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Converting rental enquiries

 
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 425
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:40 pm    Post subject: Converting rental enquiries Reply with quote

Hi,

So far since starting in Jan this year, my holiday rental has done very well and despite a shaky start has generated bookings beyond my expectations. However, nearly all of these have been straight 'booking requests', mostly through OD, with a few through ABB and TA. For next year I have taken a few through my website but again I have online booking through free to book.

Converting enquiries is a completely different story. I have a very poor conversion rate and often don't even hear back from a prospective guest. I really struggle to know how to answer generic enquiries with very little info in them (eg 'can you give me a quote for this week, thanks'), that have clearly been sent to several owners. I always seem to come across as stiff and formal and really struggle to be friendly and personal with so little info about the guest to go on.

I'm hoping people can give me a few pointers - how do you 'sell' your holiday home without it sounding like you are giving them the hard sell, and send friendly, personal replies when you know nothing about an enquirer. If anyone has any advice or even an example reply I would be very grateful!

Thanks
Jenny
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Casscat



Joined: 05 Jul 2014
Posts: 2662
Location: Andalucía

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If people want to stay at your place then they will book even if you just send an impersonal automated quote, but certainly going that extra mile can make you feel better about the experience if nothing else! If I get a warm and personal enquiry then the enquirer gets a warm and personal reply, but for the more mundane enquiries it costs nothing to have a template which sounds personal and might kick off with something along the lines of "Thank you for your enquiry - you have chosen a really beautiful part of the world for your holiday!" To sign off you could say something along the lines of "I hope to get the opportunity of welcoming you to *name of property* and if there is anything you would like to know about the property or the local area please do let me know." That should be enough really.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5984
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes to what Casscat says.

Another point - it's commonplace not to hear back from enquirers so your "very poor" conversion rate may be typical - or good even!
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1759
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes to Casscat and Greenbarn.

It's extremely usual not to hear back from enquirers, especially those who ask questions that are readily answered from a very quick perusal of the listing site - the most common are "is it available" and "what's the price". Rolling Eyes

Setting up a standard reply that you can easily adjust to fit more specific enquiries will save you time. Just remember - and it's difficult when new to this business - an enquiry is just that. An enquiry. Not a booking. It's not a booking until you receive full details of the party per your booking form plus a deposit.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7180
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is usual as the others have said, so don't fret.

It is more difficult when it is a quick sentence on availability but I always sell our USP and mention that we've been welcoming holidaymakers for x number of years, so I can help with any questions.
I also ask a question.....which can help in generating a reply. Something like 'is this your first visit to Ibiza/San Jose' or such like.

I was only looking over my emails to guests this year and it's funny how often we have resulted in 'x's' (kisses)!!

Mousie
x
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 425
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, your replies are very helpful and reassuring. My hubby said similar, that people will book or won't depending on preference regardless of what you say. But he also said my replies were a bit wordy and formal which made me start questioning myself! I am getting better at it, I just need to get better at not worrying about it!
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Orsonthecat



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 166
Location: Vale of Belvoir, East Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
It is usual as the others have said, so don't fret.

I also ask a question.....which can help in generating a reply. Something like 'is this your first visit to Ibiza/San Jose' or such like

Mousie
x


We aren't a typical tourist destination so I always ask the question (in the hope that it will elicit a response of some sort rather than nothing!) "are you visiting the area for anything in particular" or words along those lines...
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always remember the spam folder!

Depending on how your outgoing emails are routed and also depending on the content, some could end up unseen by the recipient because they are either blocked by the ISP or routed to the recipient's spam folder.

When I get an enquiry through OD or HL, as well as my full reply which I send direct to the enquirer's email address, I do a reply via the OD or HL system too like:

    "Thanks for your enquiry. Please ignore this message which is relayed through and purely for the benefit of HolidayLettings.co.uk/TripAdvisor. If you have not received my direct reply, please call or text +44 07780 708 xxx. Thanks."

Obviously the above only applies if you have a subscription listing, not commission.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried a follow up email a few days after the initial enquiry? Just a brief requote, list the price again, etc. Then ask if they are still interested as the dates are still available, if not then you'll be closing the enquiry. I usually give another few days and if I've still not heard back then I close the enquiry. I either get no reply, sometimes a 'we've found something else, etc.' Or an apology for not getting back to me or they missed the original email etc. Which has then converted. Lovely
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gardenboy



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 247

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never chase or follow up, I used to but the was years ago. As mentioned many times on here most enquirers do not email back, sometimes they do and say that they have booked somewhere else.

It's a bit like a shop, not a chain one but a personally owned one, some people will walk in and not say anything, walk out again without even saying goodbye.

Don't take it personally, it's just the way some people are. Funnily enough I have enquired about renting a couple of ha places, Sent a lovely request and heard nothing back.

So it's not just enquirers who can seem a bit off, some villa owners are too.
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