In this edition of Lay My Hat, more advice from rental owners on what we all want in life: more bookings.
One couple tells us how to get repeat renters each year. I'm telling you how to run a simple linking campaign to give your site a real boost in the search engines. And one valuable tool you may be overlooking (like me!) - a guest questionnaire. I reckon these can be extremely useful.
Lay My Hat recently grew into a website - www.laymyhat.com - where you'll find all the advice from past newsletters, and even better, a discussion forum for rental owners. If you haven't been yet, have a look, you can talk to fellow owners about anything that's on your mind. There are all sorts of subjects being discussed now, and you can add whatever you want to talk about.
As always, I would love to hear from you because this newsletter is intended as an exchange of ideas in the community of rental home owners. Email me your views, suggestions and tips, or post them on the forum - you'll notice that contributors get a link to their own site, giving them a nice boost in the search engine rankings!
All the best,
P.S. You can read past editions of Lay My Hat here:http://www.laymyhat.com/newsletters/newsletterList.php.
How to get repeat renters
If you want to get repeat renters, it helps if you can make a stay in your home a memorable one. This is how one couple in Normandy do it:
For 6 years now we have had a little holiday rental house close to where we live in St Malo, France. Some of our guests are now returning for the third time.
Thanks to Victor and Francoise for sharing these tips with us. You can see their property here: www.armor-vacances.com/boureau
If you'd like to share your advice with Lay My Hat readers, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as the gratitude of your fellow owners, you'll get a link to your site.
For instant feedback and discussion, try the Lay My Hat forum: http://www.laymyhat.com/forum. It's where owners can help each other out.
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Do you use a guest questionnaire after each stay? If not, you may be missing out on some invaluable feedback about your home, your marketing and yourself!
Guests won't generally complain to you in person, or in the guest book, about minor problems and omissions in your property. But if you give them a simple questionnaire to fill in, they will let you know that you really need to supply a coffee-maker, or a light by the front door to find the lock at night - all sorts of inexpensive improvements you haven't thought of.
This is really the last step in the communication process that starts with the first enquiry. It's the owner's way of saying "How was it for you?"
And you don't have to limit the questionnaire to what's in your rental home. You can also get feedback on the quality of your marketing, or how you can improve your enquiry-to-booking ratio with better communication.
This is being discussed now in the Lay My Hat forum - you can see what other owners think about what should go in a guest questionnaire and add your say here: http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=80
Owners share their trade secrets - if you find them useful, why not join in? Email to email@example.com
"We always put brand new soaps in the bathrooms and find that if you don't supply detergents, etc. they tend to use whatever's there, e.g. washing up liquid in the dishwasher or washing machine! [Editor's note: recently guests used washing up liquid in my clothes washing machine - it broke. Some people go a little absent-minded when on holiday so make it obvious what goes in which machine and save yourself a repair bill]"
Thanks to Jane - www.chateauduberouze.com
To pass this newsletter on to other owners, you can just send it on like an ordinary email. Hit your 'Forward' button and put in the address you want to send it to. You can also type a message at the top of the newsletter to explain what you are sending - this newsletter looks like a webpage but it behaves like an email.
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Remember, the point of Lay My Hat is that it's an exchange of ideas and opinions for holiday rental owners, so please don't be shy in sharing yours. Here's my address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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