In terms of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), a normal residential let property is classed as an investment. However, a...
Whether you’ve just launched a new holiday home or are looking for additional marketing for your existing holiday let, where to promote it to gain the maximum exposure is a common predicament for many property owners.
To help you secure all-important bookings, here we highlight the key areas to achieve the bookings your cottage deserves, from how to write property descriptions to the best websites to use to attract customers.
Below are 7 tips on how and where to advertise your holiday cottages and holiday homes.
Before you start promoting your property, think about who it is best suited to and who you would ideally like to attract. For example, if you have a rural short-term let in the Lake District, you may want to attract walkers. Or, perhaps you’ve got a luxurious holiday cottage in Cornwall with a knock-out view that’s ideal for couples looking for a romantic break?
Think about whether the features and experience you’re offering match your target audience – for example, walkers may want to bring a dog so will look for pet-friendly properties, while couples will potentially look for unique features to wow their other half, such as a hot tub. Whilst it’s important to cater for your audience, it’s equally as important to ensure your holiday let appeals to as many people as possible.
Keep your target audience in mind when deciding on your property’s name, writing your property descriptions and make sure to choose photographs that really show your property off in the right light.
An important thing to bear in mind is that your potential customers are looking for a holiday and not just accommodation, so writing in an informal tone of voice will help inspire potential holiday goers to book your property for their next holiday. So, rather than just listing all of your property’s features, add some descriptions about appealing local attractions and what makes the area so special, so potential customers can start to picture themselves there.
Photographs are a crucial part in selling the experience to your potential guests as it helps them visualise the experience. It may be worth investing in professional photographer to really show off your rental home and, in return, increase bookings. Here at Sykes, we’ve invested a lot of time and resource into high quality equipment, professional training and a full team of Photography experts to ensure our property photos really stand out.
An experienced holiday letting agency will take care of the the photographs and descriptions, ensuring your property is marketed in the best way.
Want to make your cottage stand out? Read our guide: 5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Let Stand Out
Or struggling to name your cottage? Read our guide: How to Name Your Holiday Cottage
Choosing where to pitch the price for your property is another common dilemma for rental owners. If you go in too high, you may put people off; too low and you’re losing valuable revenue. As a starting point, look at what other properties in the area are charging and think how you compare facilities-wise to them.
Here at Sykes, we have a flexible pricing strategy that ensures out owners receive the highest possible revenue by altering prices inline with market demand. On average, Sykes owners who have signed up to this earn 10% more than those who haven’t.
Discover ways you can boost your holiday let income by reading our detailed guide.
Here, we’re referring to third party websites that can increase your holiday let’s exposure, often linking back to your own website. Homeaway, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Airbnb… there are many sites out there that are perfect for increasing your holiday let’s exposure.
When looking for third party sites to advertise your holiday let on, think about where you’ll reach the maximum amount of potential customers. You should also look for sites offering a good customer experience – even better if they can securely take payments and show availability via a calendar.
Another factor to think about when placing your holiday home on a website is how much it will cost you. Some sites work on a subscription basis where you pay a fee to advertise your property, but you keep all of the money from bookings, whereas others work on a commission basis, whereby you can advertise your holiday home for free but the site keeps a percentage of each booking made.
At Sykes, we have a portfolio of third party websites we work with to ensure our owner’s receive the maximum amount of bookings (this is included as part of our service to our owners, at no extra cost), including Airbnb, Booking.com and many more.
According to recent research by Ofcom, adult internet users spend a day a week online and 77% of adults who are online have a profile or account on a social media or messaging site or app. So, having a presence on a social network could make a huge impact to your marketing.
Many customers want reassurance before they part with valuable cash and having active social accounts with user reviews, tips and advice from you, as well as answered comments, will show them that your property is reputable and one they can trust.
You can also use your social media accounts to talk to potential customers and build up a positive relationship – which may give you the edge over a competitor.
It’s important to respond to customer feedback – both the positive and negative comments – to show that you are an attentive owner.
Take note of why people had bad experiences – acknowledging it and making improvements to your holiday let after a negative review will help to prevent future guests having the same issues and will, most likely, benefit your business overall.
This could be as simple as providing additional cutlery or fixing a drafty window for those off-peak bookings.
There’s often an associated marketing cost to each booking, whether it be an advertisement they clicked on or simply the costs of running your own website.
Repeat bookers will often cost you far less than a the costs of acquiring a new customer, so it’s important to ensure holidaymakers staying at your property have the best possible experience. If someone has a positive experience at your property, they are more likely to come back again.
*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.
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