Hello again! In this Lay My Hat, more advice from rental owners on what we all want in life: more bookings.
For most of us this is a busy time of year - I know it's hard to sit in front of a computer when the sun is shining but don't wait till the autumn to read this newsletter - you'd miss some top tips on turning your guests into repeat visitors.
Many of you have asked me to take a look at your site and I have noticed the same basic problems cropping up again and again - see my check-list of the most common faults on the right. If you feel your site is under-performing, this may tell you why, and it's not hard to fix.
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 here with your views, suggestions and tips - you'll also notice that contributors get a link to their own site, giving them a nice boost in the search engine rankings!
All the best,
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.
The secrets of my success
If you think you should be getting more bookings, you may be interested to hear what successful owners are doing. In this edition, Annick from Brittany tells us all the good things she does to turn renters into repeat guests. Here are the secrets of her success...
You can see Annick's rental property here: http://www.ty-breiz.com/
Thanks to Annick for sharing - if you'd like to share your rental know-how, please email me your tips here:
Owners share their trade secrets - if you find them useful, why not join in? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner's secret #1
"Print out the 10-day weather forecast from http://www.weather.com/index.html [non-US countries at bottom of page], or other sites like Yahoo Weather - http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/. These are often wrong, as you might expect, but they can give renters a rough idea for organizing their stay."
Thanks to Massimo - www.flatinrome.it
Owner's secret #2
"I keep a mailbox of people who enquired about weeks that were already booked, and I had to say 'no' to. At the start of the following year I email them all a message wishing them a happy new year and reminding them of my site - I tell them not to leave it too late if they are still interested in visiting my region."
Thanks to Marie-Josť - http://www.mauny.ilederenet.com/
Do you have any good owner's tips? Let's share what we know about holiday rentals - email your tips and suggestions to email@example.com and we'll discuss them in future newsletters.
More about baby cots
In the last Lay My Hat I advised that baby cots should be supplied free of charge. I should have specified I meant travel cots, the type that do not have a proper mattress. This is because babies should not sleep on a mattress that has already been used by another baby.
June emailed with this information which is especially relevant to property owners in the UK:
"I have recently had a visit from the Trading Standards Safety Officer. After inspecting my premises he advised me of the latest legislation regarding the supply of articles like cots and high chairs.
"These articles must be of the highest specifications, and all equipment used by children, especially babies, must be sterilised after each use. I do have grave reservations regarding the supply of cots because of the passing on of any germs. I voiced my opinions to the Officer who agreed with me that it is better not to supply them unless they can be replaced every season, and more importantly mattresses need to be absolutely new each visitor. In consequence I have decided to be very up front with any enquiries and advise them to bring their own travel cot and explain why. I have found no objections so far, on the contrary mothers have been grateful for the information."
Other owners have made the point that they do not supply high chairs and cots because they do not want to risk being sued if a child is injured (even when it is not the owner's fault).
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.
If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can ensure you receive future editions by clicking here to subscribe.
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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