In this edition of Lay My Hat, more advice from rental owners on what we all want in life: more bookings!
If you haven't visited the Lay My Hat forum yet, take a look - it's a thriving community of helpful owners discussing everything to do with rentals. You can just read what others think, or you can contribute your views and questions.
In this newsletter: how to make your property 'family-friendly' - lighten the load for parents and they are likelier to book. And keywords - what are they and how do you find yours?
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 little 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.
Make your rental property family-friendly
By making your property 'family-friendly', you'll reach a big and eager audience. And remember, children under 5 aren't restricted to school holidays but can travel year-round - their parents will be keen to book outside of school holidays too.
Here is a check-list of items that a family with one or more toddlers would be delighted not to have to bring with them. Travelling with toddlers is quite an operation - the more of these you can offer, the likelier you are to appeal to a young family.
Must-haves for a toddler-friendly home:
Good to have:
Every day families are discarding baby and toddler equipment as their children outgrow them, so it's easy to get hold of second-hand equipment at very good prices. Try car boot sales, jumble sales, garage sales, classified ads, ebay, etc.
What do you do to appeal to families? Join the discussion here on the Lay My Hat forum now: http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=517
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Sometimes it takes a bit of lateral thinking to promote what you already have, you must put yourself into the mindset of your visitor.
Reading the comments on the Lay My Hat forum has made me realize for example, that I can offer a great free round-the-city tour by simply leaving a couple of tickets for the antique tram that stops outside the door of the building - guests gets a great introduction to many of the top tourist sites and it costs me less than 3 euros a couple!
I am now looking at our parish with different eyes. Male visitors can have a hand-made tailored shirt for 100 euros in about 3 days from a shop two blocks away.
Trawling for ideas this morning I came across a new gourmet food shop that had a speciality wine section with an explanation of the typical bouquet notes to look for in Portuguese wines, something I did not know but do now! This will be included on my new web page.
The shop also does occasional tasting of new wines that they are going to stock, all for free and great fun. The shop will give me a couple of weeks notice and I can let my guests know in advance plus write a little report on my site.
Look at your rental in site-specific terms and I am sure you will come up with many great ideas.
Thanks to Mary Goudie for her tips. See Mary's Lisbon apartments here: http://romanticlisbon.apartment24.net/
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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