Looking to jumpstart your vacation rental booking season? Reach for the low-lying fruit. Each of last summer’s tenants undoubtedly had a wonderful time in your home and will soon be making plans for this year’s vacation. If you reach out to them now, you will increase the odds of their committing to your property. And, since you’re bypassing the time required for screening and rapport building with new vacationers, you’ll increase your cash flow sooner, too!
An easy and effective strategy
On WeNeedaVacation.com, the Email Marketing feature allows you to send multiple emails to prior tenants or past inquirers in minutes. You can customize the email to tenants, which includes a link to your listing on our site and its first picture (reminding them of their great experience there last summer).
Even if you don’t use this feature, you can simplify the process by creating and saving your own template for contacting prior tenants. Just be sure to personalize each email with the tenant’s name and the dates they stayed in your home last season before clicking “Send.”
And if you hear back from them, consider requesting a guest review from them if they haven’t already sent you one.
Give your prior guests a break
Repeat tenants are the best! When you contact them, consider incenting them to return by offering last year’s rate if they book by a certain date. If you’ve increased your rates, consider splitting the increase with them, still giving them a partial break but enabling you to recoup some of your growing expenses.
But don’t sacrifice any new prospects
Perhaps on their departure, or in a guest review, one of your tenants expressed an interest in returning for the same week next season, but you haven’t heard from them since, nor have you followed up to get a commitment from them. And what if, in the meantime, you receive an inquiry for that week? By the time you contact your original tenant to ask for a commitment and hear back from them, there’s a good chance the new inquirer will have moved on to someone else’s listing. Thus, it’s important to contact your past tenants and get a commitment from them as soon as possible so that, when you get a new inquiry, you can respond immediately rather than risk losing them.
They’ll be grateful
Often we sense a concern from our homeowners that contacting their past tenants may seem too pushy or aggressive. But our experience indicates just the opposite – vacationers are usually very appreciative of a host’s taking the time to contact them and offer to reserve a specific week for them!
Have you already contacted your tenants from last summer – or from the previous summer, too, for that matter? Have you used the WeNeedaVacation.com Email Marketing feature to contact them, or do you use your own template? What have been your results?