Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Make Them Feel More than Special: 3 Tips for More Vacation Rental Bookings

Give them more than a great view ...
With all the discussion about whether or not Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter or the next social media website is driving bookings, don't lose site of the fact that relationships with your guests go beyond a Like, Tweet or Repin. Here are three tips for building and improving your relationships with your guests.

Follow up with your guests after their stay. This can be either with an email or a phone call. Find out how their stay went--what they enjoyed about your rental and the area. Ask if they had any problems and reassure them they'll be addressed on their next visit. Ask them to leave a review online. Go the extra step and email them a link where they can leave a review. If they took any photos, ask if they would mind sharing a few with you for either your site or Facebook page. People love sharing their photos, and they'll likely be flattered that you asked.

.... or a fabulous pool. Make them feel
like they're your most important guests ever. 
Market to your existing customers. It's much better to have a repeat customer than a new one. First, you already know they'll be good guests and treat your property with respect. And they'll know what a great property you have. Many people like to feel like they're going to a familiar place when they go on vacation. Part of relaxing is not worrying about whether or not the accommodations will be just right. Treat your existing customers better than your new customers. Give them the best deals with exclusive offers and discounts. In fact, if you have someone who's rented with you the last few years, find a way to give him or her some kind of exclusive perk. It doesn't have to be expensive--just something that will make them feel special and like they have a unique relationship with you.

Reach out to new guests. Make yourself as available as possible for questions from guests. Sometimes, it's the smallest reassurance that can tip the booking in your favor. If you can accommodate special requests, do so. But if not, then describe what you can do for them, or how they might otherwise obtain what they need and still stay at your property. When you speak with a potential guest on the phone, or have an in-depth email exchange, it gives you the chance to book your rental using your personal knowledge of the property and the area.

The bottom line: nurture the relationships you start with guests or potential guests, and you'll book more weeks with people you know and trust.