And how to use this onion analogy to attract your ideal guest.
When guests are looking to book a self-catering holiday they have a search criteria. Think of each criteria as a layer of an onion.
Once one criteria is met, they digger deeper and peel off the next layer of the onion.
Your location, the area in which you’re situated is very likely layer one – the outer skin of the onion.
No matter how gorgeous your place is and how perfect every other aspect of it is for that holidaymaker, you won’t be right for her if you’re not in her chosen area.
What would she next be looking for?
It’s likely to be the number of people the property sleeps and the bedroom configuration.
She needs a holiday home to sleep 4 but has two teenagers who cannot share so needs 3 bedrooms for example, not just a place sleeping 4
She’s 3 layers down.
Then she’ll look at the detailed location.
Are you situated in a village and she is wanting a remote location? Did she want to be in the market town itself?
She’ll also consider the type of property at this layer, if she wanted a modern apartment and your place is a country cottage then it’s unlikely she’ll consider you any further.
Up to now, you can’t really influence this holidaymaker. Your location can’t be changed, nor can your style of property.
She continues to peel off more layers.
She’ll then have a list of must-have amenities eg dishwasher, wifi, log fire (she’s not being fussy here, it’s her holiday and her right to be specific).
Then her non-essentials, but really nice-to-haves. For example a large garden, a walk to a pub, a sea view.
This is where, when it comes to getting bookings, you can influence her to book with you.
Here her heart takes over from her head.
This is where, using the analogy of the onion, you can bring tears to her eyes (happy tears).
OK you may not have the sea view, but just look at your huge walk-in shower. And the garden is smaller than she hoped put look at all the garden toys for the kiddies. She’s impressed!
You can wow her with the intangibles too, such as amazing guest reviews or the copy on your website so she can really imagine herself there on holiday in your holiday let. You are talking to her and her alone about what a stay with you would allow her to do/see/achieve and it resonates. She’s hooked.
And here you’ll talk specifically about the things you know your guests will be wanting to do on holiday; what your area is known for. For example walking on the moors, being close to Chatsworth House, the quaint villages. Showing her how easily accessible these places are when she stays with you.
Think about this layering process in your own holiday home. Breaking it down is all part of nailing your ideal guest – knowing exactly who you are a perfect match for and whose holiday needs you meet – exactly.
No point talking to those guests who’ve stopped peeling the onion is there? That would be a waste of time and energy.
The ideal guest concept is when marketing magic can really happen and it’s the best use of your time and resources. You can’t market to everyone who wants to come on holiday in your area. And why would you? There are too many layers, you need to focus on what you can control.