Very often the simplest phrases can be the most powerful and meaningful.

Take the phrase ‘Make Every Booking Count

Simple, yet powerful.  It sums up so well the way I run my own holiday rental business.  And therefore underpins the advice and support I share, to help you to earn more too.

What exactly do I mean by make every booking count?

The profit you make on each booking should form the basis of your business model. Then you go out and get more of these.

A move from any booking will do, to only seeking and accepting bookings that will make you a good profit.  What’s the point in taking a booking if it’s low value? Don’t you deserve better than that?

To make this work, you need to know your costs and expenses. Include everything from the hand soaps to listing site fees.  What does it cost you to get your holiday let ready for guests? This is your break-even point and set your prices around that. It will be higher than you imagine.

And how do you achieve that business model?

You may want to make 70% profit per booking.  But if the product you bring to the market isn’t worth that, or perceived to be worth the prices you need to charge to make that 70% profit; then that aint gonna happen.

I always encourage you to set stretching prices.  

Take my two bed cottage in Yorkshire. On paper, on average this would achieve £500-600 a peak week; I get £850.  That’s because my holiday cottage isn’t average, it’s special.  It’s worthy of those higher prices because of the added value I deliver.

My marketing messages inform potential guests of how special my place is.  

It’s not for those who want somewhere to crash, that target market will need to look elsewhere. I only focus on my target market (people who appreciate quality and are prepared to pay for it, because it’s important to them).

And a picture speaks a thousand words. The quality images I use in my marketing show just how lovely my holiday cottage is too.  And it’s not just me saying that, it’s the positive guest comments I receive, and repeat business that proove my business model works.

make every booking count

Bringing this quality product to the market may mean short term spend for mid to long term gains.

You need to pay attention to the facilities you offer and the minimum standard your target market will accept. My guests are used to wifi and a dishwasher for example at home, so wouldn’t accept anything less when on holiday.

You also need to think of the added extras that you will include as standard, such as bathrobes and a welcome hamper. The costs of all these will have been factored into the price you charge.

How you present and style your holiday home is so important in your mission to make every booking count.

Drop the magnolia walls and orange pine furniture – please.  That look is outdated and bland.  Styling your holiday let to look more appealing and more special doesn’t mean spending a lot. I say so often you can do a lot with a tin of paint because it’s true!  Very often it’s a case of tweaking and changing what you already have, not going out and buying brand new everything.

Making every booking count means maximising your income per booking

A big part of this is to take your own bookings #bookdirect. That way you have no listing site fees or agency commissions to pay.   If this feels too big a step or the time involved is time you simply don’t have at the moment, don’t worry, take small steps towards this each day.

This starts with having your own website.

And make it WordPress – get it right from the start. You need to own your domain and your hosting and WordPress ensures this rather than going through eg Lodgify, Promote my Place, Wix (free version). Also its search engine optimisation facility (SEO) to help you get found in Google is second to none!

For you that might be a massive shift in how you’re operating now. It might feel too much to take in one go, you don’t have to do it all at once. Just make a start

If you want to make every booking count, the sooner you start the sooner you’ll see your profits boosted.