Creating a Connection via Email

If your listing has been presented well with great photos and appealing text, it should produce a significant amount of inquiries over the course of a year.  From general inquiries to long lists of questions; requests for discounts and deals, to feedback, these emails will just keep on coming. 

It may be tempting, once your weeks are booked, to spend less time and attention on the inquiries and requests, giving them a brief canned response saying the place is booked, but it’s important to remember these are ‘hot leads’.  These inquiries have been prompted because somebody has seen your listing and wants to know more, or would like to book. If you just dismiss them off with a ‘Sorry, it’s booked’ message, you have essentially lost what may have become a future client.  Let’s look at how you can connect with your inquirers and create rapport with them, even if you cannot meet their immediate needs.

Greeting
A quick and neat way of creating a connection subliminally is by using the same greeting.  For example, if the email starts with “Hi” or “Hi There”, it is perfectly acceptable to mirror that greeting, except you would add on their name, as in “Hi Bob & Mary”.  If they use Good Morning or Good Afternoon, start your response with the same mode of greeting (just changing it to reflect the time of day your answer comes from).  It’s remarkable how this simple technique can work to build a relationship with a potential guest.

Acknowledgment/first sentence
The first sentence should acknowledge the inquiry or question with personally crafted text rather than a simple, “Thank you for your inquiry”.  Try something like:
“It was great to hear you are interested in Sea Breeze Villa – it’s a wonderful place on the ocean that our guests have loved to visit.  Unfortunately it’s booked for the week you have requested, however I’d love to tell you more about it, so you can bookmark the property for a later opportunity”

Body
Use body of text to create more rapport.  You can do this by reading the email thoroughly and identifying the language patterns your guests are using, and then mirroring this in your reply.  This is a method used in psychology to communicate on someone else’s wavelength to make them feel more comfortable with you.  For example, if they say something like. “ I like the look of your property”, or “ I have just viewed your listing…”, or “ I can see you are booked for the week I want”, they are using visual language and you can reply with, “I’m glad you liked what you saw in the listing” or “As you noticed, the week you requested is already booked……”

Another tip along the same lines is to recognize when someone is using predominantly auditory language i.e. they might say, “ I’d like to hear some more about your vacation home”, or “Can you tell me what availability you have?”.  This is a great cue to pick up the phone and give them a call as they may respond better to that than to an emailed reply.

However you respond in the body of the mail, make sure you answer all the questions and make them feel you care about them.  After all, if someone has taken the time to send you an email and show they are interested, it shows respect if you respond in full.

Call to action
Always finish your emails with a ‘call to action’.  People want to know what to do next and will often follow an instruction to go to a blog post, sign up for a newsletter or ‘like’ your Facebook page.  Make sure that you offer something for them to do that will keep the connection going, and not lose these leads to a competitor.

Signature
Make sure your signature is used wisely to deliver more than just your name.  You can create different signatures that include variations depending on the type of inquiry or request you have received.

If you have a logo for your property or a small image of the property – a picture of a sign is a nice one to use – you can add that into your signature. 

Uses for Email Signatures
  • Promoting specials or discounts
  • Providing photo of your property
  • Alert readers to upcoming events
  • Including snippets of testimonials
  • Links to listing on VacationHomeRentals.com, Facebook and Twitter
     
If you treat every new email as an opportunity to forge a relationship with a prospective guest, the results will be rewarding.  It is an inexpensive way of continuing your marketing activities so consider it as a part of your overall strategy.