Do you want a reliable long term source of guests for your business?The fastest, most affordable and least risky way to achieve this is to thrive on the online bookings websites.
On these booking sites it’s important to rank well in the search results. The next most important thing is that you have a super-compelling listing.
Because it’s not enough for people to merely look at your property. You have to become the property that is preferred over all the others.
To craft a good listing, you need to know the behaviour of people doing the booking.
The average user opens the website, enter some of the details about their stay, then presses search.
The that user look on the search results and find the first property that stands out and that fits their price range... They’ll spend a small amount of time on that listing, taking in the photos and the description.
Then they’ll go back to the search results and do this again.
And in a very short amount of time, the user will have a shortlist of two to four properties.
Then they’ll decide the one property made the best impression, and they’ll try and book it.
So guess what, you need to consistently be that property they choose.
To be a stand out property you can’t appeal to everyone. If you try to appeal to no particular type of guest, you won’t appeal to anyone. Your listing will be bland and generic.
So you need to subtly tailor your listing to meet your market.
Your market is the one or two types of traveller that you most frequently host.
And you need to change your description, your property title, even your pictures, to suit those guests.
By tailoring your listing to a particular type of traveller, your listing becomes much more relevant to them. It stands out, and makes a strong impression.
People searching online are looking for an easy, fast solution for their demand. The more relevant you are, the faster you will make that connection and land the booking.
So by framing your property to match your clients, you will become the property that gets chosen. You will stop being that generic property that gets shortlisted, but never chosen.
To dive deeper on how to change your listing to attract the right guest, we suggest reading our holiday house growth guide. It’s a less than 10 minute read, and it jumps deeper into how you can make the most out of your online listings.
It’s obvious that photos are really important online. Your main image is what people see in the search results. After people have decided on things like price, it’s your photo that will then draw them into your listing...
Getting professional photos done is one of the best investments you can make in your online listings.
You say don't want to pay up large for professional photos? The next best thing is to get all your property's photos together, determine the very best shots, then upload that a-grade collection to all of your booking sites.
That aside, you can increase the appeal of your listing by re-ordering the photo sequence.
You should lay out the order of your photos as though you were giving someone a physical your of your rental.
Place the stand-out features early in the sequence. From there take people through a logical tour of the place.
This small act makes your photos more coherent, and helps people easily build a mental image of what your place is like. That clarity will increase the likelihood of your property being the final choice.
It’s highly likely that your rental is in a “class” of rentals. These are properties of a similar size and quality, that target the same demographic.
In this isn’t you, that’s great. You’ve got a stand-out property which you can price as you please.
But for most rentals you need to pay close attention to these properties. If you price yourself too far above them, you’re going to lose a lot of business.
But no big deal, it’s easy to fix.
Just get on the search engine and see what’s around. But don’t forget to mix the dates up and check low and high season prices.