One of the keys to success for renting a holiday home is encouraging repeat bookings from guests who have stayed at the property. They are the people are most likely to book in the future; they have stayed at the property and are familiar with it. They know the area, the distance to local amenities, the beach and their favourite restaurant.
So what can you do to encourage them to book again? It starts with the initial contact:
Booking their first stay.
Answer all enquiries (tel., e-mail, postal) in a prompt and helpful way. This will build up trust and confidence with the guest. Process the booking in a timely manner too, and offer further assistance in terms of information and advice about the area.
Make them welcome at the property on arrival.
A friendly meet and greet, brief tour of the property making the guests feel at home after a potentially long drive will get their holiday off to a great start.
During the stay.
Have a system to address any problems during the stay. Faults with electrical appliances, locked out of the property, problems with neighbours can spoil a holiday. Whoever looks after the property, the owner or a key holder/cleaner, should be available to address problems wherever possible and at least give the guest support and advice.
After the stay.
A friendly note or e-mail to the guest as they arrive home is a great opportunity to check the guest had a good holiday, address any issues and ask for feedback about the property and any suggestions for improvements. By taking the time to do this, the guest feels valued and appreciated.
This is also an opportunity to begin the renewal process, maybe with an offer to book for next year and receive a small discount, or an extra gift upon arrival next time, such as tickets to a local attraction.
Booking for next year.
When did they book the first holiday? Was it 6 months before arrival, a couple of months or last-minute? A letter or e-mail at that same time of year will help evoke memories of a good holiday and encourage that repeat booking.
Andrew Easton is the Website Manager of www.holidayhomeinformation.co.uk, providing information and guidance about all elements of second home and holiday home ownership including buying, running, marketing and selling.