Do you run a holiday let or gites in France and still have weeks to fill for the summer? Get ahead in months before and be pro-active in chasing those bookings with some simple marketing strategies.
“First, focus on what you show and tell about your property in your online listing. Does your ‘thumbnail’ photograph prompt the viewer to click to see more? Make it attractive and interesting – the most enticing ‘kerb appeal’ view of your property. With so many people searching on tablets and smart phones, it’s important that your lead-in image is clear and works in a small size.
Next use large format photographs to tell the story of your property and the holiday experience to be had there. It’s good to show plenty of blue sky and sunlight, the idyllic appeal of summer, and maybe a table laid for dinner under the stars.
Use your description of the property to share your own enthusiasm for the place as that is really infectious to readers. Describe in colourful phrases what visitors can see and do on a summer holiday, why it’s perfect for children or couples. Talk about lazy days around the pool and outings to historic towns, what facilities, help and extras you offer. Visitors like to make travel and journey planning easier, so briefly share your knowledge of the best routes and ferry crossings.
Guest book comments on your listing page are trusted by holidaymakers and it’s easy to display them. Invite holiday makers to email in their reviews together with their star rating and the period they stayed at the property. Owners find that honest, vetted user reviews give holidaymakers extra confidence to book. Use comments that mention a range of the features and benefits of your property and reasons why visitors enjoyed their stay. Try to include one or more that say ‘We’ll be back again next year’.
If you want to get noticed and sell those summer weeks, then a Featured Property slot on a holiday home rental site can be really effective. This makes it visible as soon as a browser lands on the website and grabs attention.
Regular e-newsletters sent to interested holidaymakers can be really effective.
Target a special offer to help sell remaining weeks of the summer season. These are free to list for our owners who have an additional photo display package, so many owners take advantage of posting on the high profile ‘Special Offers’ pages as often as they like. Our research shows that some browsers click on these pages first.
The most effective offers are discounts. By all means add in a wine gift or food hamper, but on their own these incentives are insufficient for a modern, price conscious market. A discount of, ideally, between 10% and 25% will grab the attention you seek.
Many consumers are constantly connected, so a quick response to their enquiries is key. Give a mobile number, answer the phone if at all possible, leave a personal message to tell people you’ll call back soon – and do it. Have email on your phone and reply to online enquiries quickly – within hours at most. If you can’t give a full reply, then send a brief holding reply saying you’ll call or email more detail. Good service and personal connections will help to make it a full house for your property in France this summer.