Here are 5 things to do in your holiday rental business in autumn.
Use this quieter time of year not to worry about the fewer bookings and enquiries that are coming in, but to get your business ship-shape so when things do start to pick up, you’re good to go. You can hit the ground running. Yes focus on getting autumn booking and put some time in your diary to work on these things right now too:
Build your newsletter
Newsletters are a great way to build relationships with past guests or future guests.
If you already have some email addresses but haven’t done anything with them, then you need to. Start routinely emailing these people; start with once per month so it’s not too daunting and you don’t run the risk of running out of content or worrying about “what am I going to say”.
If you do get stuck for content, this article will give you some ideas >>> What to include in an e-newsletter when you have writer’s block<<<
Use a third party e-marketing platform such as Mailchimp or Mad Mimi. You may already have signed up for one of their free accounts – start using it. Spend time getting to grips with the technology and use your email list. Also it’s the time of year to write content, to sit and plan what you’re going to put in your newsletter. Not just this newsletter but also what you can write about over the coming months. Start plotting that content.
Also, start building and growing your email list. Write a guide or a quick tip sheet for example, something that you could give away in exchange for an email address.
If you want help creating your awesome e-newsletter campaign then check out my £14.99 Boost Your Business Class >>> Aweseome Newsletters To Get You Noticed <<<
Look at your images
Start collecting a bank of images. These can be professional images, ones you’ve taken on a camera or on a mobile phone. Or images from friends and family or guests.
Spend time categorising those images that you’ll already have before going out and taking new ones. Specifically look for images you could use to get “winter bookings” or “spring bookings” and create folders to store them in. Think about when to use them too. For example an image of May blossom will be used in your marketing in February or March, with the aim of getting guests to book a holiday in May. Once you’ve collated our images create some memes. Some memes to use now but also across the busier monhs.
Memes are images with some text overlay such as these, created in Canva for free (www.canva.com):
Write social media content and some evergreen posts. By evergeen I mean content that doesn’t have a specific end date. For example that’s not about next week’s festival as once it’s happened you can’t talk about it anymore. Evergreen is content about the lovely woodland walks and cycle tracks nearby that are open all year round. So start creating a stock of your social media posts. You don’t have to post them all now but have them ready. Have this bank of content stored in Excel or in Word. Think about what images you’re going to use with each post so when you’re ready to post, you can hit the ground running.
Use this time to grow your social media followers. Set yourself a target and put time and effort into hitting that target. Choose one social media platform and one target that you’ll work towards. Remember though, don’t get too hung up on the numbers. It’s much better to have 100 quality page likes on Facebook , that are likely to buy (even if not now but in the future) than 1000 from people who are just liking your page for the sake of it. People who don’t interact or engage with you and who live the other side of the world and who are never likely to come and stay with you – that’s pointless. So don’t get too hung on the numbers. Set a target for example, for 100 quality page likes. A target that’s meaningful and helpful to your business going forward.
Research what’s really going on in your area
What local businesses are there? What new shops have recently opened? You may be aware of them, but haven’t given them much thought. How can you work with them? How can their business and your business work together to be mutually beneficial? Choose a business who has the same customer demographic as you so you’re both after the same target market, but you’re not competing.
Reach out, collaborate and explore what you could do together. Is there a new product you could develop together eg stay in your holiday rental and get a free foot massage from the local beauty spa.
People have this perception that everything closes down for the autumn and winter. So there’s no point going on holiday as there’s nothing to do. There is! All of the outdoor activities are still available such as the walks, the beaches, the moors, forests and woods.
Some of the tourist attractions do shut for winter but it’s not a blanket shut down. Some of their lovely cafes are still open and OK their opening hours might be restricted. Use this time to find out exactly what is open that you’d recommend to your guests and what time they’re open. Remember if you do recommend somewhere use the disclaimer “ring before hand to check on opening times” to cover yourself. Once you’ve done your research you can then start talking about this house/cafe/museum/restaurant/outdoor pursuit on social media. Educate your guests using your website copy too and on your blog page.
Highlight exactly what is open and exactly what there is to do this time of year. Sell the outdoor benefits but also the cosy, interior benefits. This idea of snuggling up, being cosy, getting away from it all, because they “deserve it”.
Plus brainstorm what’s particularly good about your area in winter, that you can’t do in summer. This may pose a challenge initially but you will find something. Look at the tourism boards, what are they talking about? What are they promoting in winter? Piggy back on that. Retweet their tweets, share their posts on Facebook and remove the perception of all things being closed.
It goes without saying to do your maintenance and repairs this time of year. Even if you have to close for a week you’re not losing as much money this time of year as you would be in the summer.
Just think when the busy new year, spring and summer season hits, how grateful you’ll be that you’ve done all this groundwork now!