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Vacation Rental Marketing – Pushing Your Conversions Up

It’s a numbers game

Today i’m talking about conversions and how to improve on them.
As you know,
Conversions = Enquiries / Bookings
If you get one booking for every ten enquiries your conversion rate is ten percent.
So, double your conversion rate and double your bookings.
Now I can almost hear some of you saying “that’s easier said than done”.
Well maybe not!

I recently read an article by Curt Tudor on rentallect.com (an excellent vacation rental website that you should be following) where he was referring to a recent study that concluded that,

Replying to Inquiries Within an Hour Generates 7x the Conversations

WOW, that’s a fact worth remembering. Better still it’s a fact worth acting on.

I would add my own take on this, here’s how I see it,

The sooner that you reply to an enquiry the more likely you are to convert it into a booking.

Real life

People looking to book a vacation rental property search the vacation rental listings sites like HomeAway and shortlist half a dozen or so potential properties. They then fire of a short email to those owners that asks a few initial questions (they never read the FAQ’s section that you spent ages writing and rarely consult the online availabillity calendar).
Here’s some of the things that these potential guests ask,
Is it available between xx.xx.xx and xx.xx.xx?
How far is it to the beach?
Is there a cot available for the baby?
Is there cable TV?
You know what I mean, you get these emails all the time.

Vacation rental marketing - Pushing email

When push comes to shove

If you can be the first owner on this shortlist to reply to this initial email you massively increase your chances of taking the booking, over and above the competition.
Here’s how you can achieve that, time and time again.
Buy yourself a new phone.
A smart phone.
An Iphone, an Android, a Blackberry or a Windows phone will do the job.
You can send and receive email using these phones.
You then set up a service called Push mail.
It’s really simple to set up, it’s free in most cases and it works like this,
Each time you receive an email you get a message, like an SMS, sent to your phone automatically.
The email is “pushed” to your phone.

Real life

You’re out shopping for new shoes and your phone goes “beep beep”, you step out of the shop and open your mail, see it’s a vacation rental enquiry, and fire off a reply there and then. First to reply, direct personal contact, no auto-responder. Win, win.

You’re watching a DVD at home in the evening and your phone goes “beep beep”, you hit pause, etc, etc.

You’re at a little league game, “beep beep”, etc, etc.

It’s the hot line to bookings central. 
None of us sit in front of our computers all day long looking at email but we have our mobiles with us nearly 24 hours a day, so why not put it to it’s full use?

Vacation rental takeaway

The takeaway for vacation rental owners

Push your conversions up by pushing your emails to your phone.
The sooner that you reply to an enquiry the more likely you are to convert it into a booking.
So called “smart phones” are built around this technology.
It’s very easy to set up.
Go to youtube.com and search “set up push email” for short, step by step, “how to” videos for each type of phone.
You don’t need a smart phone to use push technology, you can in fact get emails sent to any mobile phone, but it is somewhat easier to reply to emails using a phone with some kind of keyboard. You will find more information on this here http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/teleflip-2/

What are your thoughts on this?

What techniques are you using to boost conversion rates?
We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on any aspects of vacation rental marketing.
Please tell us what you think using the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Other stuff you may find useful

I hope that you found this article useful
I have also written a number of guides that teach, in an easy to follow, pictorial way, how to make a great impression.

Vacation rental marketing makeover guideThe first of these is THE MARKETING MAKEOVER GUIDE and this 35 page guide covers how to make and take better photos. It’s packed with common sense advice, reveals professional tricks of the trade, shows real life makeover examples and comes with easy to follow check-lists.
All in all, it’s a great place to start on the road to more bookings.

Vacation rental marketing - creating a portfolioThose that purchase The Marketing Makeover Guide also receive, free of charge, our CREATING A PORTFOLIO GUIDE as a bonus and this guide looks at how to build a portfolio of 15 to 20 images, even if you only own a one bedroom apartment. Once again this guide comes with lots of examples and easy to follow check-lists.

Don’t miss out

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One thought on “Vacation Rental Marketing – Pushing Your Conversions Up

  1. Jean says:

    I happen to work on my computer all day so am aware when enquiries come in and respond right away. Many of my external listings send a text through with the details.

    Did buy a smart phone but I have long nails and it did not work for me trying to use the keypad. I don’t mind if you laugh …

    In my experience of 6 years it does not make any difference even if you respond right away. Ultimately my conclusion is it is the price that counts.

    I totally agree and it is infuriating that as you commented
    (they never read the FAQ’s section that you spent ages writing and rarely consult the online availabillity calendar).

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