What sort of question is that? “Yes of course I do” I hear you shouting at me.
But just before you shout too loudly, stop and think.
When you say you want to get more bookings for your holiday home what you really mean is more income, rather than more bookings. Isn’t it?
You want more bookings for your holiday home because you want to increase your income.
Let’s say you want to get more bookings for your holiday home because you want to an extra £500 a month. Assume for easy numbers that £500 is your weekly rate so rather than seeking that extra booking per month, why not make that extra £500 from the bookings you already have? In other words, increase your income by earning more per booking.
Using the same example, three bookings at £500 would earn you £1500, so why not go for 2 booking at £750 and still earn £1500. You can then scale this up and focus on getting more bookings at £750. But initially focus on getting consistent high-value bookings to earn you that £750 per booking. Simplistic pricing, but you get the idea?
The same income from fewer bookings also means your holiday rental is free for you to enjoy as a family, yet your income isn’t affected. And fewer bookings means less anxiety and pressure that comes with busy change-overs and preparing your place for the next set of guests.
Sounds good? So what do you have to do earn more per booking?
Step 1. Review your current prices
Review your current prices. It may be that you are seriously underpriced. Perhaps when you first started out you got your pricing wrong and now time has gone by you’re too scared to increase your rates. What will people think? You’re scared about charging “too much”, “who will pay that?”, “I can’t charge that much”. All these niggles and fears come to the surface and if you listen to them, they stop you from making changes. Yet deep down you know that your holiday rental is worth more than your current prices reflect. So don’t listen to those inner voices, or to other people, be strong, be bold, go with you gut instinct and increase your base price.
Step 2. Make changes to justify higher rates
If you’re not under-pricing and charging about average in your area and you want to earn more per booking, then you have to create a holiday rental that is worth that higher rate. And yes this will mean some expenses in the short term, but you will have this ‘new, improved’ version of your holiday rental for months and years to come. So the short term investment will reap long term rewards.
Key changes will be in how the property is presented and how it is styled. Follow a few tricks of interior design world – add a feature wall by painting one wall in a contrasting colour to the rest of the room. Have a neutral sofa, but use the same colour from that feature wall in the scatter cushions on the sofa.
Follow the tips and tricks of home stagers on how to best style and present your holiday home
If you want help with this (and it’s often small tweaks that make all the difference). Get my expert opinion on your holiday rental. What needs to change and what must stay.
Book a one to one << Styling Review >>
Also your equipment and facilities need to be in full working order and as up to date as possible. Replace the old tv with a new a flat screen TV for example. Modernise the kitchen by replacing the worn worktops. The laminate flooring in the hall has seen better days and now’s the time to replace it with a quality wooden floor. No more “it’ll do”.
Step 3. Be ready to market
Once your property is looking amazing, time to call in a professional photographer. Get some wow images that you will use online to attract guests. Professional images make such a huge and important first impression. Images that are too small and too dark say “I can’t be bothered to get this right.”, “This will do”.
Professional, well lit images say the absolute opposite. Plus they say “come and stay with me”. They also show that you’re not trying to hide anything. Showcase your property and your fabulous images on your website. You can set up a WordPress site for £100 and then edited and updated by you.