only ever a click away, you have to be on the ball. Technology can help by funnelling all communication channels to a single device, but you have to be aware and have the will to respond fast.
Speed is everything. You may not think so, but your audience does. You may think a couple of days isn’t a long time to wait for you to get back to them, but it is. Response times are now measured in minutes and hours, not days.
Write a canned response
You will find as you develop your holiday cottage business that most guests ask the same kinds of questions. If you want to make light work of them, spend a little time writing standard responses to these questions and save them as templates.
You can then send the templates in response to those questions. Just remember to address any additional questions not covered in the template and be sure to add their name and personalise where practical. While useful on the business side of the transaction, nobody wants to receive an obviously canned response!
Those are just some ways you can convert holiday cottage booking queries into real bookings. There are lots more ways to increase occupancy, which we will be covering in the coming weeks. Good luck with them!