As an Independent Vacation Rental Owner, Repeat Bookings Should Be Your Holy Grail
Repeat bookings mean less work and more money
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Once you’ve secured a regular share of repeat guests, your workload as an independent vacation rental owner can be reduced. Equally important, as a Homes and Rooms subscriber with your own website (your own or provided by us), your income will go up more than if all your bookings come through listings sites that take a commission even for repeat guests.
Although we’re not suggesting you focus exclusively on repeat bookings, we are saying that repeat bookings are extra profitable for Homes and Rooms subscribers.
You get to keep all the profits
This is because you’ll be able to keep all profits on all bookings (first timers and repeats) that come through your own website, as opposed to those that come via a listings site. As a subscriber, you have the Homes and Rooms online Guest Portal to take guest payments directly into your own bank account.
We do not handle your money, it goes straight to you. There is no third party holding it, deducting their fee and passing it on to you at a time they choose as suitable once the guests have finished their stay.
This is the kind of independence we like – and the kind that you should have.
How to secure those repeat bookings
How to secure those repeat bookings? With our help and some determination, it can be achieved. There are proven strategies you can use to encourage guests to come again to your property.
Ensure a quick response to vacation rental inquiries
Potential guests react favorably when they get a rapid response to initial vacation rental inquiries. So make it a priority to respond and follow up as quickly as possible with up-to-date information readily available to answer any inquiries about availability, rates and special offers. As well as creating a good impression, a rapid follow-up may mean that you get in ahead of your competitors to clinch a deal. Here at Homes and Rooms, we have the solution: our subscribers have the facility for automated bookings and email responses included in their subscription. So, inquirers get an immediate response, leaving our owners free to follow up on likely guests with a more personal service.
Go after guests who’ve inquired about your property. Follow up vacation rental inquiries by email or phone to find out exactly what they are looking for, whether they can be flexible on dates and let them know about any special deals coming up.
Follow up on all guests
You should always follow up on guests at the end of their stay with you. Not only will you find out what proved popular to help when promoting your property but you may also discover where things might be improved to make it even more appealing. Your phone call could result in repeat bookings or a positive review. Either way, it can be a valuable exercise. Homes and Rooms subscribers are provided with guests reviews collected for them by our Marketing Manager feature. Guests are invited to rate aspects of their stay in a property, which is passed on to subscribers as a secure review to approve and display on their website.
Use email campaigns
Use email campaigns to reach past guests and prospects who have visited your site but did not make a reservation. You can offer special deals or highlight features of your property. Do this regularly to keep your property in your guests’ and prospects’ minds and encourage repeat bookings. Homes and Rooms subscribers have a head start here with downloadable lists of the email addresses of all inquirers or past guests at their property. Even where a degree of automation has been used – and our subscribers can choose how much or how little to employ – guests and prospects generally welcome these personalized communications and quick responses to vacation rental inquiries. They project a friendly and efficient image which can only increase your chances of repeat bookings.
It’s also worth keeping an eye not just on our blog but on other vacation rental community blogs too for tips and hints on how other owners get their repeat bookings.
Have a head start over competitors
Personally speaking, I think that Homes and Rooms subscribers have a head start over competitors when it comes to getting repeat bookings. They need to have a well maintained, attractive property to begin with, of course. That said, I believe that having a professional website plus a service that offers realtime updates and instant responses to guest inquiries inspires guests with confidence.
Remember too, that from the guest’s point of view, they’re dealing directly and personally with the owner of the property that they stayed in last time. Coupled with the immediate communication response containing consistent, personalized, accurate and transparent pricing this could prove to be why they decide to stay in your home again and not look elsewhere.