How you are, how you behave, think and act, impacts on your holiday rental business.
Because as an independent owner you are your business!
Here are my top five ways to be when you’re wearing your holiday home owners hat:
From the content of your blogs, to the copy on your website, to what you post on social media, write it from the heart. Write it as you. Don’t try to be someone else. When you’re you, your passion and your drive for your holiday cottage and its area shines through.
Don’t try to write or speak in a “professional” or a “proper” way. It’ll feel stilted and unnatural.
Share your story online on your About Us page on your website. Share pics of you on your Facebook page. Recording videos takes this to the next level so guests can even get to see you and hear you.
I’ve had personal experience of owners not being available when I’ve tried to book a summer holiday.
Available in terms of getting back to my enquiry in a timely manner. I didn’t expect a reply that evening but sometime the next day would have been curteous. Even if it was to tell me that the villa was already booked that week.
Be available to take enquiries. I don’t mean 24/7 but be there within reasonable business working hours. Set boundaries for yourself, but within those hours be available. If you receive a complicated enquiry and it’s not convenient to reply straight away, send an email to acknowledge you’ve received it and you’ll get back to them.
Be available in the strictest sense of the word and always ensure your booking calendar is up to date.
At every opportunity talk about your holiday rental. Without becoming a total bore and a one track pony of course. There has to be a degree of relevancy to being opportunistic!
Have business cards to hand for when the moment arises. Where ever you can spread the word. Who knows where this might lead. Often it’s not you being the first person to bring it up, it’s waiting for opportunities that others bring up and you being there.
Being opportunistic online too, not just face to face. If you’re in a Facebook group for example and it’s apt to mention about your holiday rental then do so.
You can make this work. Be steadfast in your commitment to get direct bookings (if that is indeed your aim). It won’t happen over night but it can happen if you take persistent and consistent steps towards is.
If this is your route you will need your own website, to start building your email list, to be active on social media and to build the guest-owner relationship.
I wrote a blog about this >>5 Ways To Enhance The Guest-Owner Relationship<<
When it comes to social media, pick your platform and stick with it. Post regularly and consistently. Be there, answer questions, interact, engage – constantly.
No dabbling and giving the excuse that you did loads last week so you’re going to give yourself a week off!
Whether it’s writing blogs, sending out an e-newsletter, being active on Facebook; once you’ve decided on a course of action, stick with it. Of course each month review it and if it isn’t working tweak it. But keep going!
Have systems in place. Systems for when somebody enquires, have a system for following up your reply. Have a system for every aspect of the booking cycle, for getting the keys to your guest, for what emails you sent out at what time in the booking process. A system for your changeover so each week it’s the same.
When it comes to social media schedule it, put time in your diary to do some scheduling so you have posts going out on a regular basis. Create a system that works for you. Although you still have to check in with the social media accounts and interact regularly.
If it means setting time aside in the quieter months to put systems in place then do it. It might mean taking time to organise your images into meaningful folders, to go through old evaluation forms and follow up with these people. Whatever being organized means to you. Whatever tasks you’ve been meaning to do but have been putting off; make a commitment to start them, for the long term good of your business.
I’m sure you’re all those ways anyway. Does no harm to be reminded!