Top 10 things you must include in your enquiry replies
We're always being told that replying as fast as possible is crucial in converting those enquiries into bookings. But what else is important?
Here are 10 things you must include in your reply to a guest enquiry.
1) Make sure you actually reply
Many hosts or managers will not be respond to an enquiry if the dates are unavailable. This, despite owners throwing good money at annual subscriptions on listing sites or building a holiday rental website.
Even if you are fully booked, make alternative suggestions.
Over the years, we have had several guests who changed their dates so they could specifically stay at our property. You may not know potential guests are flexible but by suggesting alternative dates it can occasionally work out.
2) Change the subject field
This one depends upon you having the ability to reply outside of an OTA messaging platform.
Don’t just hit the reply button and send a message entitled:
Re: Enquiry from John Smith – Prop. 12345 Modern beach front apartment, Nice
Instead change the entire field and make your message stand out.
For example personalise a quote including the name of the guest, your property name and requested dates:
Quote for Mr John Smith at ’Le Petite Moulin’ Apartment, Nice: 24 July-31 July 2018
Looks better doesn’t it?
3) Your unique selling point(s)
Every holiday rental home has a unique selling point.
First you need identify them by comparing with your local competition and subsequently make sure every prospective guest knows about them in your reply.
Your USP may relate to price, toys for kids, private pool, welcome pack upon arrival, pet care, a stunning view, the peace and quiet, etc.
You may not even provide extra amenities over your local competition but let them know how you take care of your guests in a way that your neighbours can’t rival.
Don't assume that your enquirer has actually read your full listing description. Remind them about how great your property is.
4) Are you informative?
This leads us nicely into the information you are providing.
Has your email included everything to help the guest make their decision?
- Check in/check out flexibility
- Nearby parking
- Proximity to shops, bars, restaurants and your local highlight (beach, ski gondola, etc)
- Local market days
- Distance from airport
- Suggestions for car hire
- Self-catering facilities
- Cost for cot and baby chair hire
- BBQ amenities
- More photos
- Security for children
5) The final price
Make your sure the price in your reply is transparent.
Nobody wants to have to do arithmetic to work out what they actually need to pay with mandatory additions like cleaning or local taxes.
You may offer optional extras like welcome packs, late check-outs, mid-stay cleans or airport transfers but do your guest a favour and make sure all essentials are included in your final price.
Everyone loves a freebie.
What can you offer 'for free' to influence that prospective guest?
Think creatively. It may even be something that you have already paid for or a relatively inexpensive addition.
Late check out, WiFi, collection from train station, access to a local pool or gym, ski lift pass, a drink in a local bar - the possibilities are almost endless.
As a great example, one of our clients pays the motorway toll for every one of their confirmed guests driving from the nearest airport. The cost is a mere €2.
7) Use their first name
Probably the easiest of all.
Addressing someone by their first name instantly makes your message more friendly and personable.
It begins your reply with an affable and less formal tone.
We would also encourage you to throw another in later in your reply.
8) Include your website
If you have received an enquiry through your website or a booking site that permits you to communicate directly with the traveller, you must include your full website address so guests can find out everything they need to know about the property.
Your rental site could include previous guest testimonials, videos and extensive photo galleries which may not be visible on a listing site.
This gives you further credibility as many guests will now expect you to have a separate rental website to your listings.
9) Add your contact details
Some people do still want to talk. A telephone number at the bottom of your email can still result in a guest not only having a further point of contact but makes you less anonymous.
10) The follow up
Without annoying anyone there is no problem with sending a one follow-up email to simply make sure the guest received your quote and offer to answer any further questions.
If you have access to the guest's phone number, a call can also goes a long way to securing a booking.
We all know that most enquirers don’t respond to your reply unless they are going to book or have any further questions.
Minimise the need for you to answer any questions and make it easier for the guest to book!