Below are some of the best things you can do to ensure you get more bookings for your property.
Remember, an empty property may not just mean you are missing out on income it is probably costing you money as well.
1. Do your photos sell your property?
Your photos of the property are critical to your success; they are the only tangible way for people to get a feel for what they will get for their money. None of us like surprises when we arrive, so make sure you have the best photos you can of your property. Use high resolution images and take realistic photos that highlight the advantages of your property. Show views from the property, the size of rooms, the decor and the pool, make sure your outdoor areas are tidy and lawns mowed and remember to update your images each year to keep them looking fresh and to show any improvements you may have made. Avoid using zoom or fisheye lenses as guests want to see what the property really looks like, not a digitally enhanced version.
2. Let your location sell your property
Make sure you give plenty of detail on where your property is located. Include regional information and where relevant, mention the tourist type attractions, those nearby as well as those that would make a great day trip. Information like this helps guests create a picture of themselves staying at your property and also assists them to plan their trip and decide how much time to spend with you. The more information you provide the better chance that a potential guest will decide to book with you, rather than keep searching.
3. Does your listing sell your property?
Take the time to write a listing that really sells your property to potential guests. Think about the benefits of staying at your property and make sure that you include them in the listing description. You should describe the views, number of bedrooms, proximity to the beach or other local attractions, distance from the closest major city. Remember, the more detail you put in the listing, the easier it is for potential guests to choose your property over one with less information.
4. Quick responses to requests win bookings
Whilst you can’t sit at your computer all day waiting for email requests for your property, it is important that you respond to these requests in a timely fashion.
Get yourself into a habit of checking for requests at least three times a day, research shows that responding to enquiries within a few hours is the best way to increase the chance of converting a request into a booking. This will ensure that you can maintain a high occupancy rate for your property. If you respond within 3 hours, the chances of converting a request into a booking are increased by 60%.
5. List the amenities you offer, they can really make a difference.
Tea and coffee making facilities, air-conditioning, baby’s high chair, portable cot.
If the sleeping configuration of the property can be adjusted, (such as type and size of beds) make this clear as it can be an important factor in guests making their decision to book your property over another.
If you had not planned on making some of these amenities available, give it some thought, they can broaden your target market and increase your conversion rate.
6. Keep your availability calendar updated
There is nothing worse than a calendar that shows availability, but when an enquiry is made, the potential guest is told that the property is not available for that date. It makes you look inefficient and it sends a poor message. If you are getting frequent requests, it is important to update your calendar at least daily and certainly after each booking so that your availability is accurate.
7. List your rates clearly
Properties with clearly listed rates, showing seasonal rates, long weekend/public holiday rates and minimum nights tend to get more enquiries as the potential guest already knows what it is likely to cost them. You do yourself no favours by having inaccurate and incomplete rates, as visitors to the site will quickly move on to the next property which does have clear and specific rates, rather than waste their time enquiring about yours.
8. Make it easy for potential guests to make payments
Visit-Queensland does not involve itself in the payment for bookings made on your property; this allows you the flexibility to make your own arrangements.
We do recommend that you set up a either a separate bank account or online bank account such as paypal or moneybookers to make it as easy as possible for people to make payments when booking your property.