For many, a holiday home is an investment opportunity that can bring in valuable extra income when it’s rented out to holidaymakers. In today’s post, we share our tips for maximising your bookings so that your holiday home gives you the best possible return on investment.
Many – if not most – holiday home owners advertise their properties online, either by creating their own website or through advertising on third party sites such as Holiday Rentals and Airbnb. Some owners do a combination of both to maximise their exposure. Spend some time putting together an enticing advert, and consider getting a professional set of photographs of your property, as a picture speaks a thousand words. Research what other holiday home owners are charging for similar properties in your area so that you can price competitively – you’ll appear higher up in search results when they’re ordered by price.
Make your holiday home seem a desirable place to be by marketing it on social media. The photo-sharing site Instagram lends itself particularly well to this, as it’s both visual and aspirational, making it perfect for sharing appealing photos of your property and its environs. Using relevant hashtags – such as #lifeinFrance or #countryliving – will help get your photos noticed by a wider audience, and offer discounts to entice people to book.
It’s not all about online marketing – there’s still a place for old-fashioned print and networking. Have some flyers printed with some tempting photos and details of your property, along with your contact details. Ask your local tourist information office about leaving some of your flyers with them, and speak to local attractions and restaurants to offer a reciprocal advertising deal. You may be able to persuade them to display some of your flyers in return for you recommending them as a place for your guests to visit.
Adapting your marketing to the season
People want different things from their holidays depending on the season, so your marketing should reflect that. When you’re advertising low season availability online, include cosy winter photos (think log fires and snow) to show how cosy your property is in the colder months. When you’re targeting summer bookings, make sure the first photos holidaymakers see are enticing summer photos with blue sky and sunshine.
Encouraging repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals
Finally, don’t neglect marketing to previous guests, who may either want to return to your property or tell their friends about it. Repeat guests and word-of-mouth referrals are both valuable sources of income, and getting more of them starts by giving your guests the best possible experience of staying with you. Ask your guests to leave an online review of their stay to help encourage others to book, and keep in touch by adding their email address to a mailing list to share offers such as last-minute booking discounts (be sure to ask their permission before doing adding them to your list). You can also offer a special discount code to previous guests, which they can use to get a percentage off their booking fee or pass on to a friend; a great way of doing this is to get some business cards made up that you can leave in the house, so they can take one for themselves and extras for friends. You’ll soon find that happy guests do your marketing for you.