First impressions mean a lot, don’t they?
Your online listed holiday let is most likely going to be the first thing your guests will see when they are deciding which property to book.
With over 20 years of experience in property, I know an effective holiday let listing when I see one – and I’ve also seen plenty of vague, badly listed holiday lets that make guests run a mile!
That’s why it’s so important to get it right – and in this blog post, I’m going to tell you how.
1. Know your audience
This is one of the best pieces of advice anyone can use when they’re trying to attract any type of customers to their website. Think carefully about the type of visitors you wish to attract, and what would be important to them in a holiday let.
For instance, if you live in an area popular for its local beauty spots and bike trails, you might want to attract nature lovers or cyclists. If your property is on the large side, you may want to make it absolutely clear that children are welcome – and even point out some fun family things to do in the vicinity.
2. Take fabulous photos
This is an absolute must for any property listing, as the photos you provide will most likely either make or break your sales. They should be high resolution images that make the most out of the available light, at angles that show your holiday let at its very best. If possible, hire a professional – I assure you it will be worth it. The photographer we use is Alex Martin, and you can see some examples on her website.
I’m going to write a more specific blog post with specific tips on how to take the best photos for your holiday let listings soon.
3. Draw on local knowledge
It’s important to demonstrate your local knowledge where possible so that guests will get a good feel for the surrounding area. Try to use ‘I’ or ‘we’ rather than talking in a detached way about things to see and do. If you use a friendly, caring tone that proves you really care about your guests’ experience, you will have a definite edge over the competition.
4. Use SEO
Remember what I said above about knowing your audience? You should also take the time to think of specific keywords that potential guests will likely be looking for, and use these naturally in the meta descriptions and throughout your listings. Doing this will help to ensure the right people will be able to find your property via search engines.
I’m going to write a blog post soon about the most effective ways to utilise SEO for your holiday let listings, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
5. Keep your calendar up-to-date
This not only demonstrates transparency and shows your property has real, paying guests, it also means you will avoid any double bookings. Trying to book your ideal holiday and finding the calendar is out of date can be incredibly frustrating, and potential guests may not hang around to try again.
6. Make your prices simple
The pricing structure on your online listed holiday let should be kept simple and easy to follow. If you have higher rates for busy periods, refer to these as ‘high season’ so that guests can easily see why certain dates are more expensive than others. To build trust, it’s also important not to have any hidden fees that take people by surprise. If something is going to cost extra, ensure it is mentioned on your listing rather than only at the booking stage.
7. Collect reviews from previous guests
If your listing is on a professional site, you may have the added benefit of verified reviews. However, if you’re listing your property on your own website, it’s important to include guest reviews whenever possible and check whether previous guests mind being contacted about their experiences.
You may want to join a trusted review site such as Feefo and encourage your guests to leave their reviews there, before linking these to your own site.
8. Include a ‘book now’ button
Finally, it doesn’t hurt to give your guests a little encouragement. Adding a ‘book now’ button and allowing guests to book directly on your site will take away the frustrations of having to send out tentative enquiries first. Plus, the majority of people actually prefer to book and pay online nowadays. Bookings sites such as Lowland Lettings and holidayrentals.co.uk will automatically provide this for you.
Your online holiday let listing is more often than not going to make or break your guests’ decision as to whether they want to stay there, so it’s important to give them the best possible impression. Write for your audience in a friendly tone, provide clear, high quality photos, and draw on your local knowledge in order to get your guests’ interest.
On the technical side, always ensure your calendar is kept up-to-date, make your pricing structure simple, and include reviews from previous guests. Finally, always give your guests the opportunity to book their holiday by including a ‘book now’ button for the most effective holiday let listing.
I wish you the best of luck with your new holiday let listing!
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