If you have created a great looking listing with stunning photos, you should get a lot of views and inquiries. Often these will be potential guests asking questions about the property; checking rates and availability and confirming your amenities.
In many cases these inquiries look like they may have been mass emailed to the owners of other properties. They have a long list of questions, most of which are answered in your listing, and there is a generic feel to the email.
That’s because inquirers will get less than a 50% response rate, so to ensure they can book something they will blast out their questions to as many places as have availability.
Rental guests have reported that they often find they either get no response, the period they have asked for is unavailable (even when it showed otherwise on the calendar) or when they did get a reply it was brief and unhelpful.
The general consensus was that the quickest response created confidence and often got the booking.
So, you have a great opportunity to turn every inquiry into a booking by doing just a few things.
- Check email several times a day and send a response there and then to any inquiries. You could write some standard responses and store then in your signature folder, then personalize them as required.
- Read the emails carefully and generally provide more detail than is asked for, without being too lengthy. For example, if they say they have young children you may wish to mention what it is about your property that makes it suitable for their family.
- Create a Frequently Asked Questions list that you can send as an attachment, but don’t use that in place of answering in a friendly and informal manner. Pick out one or two of their questions to reply to in your email and then refer them to the FAQs. Then ask them a question in return. This helps to establish a relationship and you’ll be seen as more helpful than your competitors.
- Here’s a neat tip. In your reply always use the form of greeting that was used to you. For example, if the inquiry started with Hello, then use Hello; if it is more formal such as Dear Sir/Madam, then use a more formal Dear Mr/Mrs Name. This creates subliminal rapport and your potential guest will feel more trust and confidence in you.
- Include a link back to your listing. When a traveler has inquired about numerous properties it’s helpful to them if you include this as a reference.
- Always respond to inquiries even if you don’t have availability. You may think that if you are already booked, there is no point in replying, but just remember that even if you cannot accommodate these guests for the dates they want, you have the opportunity to connect for a future time.
- Answer all their questions even if the information is shown on your web site. Redirecting them back to the web page won’t win any bookings, however tempting that might be.
- Make sure your rates are correct on your listing so when you are asked to confirm the prices you don’t give any surprises. If you can, include your additional costs for cleaning etc, in your overall rental rate.
- Consider creating a short video to embed within your email – some call this a ‘video handshake’. It’s a brief introduction to you as the owner and thanks them for their inquiry then directs them to other resources you might have to help them out.
- Use a professional looking signature block that has links to your social media platforms. Use a resource such as WiseStamp to create a great looking signature – you can even use a photo of your property in it.
The way you respond to an email can tip the balance towards them booking with you instead of a competitor, particularly if they are looking at several similar properties.