It’s lucrative times for holiday home owners/investors. The industry has become more flexible and accessible with rental sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and Booking.com being the first stop for an increasing number of holidaymakers.
Should you not have a firm grasp on who your potential guests are or what they are looking for in a holiday home or vacation rental property – take heart; even the most veteran owners have faced this question and after many failures rose to the challenge. To help you on your way, we are pulling together a few pointers that will help you with your listing and best fit the needs of your guests.
Do Your Research
Have a close look at various holiday home listings that are already posted and don’t limit yourself to just one site. There are hundreds of sites that manage bookings, so be sure to check a number of them.
Review the description on each listing. How long are they? How detailed are they? Do they compel you to read further or are you more likely to click to the next one without anything more than a glance? Ask these questions to help you develop your own listing and description. Most of your audience wants the description to be informative and personable but not too lengthy if it can be helped. Don’t be afraid to display your personality while making sure it remains professional. Don’t forget, you’re still running a business. Review the feedback each owner or property receives; good and bad.
Communication is essential
You must be readily available to answer guests’ questions whether you are receiving positive or negative feedback. It’s also wise to develop a consistent and reasonable tone when you respond to guest feedback making it both; personable and professional. Try to respond to each and every query and email within 30 minutes. An attentive and highly responsive rental owner is more successful.
Image Is Everything
Images have a significant impact on your rental listing, often appearing right at the top of the page, making it vital that you provide high definition pictures that will catch the eye of potential guests. When you’re researching other listings, keep an eye on the kind of camera they used (if that information is available or if you’ve got a discerning eye) and the different perspectives of the photos.
The guest should be able to visualize themselves having a good time at your holiday home/vacation rental property. But make sure you have a photo for every room in sequence similar to how they would walk through the home. The pictures should highlight standout features like new upgrades and amenities. Consider bringing in a professional photographer to cast your rental in an elegant light. If you happen to be more of the technologically adventurous type, enlist a drone to capture video of your property to add more dynamic views. It also adds to the perception guests will have of you and the property as one of the elite and will highlight any key outdoor features on your property, such as outdoor decks and patio areas.
Veteran holiday home owners will do what they can to rejuvenate their property to make them more attractive, whether they’re apartments or villas. However, it pays to be smart about it and choose the upgrades that will pay off.
Consider giving your property a fresh coat of paint to boost appeal. Invest in new furniture like sofas and living room tables (be sure they seat the quantity of guests that your home will advertise). If you’re currently unable to make these investments, put a plan in place that will allow you to start setting aside a portion of the funds received from bookings so that you’ll be able to make these renovations in the future. Enlist professional help in order to avoid unforeseen costs and future headaches.
These factors take on a greater importance if your holiday home can be listed in the luxury home category. Guests expect luxury holiday homes to be equal to five-star hotels and resorts, but at a more affordable cost.
Amenities Make a Difference
If you haven’t already, take all of the information you’ve obtained to this point and use it to evaluate your self-catered holiday home. Note how you can enhance your listing in order to receive an increase in bookings. Measure the cost of adding new amenities and balance them with the expected appeal they will provide your guests.
Flat screen TV with a streaming media player attached would be a nice touch. Consider adding gaming consoles for the guests’ enjoyment. Improving wireless internet access throughout the place is also an easy thing to implement that will attract holidaymakers as well as business travellers, who as mentioned before are also opting to book self-catered holiday homes instead of being in hotels. Converting your holiday home into a ‘’smart home’’ may be an added benefit for some but may be over-complicated for others. We suggest keeping things simple.
The Finishing Touch
It can be the little things that really make the biggest impact. Consider leaving tour guide brochures at the entrance of your rental property for guests to use during their stay. You should consider having a couple of “transportation” options available, such as bicycles, taxi hire or transit passes; depending on what’s popular in your area.
We hope these initiatives give you a better idea of what your guests really need and help make your holiday home progress to the top of the list.