The newsletter for and by rental home owners:
What an amazing response to Issue 1 of Lay My Hat - thanks to all of you who took the time to email your thoughts, questions and advice - that's what this newsletter is all about: an exchange of ideas for rental home owners.
In this issue we're exploring the hottest topics from your emails: how to make your site more 'findable' by search engines...my writing secrets for making your home sound irresistible... more tips for great pics...and how to achieve repeat business.
UPDATE! Since I wrote this newsletter, the Lay My Hat forum has been launched. It's where rental owners talk about anything to do with the business of rentals, and plenty else besides! See the forum by clicking here.
Between us we must know everything there is to know about renting holiday homes - it's just a question of getting together to discuss it. That's where Lay My Hat comes in. I hope you find it useful.
P.S. Here's a quiz question for all you travel buffs - where was the above picture of me taken? (Clue: it's cold enough to wear the unusual matching hat and jumper my wife knitted me). Whoever guesses closest wins something money just can't buy - you can set the next 'Where am I?' question...
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Top tips for writing about your rental property
The first few lines someone reads about your property are absolutely crucial. They decide whether people read on, or move on. Here's how to keep them reading:
Find this useful? Disagree? Tell us what you think, and send in your best tips for describing your home - email us at
More tips for internet pics
In the last issue of Lay My Hat (if you missed it, click here to see it) I told you how to take photos of your home for the web. Many of you wrote to me with your own ideas, so here are some more great tips for internet pics:
Thanks to Robert, Marilu, Chris and Glen for sending those in. If you have other tips to share, please email me at email@example.comGo back to top
Owner's secrets: making them come back
For many of us, repeat business is vital. So how do you make people come back? Here are a couple of ways:
Owner's secret #1
One way to drum up repeat bookings is by simply contacting your previous renters and reminding them how much they liked it the last time.
But don't just email at a random time - use a significant time of year: the turn of a season, the time of year they last booked or visited. And best of all - Christmas. You can email, but what about sending a card with your house on it? This will make them think of you at a time of year when many people plan their holidays.
Owner's secret #2
If you don't have an extraordinary home or location, don't worry, there are little things you can do to make people remember you when they book next year's holiday.
You can generate a lot of goodwill by simple gestures like having a bottle of wine waiting when they arrive - if you're in a wine-growing area make it a local wine and it will cost you very little, but make a good impression. It can be anything that's produced locally - honey, cheese, eggs, boomerangs - if they have booked your house, it must be partly because they are interested in your region.
You can reinforce this with a parting gift along the same lines - "Something to remember us by"...and they will.
Do you have any good owner's tips? Let's share what we know about holiday rentals - email your tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll discuss them in future newsletters.
Now we've covered how to photograph and describe your rental property, the next step is how to respond to an enquiry - when people contact you that is only the first step in the rental process - now you have to convert them into a booking. How? I'll tell you in the next edition.
Also in the next Lay My Hat: the best rental sites on which to advertise, reader's tips and owners' secrets.
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Contact: You can email me here: email@example.com