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How to get more holiday let bookings at your holiday home

Whether it’s letting your home for a few weeks when you go away or generating income from a second home, online travel agents have changed the game for anyone wanting to turn their property into a side hustle. However, there’s a big difference between dabbling in the rental market and making professional hosting a success. So, where do you start when it comes to getting more holiday let bookings through the proverbial door and maximising your property’s potential?

1 Beacon Court is a luxury four-bedroom holiday home in the popular seaside town of Salcombe

Invest in photography 

We live in the age of Instagram, so it stands to reason that good photography is key to generating interest in your property. Your Airbnb listing is your shop window, and the first thing people are going to see is imagery. If you want someone to stop on your property rather than keep scrolling, they’re going to need an attention grabber. However, it’s also about building an impression in the guest’s mind. 

- First and foremost, the images need to be good quality. That’s why it’s worth getting a pro in. They will not only be able to produce high-resolution images but will also have an eye for the best angles to show off each space. 

- Secondly, you should think about what you’re communicating with your imagery. You want potential guests to get a good sense of what the property has to offer. Pictures should take them on a journey through your home, showing key areas and amenities as well as any wow-factor shots like amazing sea views. 

- While no one can control the weather, it’s a good idea to book a photographer for a day when the sun is shining - or at least when it’s not raining - to make the most of the light. If you have a garden that you want to promote, you might want to wait until spring or summer to really make the most of the shots.

- Finally, when it comes to uploading your listing, think about the order in which you post your images. You want an eye-catching and informative hero image to draw them in. Then take the potential guest through the property as if you were walking them around in person.? 

Top tip: Make a list of the key rooms and features, and discuss them with the photographer before the shoot. What might be obvious to you isn’t necessarily obvious to everyone else. 

Be strategic with your pricing 

 Being aware of pricing doesn’t mean being the cheapest. Sometimes a higher price point will actually give someone a sense of reassurance that they are getting a high-quality product. However, being strategic about pricing does mean being aware of the market in your area in a number of different ways. You may find that although it’s an attractive proposition to ramp up the price per week, you will actually be financially better off if you’re able to make more bookings more consistently than one or two at a higher price. 

- Consider the location of your property and what others are listed at.

- Are there any added value items or services that you can offer (like hampers on arrival or luxury toiletries in the bathrooms) that will justify a higher price point.

- Think about your own wants and needs. How many weeks of the year are you looking to let the property out for and at what time of the year.

- Don’t feel that price points have to be static throughout the year. If you live in a holiday location and there are seasonal weeks when holidaymakers want to visit, you may be able to command a premium price in those weeks.

Top tip: Stay aware of the market year-on-year. Things change, and so does demand. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on other properties and speak to a professional to get their view on the best price point, or things you can do that will maximise your goals for your property.  

Content is king 

Much like everyone’s a photographer in the age of Instagram, everyone’s a writer in the age of social media… except that really; they’re not. Imagery is vital to getting people interested in your property, but the accompanying written word is crucial to giving them the information they need to make that booking. It needs to be a combination of nicely worded prose, but also practical information. With that in mind, it might be worth getting a professional copywriter to help you put the wording together for your listing. Things to consider are:

- Mention practical amenities such as high chairs, washing machines and other information that guests may find helpful. It’s also a good idea to check the list of preferred Airbnb amenities to see if there’s anything you want to add to improve appeal.

- As with the photography, use the description of your property to take potential guests on a journey through your home so that they can really see themselves staying there.

- For all the practical information, don’t forget to make it sound nice too! Don’t be hyperbolic, but feel free to use descriptive words that really bring the place to life.

- Include information about the local area and any tips such as favourite restaurants or activities.

Top tip: Make sure you keep the information up to date. If you make any changes or a local restaurant you have mentioned closes down, don’t forget to update your listing! 

It’s worth noting that not only are these points likely to increase your chances of getting more Airbnb bookings, but where information accurately portrays your property, it’s also likely to result in fewer complaints, happy guests and even repeat bookings.

If you would like more advice, feel free to contact the HolidayHost team any time!