7 tips to turn inquiries into bookings
When was the last time you checked your conversion rate on Airbnb or Booking ?
By that I mean, from all the inquiries you receive how many actually convert into bookings ? If you find that your conversion rate is low, then this article is for you !
I’ve gathered 7 tips that have helped me turn inquiries into bookings significantly throughout the years.
Here are our 7 tips to turn inquiries into bookings
1) Don’t wait
Time is money as never been more true A swift response to a guest inquiry is key to turn an inquiries into bookings. You wouldn’t want to wait 2 weeks to get an answer from an owner if you were booking a holiday ! The more you wait, the more you risk having guests move on to another property.
Most rental platforms recommend responding within 12 hours of receiving the inquiry.
Websites like Airbnb and Booking also offer the option of getting a push notification on your phone every time you receive a new message. Use it !
2) Prepare some templates
Writing emails and replying to messages can be time consuming, but take a look at your guest’s messages. You will probably see the same questions asked over and over again. What time can I check out ? Where is the nearest shop ? etc. Prepare a couple of email templates with basic information on them that you can adapt to each guest while saving time.
You can also save these templates on your owner extranet on Booking and Airbnb or prepare automatic responses for common guest’s questions.
3) Add your property’s details
Let’s be honest, most guests will send between 5 and 15 messages to different properties before choosing the one.
When you reply to an email, don’t forget to add your property’s information – Name, reference, or small description.
“Dear……thank you for your inquiry for our Villa La Bonita, ref : 59874, 3 bedroom-villa with indoor pool ”
4) Be honest
In my opinion, the worst thing you can do, when replying to guest’s questions, is be disingenuous.
If a client asks a question, be honest and clear about you offer and what you don’t . Managing guests expectations will ensure that they are satisfied with their stay and leave good reviews.
If your property is a 20 min walk from the beach, be honest. If there might be road traffic noise, let them know. If you think that your property is not what they are looking for, say it. This will help your guests plan their trip.
Disappointed guests will make your life difficult once they’ve checked in !
5) Ask questions
Many guests booking privately-owned properties are looking to get a more personal service. Show some interest !
Ask them if they know the area, what their plan are, if they need any advice.
Asking questions will :
1) create a conversation : the client is more likely to answer your email if it ends with a question. Once the conversation is started, you are much more likely to be considered as a potential host.
2) show that you are a host that cares : traveling to another country, especially with children, can be stressfull for any guest. Showing that you are a helpful host will definetly make a difference !
6) Include tips on the area
Be generous with the information you provide, the more the better !
If they are traveling with children, recommend some child friendly activities or restaurants. If they are on a romantic week-end, offer to book them a romantic restaurant or provide a bottle of wine etc.
I like to have a simple PDF with basic information on the area that can be added to any email. It doesn’t have to be too detailed, but it shows you care and you are a knowledgeable host.
Going that extra mile will make a big difference !
7) Give them a call
In this age of online communication, nothing beats a good old phone call to create a relationship with clients and answer all their questions.
Having a conversation with an actual person will also reassure guests who are worried about scams and online bookings.
It will only take you a couple of minutes and I guarantee you will see a significant increase in your bookings.
by Léonie Gremillet
Léonie has joined HMR Holidays in 2017 after 4 years managing a successful holiday rental agency and writing articles for Topairbnbtips.com, providing advice to homeowners. She is now in charge of Marketing and Foreign Clients Liaison. She covers anything related to tourism in Moraira and local legislation.
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