1. How Do I Find Customers?
OK, so now you have your vacation property. You’ve bought it, are excited about it, and wonder “What do I do first??”
Advertising your property aggressively may help you book available nights and weeks in your vacation home. You will be one of many thousands of rental properties on the internet, so you must know your property and the surrounding vacation area, and be able to describe them in ‘marketing’ detail on your webpage. Proofread it two or three times to make sure there are no mistakes. Ask several people to read it and give you their feedback. You are the owner, and as the owner, you don’t read the description of your property the same way as a prospective renter. You can also go to the web and read, read, read.
Advertising on the internet can deliver bang for your buck. You can be an owner, and be managing by yourself. Some websites will be very friendly to you, and ‘maintaining’ your web page, such as updating your calendar, changing rates, etc. on the sites, might be easy. You will have to put some time into setting up your listing, writing accurate descriptions, setting rates and making sure you know how to update the calendar, etc.
On various owner listing websites, you can create your webpage for your specific property. The properties are now all over the world, including China, Europe, Japan, and sites all over the US including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the famous beaches of the East, Gulf and West coasts. There are many sites - more every day are popping up and the ads are generally less expensive or free on the newer sites. However, you won’t get as many ‘hits’ to your web page as with the more popular sites and won’t get as many rentals, either.
Every inquiry you get must be answered. Potential guests will ask for a quote (with a discount) and may want to haggle about the price. You have to answer all the inquiries and then get a small percentage of actual rentals. The more inquiries you answer, the more rentals you may get. It's a numbers game and the competition is fierce.
The key to the number of hits to your particular webpage is very important. In the vacation rental business, you must play the numbers if you are advertising on the internet. Direct internet advertising is complicated and expensive. Best to let a property manager do that for you.
Some owners choose to give the management job to someone else. They pay a commission on rental amounts and let the manager do the work. Sit back and relax, receive a check each month, never have to answer the phone, or advertise a property, clean it or arrange to have the property cleaned. You won't have to solve problems with appliances, wifi, or cable TV, or talk to upset guests late on a Saturday night.
If you choose us to manage your property for you, that will be our job. Let me know if you want to discuss it with us. We are here for you!
Just hit the Property Management tab at the top of the page and click the 'Contact Us' button.
2. How do I Make My Guests Happy?
There is no substitute for a friendly voice, or email or even a text! Written communication can go a long way, but customers sometimes want to hear the voice of the person to whom they may be sending hundreds or thousands of dollars. So talking to customers is a real plus!
When your guests have committed to rent your vacation property, continue to make their lives easier. Here’s one example: Send a very friendly email telling them to look for an email from us with some check in information. This puts their mind at ease about knowing what to do when their check in date is approaching.
A friendly email also helps your guest feel important and know that you are helping them have a smooth vacation. In years gone by, some guests may have been concerned that they have never met you in person. However, this has changed, and most guests will trust a professional company.
Having a professional face to the guest, and backing it up with accurate and professional documents will cause guests to be calm and confident that you will take care of them if there is a problem.
Treating each guest like they are your most important guest, and you will gain their trust and help them have a worry-free vacation at your property.
If you would like someone else to do all these things, consider Coastline Condos -- we cover all this ground, and more. We have a staff which will make sure your guest has an answer to a question right away.
If the guest wants to book over the phone, we have friendly reservationists who work during office hours AND we have an answering service at night which can answer questions and take a reservation. This way, the guest does not have to wait until the office opens to make vacation plans.
Our emphasis is on the very best guest experience when they book a vacation at your property. In fact, it is our highest goal.
For more information, hit the Property Management tab at the top of the page and click the ‘Contact Us’ button. We are here for you!