Managing Your Vacation Rental

Successfully Converting Inquiries to Bookings

Written by Joan Talmadge
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Vacationer inquiries are like gold, providing that golden opportunity to fill vacancies in our homes.  What do you do when you receive an inquiry? Do you respond as soon as possible?  Remember that a vacationer may be inquiring about not only your home but several others as well.  It’s very likely that the homeowner who responds promptly with a friendly, informative reply is the one who gets the booking.

If your home is already booked for the week inquired about, do you simply reply that it’s booked , or do you use it as a marketing opportunity for a future booking?  Ideally, your response would include more details about your home and an invitation to the vacationer to reach out to you again in the future – or perhaps they could be persuaded to change their dates.

Receiving a text alert the moment you receive an inquiry allows you to speed up your response time considerably and eliminates the need to continually check your emails. (If your listing has not been coded to receive text alerts, be sure to update it on your “Contact Info” page.)

If the vacationer provides a phone number, you might call rather than respond via email, especially if the vacationer expresses special interest in your home or if it’s a last-minute booking.  Even if your initial response is via email, a phone conversation is always recommended. It provides the personal touch and helps to establish a rapport and a sense of mutual trust.  You want the reassurance that your guests will care for your home as if it were theirs.  And your guests want to trust that what you tell them about your property is an honest and accurate representation.  It’s important that the prospective guest feel positive not only about your home but also about you as the homeowner.

For more information about screening your guests, take a look at our other posts,  Screening prospective tenants  and Screening tenants II: It’s OK to say No.

Tyler and I recently discussed the subject of responding to vacationer inquiries and some tips for successfully converting inquiries to bookings. Listen to our discussion.

About the author

Joan Talmadge

Joan Talmadge - My husband Jeff and I created in 1997, shortly after buying our Cape home. My background includes teaching fifth grade for 8 years and writing and editing educational publications for 15. I get great joy from helping fellow homeowners successfully rent their homes. Jeff and I are proud to have two of our three grown children working for, truly a family-run business. For me, the Cape and Islands are magical all times of the year -- whether it's walking on Nauset Beach, playing golf, or enjoying family and friends. Email Joan