The Spring holidays are behind us. The kids have gone back to school and many people’s thoughts are now turning to the summer holidays. With the current uncertainty about the reopening of borders, many people are already researching places to explore closer to home. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to start planning how to increase occupancy, get more bookings and maximise your holiday rental income. To help you prepare, we have 3 tips to help ensure you put yourself in the best position to stay fully booked throughout summer.
It goes without saying that if you want to increase the occupancy of your vacation rental, the very first step is to make sure you get in front of enough potential bookers. As well as making use of social media and email marketing to promote your property, it’s also worth considering investing in a decent channel management system.
A channel manager will enable you to market your property on multiple platforms such as Airbnb, Google Hotels, Stayz and HomeAway. It also enables you to display the real-time availability and price of your holiday home.
Another step to increasing visibility of your vacation rental is a simple, well-designed website with professional photos. If you don’t already have a website for your holiday home business, it is well worth investing in one. Not only is this another ‘route to market’, as you can optimise it to appear for relevant searches on Google, but it gives you much greater insight into the people who are actually looking at your holiday home. A website of your own also provides you with the opportunity to take direct online bookings.
Potential guests want the booking process to be as simple and quick as possible. The easier you make it to book your holiday rental property, the easier it will be to achieve maximum occupancy. Adding a booking engine to your website is a quick and easy way to help get more bookings and maximise your holiday rental income.
Once you have the basic tools in place, like your website and software integrations, you can begin to get smart with doing some marketing of your own. There are a lot of simple marketing strategies holiday properties can employ to increase occupancy and get more bookings.
Try and collect the email addresses of those who have stayed with you so that you build a database of your own that you can promote to. Make use of tools like Mailchimp, who offer a free platform for databases under 2000 records, to keep your email contacts in one place and create simple email campaigns.
Showcase things to do in the local area using your social media channels and by adding a blog to your website.
On the subject of social media, creating a Facebook business page for your holiday rental business is an absolute must-do. It adds credibility and builds trust with potential bookers as well as presenting lots of other opportunities including social media advertising.
Facebook, in particular, offers some very cost-effective ways of putting your holiday rental in front of your target market. The added bonus here is that you can create your own ‘target audience’ and promote your own website and direct booking options. This gives you the greatest opportunity to maximise your holiday rental income.
Put some time and effort into trying to get some positive reviews for your holiday home. Reach out to those who have recently stayed and ask them for feedback. People searching for vacation rentals are much more likely to make a reservation at a property that has been visited and positively reviewed by satisfied guests.
It’s important to think about what might deter people from making a booking so you can pre-empt this and offer relevant reassurance. While we are fortunate that the level of COVID-19 infections in Australia is declining, it is still at the forefront of most people’s mind when it comes to travel and staying somewhere other than their home. Make sure that you mention the increased hygiene measures you have put in place to build trust with prospective bookers and alleviate their concerns.
Another way to build trust with potential clients is by being as responsive to enquiries as possible. Set up automated responses on as many communication channels as possible with a promise to provide a personal response within 12 hours. And try and be as helpful as possible when responding directly to queries. The more information you can provide the more trust you will build and the greater the likelihood of increasing your holiday rental income.
At HiRUM we’ve been supporting holiday rental property owners for over 20 years. We’re the property management software experts that vacation rental businesses have been turning to to grow their bookings, increase profitability and save them valuable time. In fact, we’re an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner as we were one of the first to establish strong integration with their platform.
Our industry-leading holiday rental management software makes increasing visibility of your property and growing your vacation rental income a breeze. With an Australian-based customer support team that you can actually speak to, we have an outstanding reputation and extensive industry experience.
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