All posts for the month December, 2012

How many of you remember your past guests at this time of year? It can prove to be very advantageous to show your appreciation for their past custom. All it takes is a card, thanking them for their past custom or you could send them a card saying “Wish you were here”, something along those lines. They will really appreciate it, don’t forget to add your contact details and let them know that you would welcome them back sometime in the future.

It never ceases to amaze me how protective some people are and how free with information about this site being good and that site being bad etc. What determines a good or a bad listing website? Is it a bad site because “owner A” hasn’t converted any enquiries into bookings, despite the fact that the site generates a steady stream of enquiries? Or is it a bad site because “owner A’s” property is sub standard compared to their contemporaries, perhaps their personal website is poor quality and their photos on both their website and the listing site leave a lot to be desired?

Some owners are quite blind when it comes to truly looking at their property without “Rose Coloured” spectacles on. I can see why this happens, they have formed an attachment, a bond with their holiday home and couldn’t bear to find anything wrong with it or that villa guests may find something wrong with it. Also, perhaps they have probably not noticed how things have slipped a bit since they first bought it, or how other owners have started to add some extras that were not even thought about years ago such as games rooms, home cinema’s and PC’s with high speed internet access.

“Owner B” could say a rental site is good when they manage to convert a lot of the enquiries they receive to firm bookings. That is something of a knack and not everyone can do it, so that doesn’t mean it would necessarily work for “Owners C, D & E”. Some owners are more proactive with their marketing and some are just more lazy, or do not have much available time to devote to marketing their villa. Either way they are at a disadvantage over someone that works long and hard to get their property bookings. There are just so many variables that come into play when we decide what passes for a good website for rental properties, so it is impossible to generalise.

So what makes a good rental website? Taking away all the variables, there is only one way to measure a website’s success and that is to see the volume of enquiries it generates. A poor website will not be in the public eye enough to generate enquiries. It is quite a difficult process for websites to maintain their visibility to the public in a very competitive market like this. So that is the job of these websites, it is to get people to visit the site and to make enquiries to owners. These are leads, it is then up to the owner to convert them into bookings, not the rental website. It is quite annoying to hear people saying “that website was no good, I got loads of enquiries but not one booking” and believe me I have heard that a few times!

By Steve Sewell