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Be My Guest – Changing Your Host Mindset

Guests book their holiday home, not your holiday home

Did you know that your guests are different to you? Of course you did but do you apply that to your holiday rental marketing?

Think of every aspect of your pre-booking marketing that is personally customised and dictated solely by you, the owner/manager. Photography, your personal website, listing descriptions, pricing, damage deposits, terms and conditions, minimum stays, changeover days, accepting pets, accepting smokers, booking procedure, payment methods…there are lots!

Do you think they are all in line with what your typical guests actually want and expect?

Let’s consider just a couple of these (we’ll cover the actual property and amenities in a later blog).

Professional photography is a must, simple. On listing sites your lead thumbnail image is like leaving a door ajar for potential guests. Don’t leave it closed. Widen the chance of a click through by thinking of what is appealing to your typical guest and not just placing what you see as your best image. For example, think family, think pool, garden or large kitchen. Think couples, think drinks on the balcony, a view or a cosy bedroom. Ideally ask friends and family for opinions but at very least remember your previous guests and ask yourself what they would have been attracted to.

Are your terms flexible enough for your guests? Many owners only have Saturday as their default changeover day as they believe that everyone travels over the weekend however you could well be missing out on travellers that want to avail of cheaper midweek flights and yet could be looking for a longer stay than your norm. Furthermore you may restrict your minimum stay to one week on a listing site thinking that this is what people want. Remember your property will not appear on results of a search of 5/6 days, when you could realistically offer the same price as your week rate and still convert the booking.

Of course there are many other areas we could explore. Your location, unbeknown to you, may be a common stopping off point for travellers with pets. Your damage deposit may be too high for your kind of guests and their average stay duration. Or your cancellation fees may be far too strict in comparison to your local competition.

We all think we know our guests and their travel plans but everyone needs to take a step back. Consider them carefully and make it easy.

What were the 2 top amenities or features that would motivate a travellers to book in a TripAdvisor Survey this year? A swimming pool and Wi-Fi right?

No. A kitchen (26%) and a stunning view (21%).

See more from Damian on the third Thursday of every month

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See Rent More Weeks other holiday rental marketing information here.