Archives For Inquiries & Bookings

MyVR Rate CalendarAre your rates the right fit for your vacation rental? As noted in our earlier post about setting your rates, pricing your property is subjective — more of a best educated guess than an absolute calculation. It’s possible for you to miss the mark and price too high or low. If your rates are off, how can you adjust?

Is There A Problem?

The average vacation home is rented for 17.4 weeks a year. Before you get too anxious about what you may or may not be doing right, do some research and consider: Continue Reading…

7x More Likely BookingsTo a vacation home renter, your home is one in a million. According to FlipKey, the average traveler will search through numerous property listings across four different websites before finally selecting seven properties to send inquiries to.

Let’s say you’ve got the great photos and relevant information included in your listings to garner one of those requests. Are you ready?

What happens next can make all the difference between a dead-end and a confirmed booking – if not on this trip, then perhaps sometime down the road. How can you create the best chance for a successful inquiry-to-booking conversion? Continue Reading…

iPhone Calendar Paperless Vacation RentalFor many vacation home owners, the movement towards a paperless office isn’t just the environmentally friendly solution – it’s the solution that makes the most sense. How much information do you already email back-and-forth between yourself and your renters, property manager, or accountant?

Calling it “paperless” can be a bit misleading; more often than not, the reality is simply “less paper” – potentially significantly less paper. However, committing to a paperless office is increasingly affordable, and it’s only going to get easier.

Adopting a paperless philosophy for your vacation rental has two benefits:

  • Cutting your need for paper helps eliminate waste and scale back printing costs.
  • Incorporating digital solutions can help streamline standard processes. Continue Reading…

Bike Riding Niche Vacation Rental TravelTravelers have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation – vacation rentals are just one of them. Getting your property to jump off a page of search results is no small feat.

What if you could position your rental in a way that maximized your efforts and did a better job of attracting your ideal renter, while possibly increasing your income? Experienced marketers advocate an approach that does just that: Niche marketing.

A niche market is a distinct group of people within a larger group of potential customers. Many consumers aren’t even aware of the rental home market yet, which makes vacation home renters a distinct group of travelers already.

However, people are always on the lookout for accommodations and destinations that meet their particular needs. That’s your opportunity. Continue Reading…

Haggle Free ZoneIt may be due to our recession economy, or the ever-growing array of online travel choices, or due to the growing interest in vacation rentals among travelers, but the fact is, travelers are increasingly likely to ask for a discount.

First, don’t feel pressure to concede! Ultimately it’s your decision whether you want to offer a discount or not. When you find yourself faced with a traveler looking to negotiate, here are some practical tips to help you out with some scenarios you’ve likely encountered already.

Scenario #1: The Bargain Hunter

An email inquiry checking dates available also comes along with a request for your “best available rates.” Everyone likes a bargain and travelers are only going to give you their business if they feel like they’re getting a good deal. Continue Reading…

You don’t have to live in a big city like Austin or San Francisco to take advantage of renting your home during local events. Homeowners in Ardmore, PA, a small town of 12,500 residents, are already starting to talk about how to rent out their homes for the 2013 US Open golf tournament just under a year away. But, in order to rent your home, you need to stay abreast of local events and get up-to-speed quickly on your local rules and regulations.

Lake Tahoe Local Event GuideWhether you’re renting your home for a one-off event, or marketing your existing vacation rental, it’s important to set up an informative website with plenty of photos, including rooms, amenities, and the surrounding area. Maintain your website with a local area guide, like this one in Tahoe, and list upcoming local events, happening now and months in the future.

Find out about local events in your area

  • Contact your visitor’s bureau. In larger cities, this might be a convention and visitor’s bureau (CVB). They should have a list of major events and conferences happening in your area.
  • Check out local event directories like Eventful.
  • Subscribe to your city or neighborhood newspapers and magazines.
  • Search for press releases or news. Set up a Google alert to get notified by email when new items are published to the web.
  • Contact local entertainment centers, theaters, and concert venues to obtain a copy of their calendar.
  • Follow event companies on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Plancast as they are most likely to promote their events through these channels.

While you may find renting your home during an event very lucrative and enjoyable, there are many things you should do before starting to advertise, especially if you’re renting out your primary home or new to managing a vacation rental. Continue Reading…

Craigslist for Vacation RentalsCraigslist is the 8th most trafficked website in the US right now, trumping Twitter, LinkedIn, and Bing. Needless to say, that’s a lot of visitors to the website made famous by offering free classified posts to the masses.

From the forum fodder it’s clear that owners have a pretty mixed view of Craigslist as a marketing channel – citing spam and fraud as reasons not to use it. But, there are plenty of owners (ourselves included) that have been actively using the site with great success. If you’re ready to give it a shot, these are the 7 steps to get you started. Continue Reading…

Wine and Cheese Welcome Gift

Wine, bread, brie, and chocolates awaited the guests in the kitchen of their bungalow.

J.D. Power and Associates has been performing its annual guest satisfaction survey for seven years and this year, scores are at an all time low. The survey of 61,700 guests who stayed in a North American hotel from June 2011 through May 2012 concludes that the decline may be an impact of staffing cuts due to the economic downturn. Whatever the reason, guests are clearly unhappy with the overall experience,  including the check-in and check-out services, food and beverage services, and charges for internet access.

This presents a huge opportunity for vacation rental owners to create an unbelievable guest experience. While you might not have access to the big corporate marketing budgets hoteliers do, there’s plenty you can do to provide superior customer service. Continue Reading…