How to get more bookings? This is the frequent question every host in every online booking system asks to him/herself. There’s no sure way on how to achieve this. However, there are common practices that, if applied right, can significantly better your chances toward getting more bookings.
Not a host, yet? Maybe you should consider to become one.
1. The prospect of the earnings
In itself, this is enough as an incentive to be a host right away.
2. Unless you’re an overly shy, agoraphobic, anti-social person, meeting new people is going to excite you.
There’s no such thing as having too many friends and acquaintances, and your guests have all the possibility to become one of yours, which is cool.
3. Something new to learn.
Your guests can be coming from different cultural background than yours. Their stories alone probably worth a hell lot of inspirations.
4. The chance that you can do it in your home
Even the smallest house has an extra room that you can spare for hosting purpose. The guests these days don’t expect a five-star place nor services. Sometimes, what they need is just a nice and clean room with a clean bed sheet (preferably with some fake Warhol art pieces).
In every online booking system, you’ll most likely to find something similar to the list above. The words may be varied, but their message is clear: Be a host!
What? Unconvinced? Need more?
5. It’s your way in to be involved in charity
This is what we offer in Bedforest.
You see, the sharing economy is no longer a monopoly for the peer-to-peer businesses. It can be a way to benefit others, directly or indirectly. In turn, it can create a sustainable, mutual environment for all the parties involved. As such, it’s going to be a major economic wheel-turner for many local communities. Taking parts in those wheel-turning moments, well, that’s something the karma police will nod in approval.
If you’re already a host and has scored some bookings, good. You can just keep on going and evaluate what you’re doing to maximize the results.
For new host, choose your OTA (online travel agent) or booking services wisely. For maximum exposure, you can always use several of them to promote the same property. That way, you won’t be running short of co-marketers to market your vacation rentals. Utilizing different channels to market the property you host is always a smart move. Like they said, don’t put your eggs in one basket. It increases the chance for your vacation rental to be found by prospects.
Create Good Descriptions
Create the most accurate descriptions of your place. Make it as informational as possible without forgetting about applying SEO practices to it. This matters a lot when your guests use the search engine to reach the booking site.
What about the pricing?
Well, be fair. Remember, you’re in competition with tens, hundreds if not thousand other hosts for every single guest prospect, so fair price is always a good idea. There’s always a direct/indirect price consensus in every area, including yours, that you can use as a reference. Compare your price with other hosts’ in the same area in any given online booking services, and play with it a little bit.
Overpricing your place is a big no no. Most of the OTA’s users will choose the cheapest one anyway. So, doing so will only act against your best interest, namely to get more bookings. Of course, don’t forget the basic income-expenditure ratio. If that ratio makes your place is somewhat pricier to get profits, throw in some perks that can justify the price into the deal (and mention it in your descriptions). Guests love perks. Even if they cost them a few extra bucks.
Picture means a thousand words
Provide great pictures of your place (be realistic as it is. Edit is only to make it more realistic). People may consider the written descriptions about your place, but their decision is more likely influenced by the pictures. Try to put it like this: you won’t book a listing that has a little to no pictures, but no descriptions? You’re going to book it anyway if you like what you see in the pictures. The same guess for your guests. Make an investment by hiring professionals to take the pictures of your place if you think it’s necessary.
I already have a website, and guest can book directly through it. So why should I join?
This is the Alamo. Unconvinced with the concept of sharing-economy, many hosts see a third-party booking system in doubt. Either that, or they’re lost in the concept of paying the commission for using their services. Well, if you can answer the following question in affirmative then you are free not to join.
Spent millions in online advertising lately? No? So yes, you should join the frenzy.
Think it like this, treat those online bookings as your marketing channels, while your own website is responsible for branding and direct booking purposes. It’s an elegant win-win solution.
One of the meaning of sharing-economy is that you have to share it at some point. Share your property page across social media platforms for maximum exposure. Let your friends and their mums share it too.
Nothing kills business faster than some well-spread bad-raps. All of those reviews are not for nothing. They help future guests and fellow travellers to find the best one for them in the market. Each good review adds credibility to your status as a host. If what separates you from a good review is just some extra miles for your guests, by any means, go for it.
And… that’s a wrap.
By applying the aforementioned practices we hope you can get more bookings to your vacation rentals. Make sure you update your property details regularly, especially regarding availability, rates and any additional info that may be useful for your guests-would-be.