Converting Inquiries the Easy Way

A perennial concern of vacation rental owners is how to convert inquiries to bookings.  It’s not enough any longer to just have a great looking listing and enticing photographs – the competition is tightening all the time.  From the moment of the first inquiry, your job is to create a relationship and draw the potential guest into additional correspondence.  Getting your customers to choose your place over your neighbors’ is key in many areas, and you may have to put more effort into conversion than ever before.

Be conversational and friendly

Every inquiry should merit a personal response, even if you are fully booked.  There’s always an opportunity to create a relationship with a potential future guest and to develop their interest in an alternative date, or to receive information on off season deals.

Ask questions

If you simply respond to an inquiry answering the question, you’ve missed the chance to engage the person in an email conversation.  So, even if the query is about a rate or availability, reply with a question of your own, along with some additional information.  Something like:

“The week of 17 – 24 August is available and the rate is $xxx.

Have you been to (your area) before?  The week you are looking at is a great one to choose as you will be here for the annual beach BBQ cook-off.  It’s a popular event with outstanding food and lots of fun for adults and children alike"

Go beyond the answer

Take your affirmative response to a question such as “Do you accept pets?” or “Is the fishing good?” to another level by sharing more detail and creating a personal connection.

“We welcome pets – we also have a golden retriever who loves the water!”
“The fishing is great right off the dock; our guests last week said their son had the best time catching sunfish while the adults had some good luck with lake trout”

Be a hawk

Notice everything the inquiry mentions - a birthday or anniversary, an interest, etc, and tailor your response to it. 
“Our local bakery does fabulous cakes.  We can put you in touch with them and they will take care of that part of your celebration”

Include the link to your listing

When guests are making a lot of inquiries, they can forget who they have emailed, so always include a link to your listing in your response. 

Making an effort at this point in your guests vacation search can stand you out from the competition.