The modern holidaymaker in Australia has been empowered by digital disruption; more people are looking at review sites, and their decisions are influenced by the online feedback from other travellers. In fact, when researching an upcoming holiday, they weigh more heavily on booking decisions than the promotions of the rentals themselves.
Major Online Travel Agencies or Listing sites are fighting for the attention of the traveller with the more aggressive recent entrants into the market such as Booking.com and AirBnB taking up much of the online real estate. All of this has compounded to create a very competitive online marketplace for holiday rental owners to compete and claim their space.
Below are our top 7ways to ensure your holiday home rental is profitable in the hyper-competitive digital marketplace:
Create an attractive ‘sticky’ website
Creating a professional and functional website that attracts visitors with high-quality images and holds their attention with enticing and informative descriptions which captures their imagination, ensures you have an effective tool to anchor the rest of your online marketing efforts.
As part of fostering a safer internet space, Google has moved to a new security standard which requires any sites that collect details, such as through the booking process, to migrate to upgrade their security technology. Moving from HTTP to HTTPS allows Google to identify your site as one that makes it harder for hackers to steal any data.Make sure your booking system meets those standards.Rezobx is an example of a booking system that meets those exacting standards.
Have real-time availability
‘Book Now’ is the ultimate call to action and full online booking, and payment with instant confirmation is better for guests than enquiry – quote response. Use a tool that enables you to control your rates, availability, and bookings in real time across all your channels.
Look closely at your property and for things that might frustrate holidaymakers from functional items such as squeaky doors and a lack of air conditioning to a lack of experiential things such as local information packs. Fix these before they become an issue; in the age of social media and word of mouth websites, if you wait to react to a poor review, you’ll see a downward movement in bookings, and by then it’s too late.
Use social media to post links to blog posts from your website, or add special offers and other things to connect and engage with people. Use as many channels as possible to market yourself.
Hiring a professional photographer should be a priority once everything else is in order. Not only do you need quality photos, but you’ll also need videos of your holiday home. An interior walk-through will help give people an accurate sense of the space, much more so that standard photos on their own.
Personalise your visitors’ experiences
More than ever travellers are looking for personalisation, so think about what touches you can add to the experience you create with your holiday home or your apartment to create positive memories and associations for customer satisfaction and retention.
It can be anything from a welcome note to an information pack on the local area and things to do. One of the main reasons people travel to or within Australia is to reconnect with both themselves and engage in the local community; if you can help people create a rich, memorable experience, they are more likely to look on their stay positively and return again.
Ask your guests for feedback when they check out and before they go on a review or listing site. By requesting feedback via e-mail in the days following the visitors stay in your holiday home, you can head off any negative online feedback.If there is negative feedback or constructive criticism, listen to the customers, acknowledge their concerns, offer a solution and use their ideas to drive your business forward.
If the feedback is positive, you can also follow up with delighted customers to make sure that they review your holiday home online on word of mouth or listing sites and build your brand.
Market through many online channels
Use Google and keyword research to choose the right channels to advertise your property.Find the channels that best match your guest and property profile.Your own website and local and niche sites can be as useful as big multinationals if you manage your listings carefully.
Use a tool such as Rezobx which connects you to the world’s leading booking sites and over 200 local and niche channels to attract guests from Australia and all around the world. It also powers bookings through your own website. Start your free trial now