Converting General Rental Inquiries into Confirmed Booking Reservations
You have received a general inquiry about renting out your property and you start doing the happy dance. Okay, best not to do that quite yet. Receiving a general inquiry is only the beginning of the process of getting more bookings for your vacation property. This generally means that your property description either met the needs or almost met the needs of the potential Guest and he or she has questions to ask you. The next step is your reply.
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From what we’ve seen in the industry, we’re the only vacation rental service company to allow guests to make an immediate booking without needing to send a General Inquiry.
First Impressions are Important…
How you reply to a guest’s inquiry is crucial because it’s the first point of contact that the guest will have with you. This is your chance to shine by going the extra mile in answering questions or displaying a bit of your human voice. Your response is the continuation of building a trusting relationship with the guest to reach your end goal of a confirmed reservation.
Effective Tips to Build & Grow Guest Relations…
Like any business, guests expect great service and that includes quick responses to their questions. However, they’re not only asking you these questions, they’re also asking other alluraDirect.com properties owners who they may be interested in renting also. That’s why being the hare and reacting immediately to responses can give you the best chance at securing a paid reservation. Be sure to check your emails daily and not let one slip through the crack.
If you’ve picked the right vacation rental service, this is a nice feature that allows owners to save time in replying to guests.Template or auto response emails that cover the basic or repeated communications, such as, reservation confirmation letter, check-in and arrival instructions, basic general inquiry responses, guest booking receipt, and much more save owners a significant amount of time by setting them up only once. Otherwise, the majority of an owner’s time would be spent managing or writing emails even more than you already do.
It’s still important to provide that personal service to your Guests, but there are many emails in the process of finalizing a guest’s reservation and following through on it.
Personalize Your Rental Inquiry Response…
When replying to your general inquiries, this is a great opportunity to add your personal website address and email so as an easy way to remind them how to contact you and continue browsing through your website.
When you decided to buy your vacation home, you were likely looking to buy in Whistler, Sun Peaks, Big White, Mont Tremblant, or elsewhere for a reason. The location that you chose to invest your holiday time in likely holds special sentimental value. There is likely a good reason for this, whether it is the surrounding amenities of the resort or city, or it could potentially be a family tradition. Either way, sharing a small personal story or reasons why you love the area is a great way to get your guests involved and dreaming more about renting out your property. Make them feel involved or honored to rent out your property and it will be very hard for them to say no.
If the dates the guest is inquiring about are booked, then suggest a week or time period that is not booked. It may be a returning guest who really likes your property and is willing to change their dates if they really want to stay at your property.
The Art of Human Conversation…
Owners who decide to pick up the phone to call their potential guests increase their conversions dramatically because it’s a much more personal way of responding and is typically a significant way to increase the trust of the relationship and move the inquiry more quickly into a confirmed reservation. It’s much easier to answer all the questions at once and it provides an opportunity to display your personality to the guest.
However, this may only be best for extroverted type people who are typically more social in a talking situation. Some people are naturally better at writing than talking on the phone.
Most importantly, your tone of voice is a significant step in the process to building trust between you and the guest. Guests that are inquiring about your property are doing so because they are interested in a personal response and service rather than the generic hotel response. You may be running a business, but you’re running a personal friendly business and people want to be treated as your friend in the travel industry. Share a thing or two about yourself and the property and you’ll notice that the guest will be much more likely to book your property instead of another one because they trust you.
Some Rental Services Make it Easy…
On alluraDirect, most owners don’t need to respond to a general inquiry to receive a booking. However, there are still a lot of guests that send a general inquiry prior to instantly booking because they have questions about the property. In such cases, and for other vacation rental owners, responding to a general inquiry is a key step in establishing and building the trust with a guest. But don’t be fooled, this is also your time as an owner to screen the guest with any questions you may have about the guests reasons for coming up to Whistler or elsewhere. Ensuring that you respond to your general inquiries with some these tips will help to move your general inquiries to a paid and confirmed reservation.
Have you found any other tricks of the trade to help with converting inquiries into reservations? Perhaps you have a suggestion to help owners with potential guests that are ‘on the fence’ about renting the property?