This is the final part of our series in how to convert opportunity into a sale. Let’s just go over some points which we missed. Our initial 3 articles covered pricing, visibility, presentation, photography and garnering reviews. Here are some other factors you’ll want to consider…
– Keep an eye on events. These are your biggest selling opportunities of the year. Don’t under-price. This won’t bring you more sales but it will bring you more money.
– How tough is your cancellation policy? IF you are listed on agents like Booking.com which allow a single night penalty for a no-show, are you losing bookings on your own site and paying Booking 17% for the privilege? Consider weakening your cancellation policy to be competitive with hotels and other vacation rentals in your area.
– Do you ask for cash up front? Whilst it helps your cash flow it may deter some guests who have their own cash flow problems. Consider also that hotels never ask for cash up front.
– Which methods of payment do you take? Can you take cards? Paypal? Even Bitcoin. Each method will increase your pool of customers to draw from.
– Add your properties to Google Maps / Google places and get found.
– Don’t waste your time on social media. It does not work well unless you have a great strategy.
– Response time is crucial. IF you respond within 10 minutes you are in the right ball park. Don’t be surprised if you only convert one in 20 requests if you are not on the ball.
– Translate your property descriptions into as many languages as you can and use those descriptions whenever possible with agents you deal with and on your own site.
– Offer a chat option on your own website. Customers use it and are more likely to book when there is a human response.
– Offer wifi. This is a must in 2014. Even paid wifi is a black mark against you today.
– Offer discounts for longer stays. People cost you less when you need to clean less often and you don’t have gaps in availability. Offer discounts for last minute. It’s better to get some money than none at all.
– Make sure your calendar is filled. People mistrust empty calendars and may avoid your listings. A lost inquiry is a lost potential sale.
– Offer extra services (food baskets, concierge service). They can only add to the attractiveness of your offer.
Most of all, if you want to convert visitors into sales, BE INTERESTING.
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