What mantras or guiding principles do you work to in your holiday home business?
Next time you get a quiet 10 mins (I know a big ask) I encourage you to sit down and think about your guiding principles and mantras.
No need to chant them or adopt a yoga pose but once identified it’s important to be aligned to them.
Mantras are the reason behind what you do. They’re meaningful to you. They make you and your offering unique. They give you focus to run your business day-to-day.
Here are my top 5 mantras – that really work:
1. Quality over quantity
This applies to every aspect of my business. I’d rather take 3 quality bookings over 6 low value bookings for example. By quality booking I mean where each booking makes me a decent profit. This mantra means I can earn as much in 3 bookings than I can in 6. I then chase 6 of these!
This applies to social media too. Better to post fewer quality, yet meaningful posts on Facebook than double this number just to fill a void; just throwing out content for the sake of it.
2. First impressions count
When guests first see you online you need to impress them and grab their attention. Your images and then your copy are your tools to do this. Spend time staging and styling a room before you take photos. Think of the lighting, use a wide-angle lens and sell the lifestyle.
How you respond to that first enquiry matters too. Be timely in your response and go the extra mile to help that guest (even if it doesn’t lead to a booking).
When guests first arrive at your holiday let it needs to live up to their expectations. The first impression before they even set foot over the threshold counts eg well-kept pots by the front door, a weed-free driveway. And once they step inside wow them with your welcome hamper. Get their holiday off to the best possible start.
3. It’s a business
From when I very first started to market my holiday home to paying guests – I became a business owner. There had to be a mindset shift from second home owner to business owner. That meant I had to keep track of my income and expenses and prepare a tax return. Dull, yes!
So I made my business more exciting and inspiring than that. I started by setting myself a vision. What did I want to achieve with my holiday rental business? I then set income financial targets each month and year to work towards this vision. This keeps me on track. And every decision I make is with my business owner’s head on.
4. Guests are people
My business is about my guests, as without them there would be no business. I appreciate them and respect them as people and as individuals. Even if they do sometimes exasperate me with their nuances and requests!
I’m not selling a place to lay your head or even just some where to stay on holiday. My offering and my business is about more than that. It’s about giving my guests a holiday experience they will remember. I know how important and special holiday time is and I care about their time with me.
When I get a good review, of course it’s a pat on the back for me but the satisfaction comes from knowing I’ve succeeded in making their holiday special and memorable.
My guests are not open purses, they are real people, with real holiday needs. Meet those needs and my business then benefits as a result.
5. Share the passion
I have a passion for my holiday home, for the village it’s in, for other local business and the wider community and nearest towns. For the tourist attractions and the countryside. I like nothing more than to talk about all this. I share my passion and local knowledge with my guests because encouraging them to book with me is as much about the local area as it is my cottage. Let your passion shine through in every communication whether offline or online.
I’m sure you’ll have you own mantras that you practice, maybe without evening realising. Do you agree with mine?