Just a moment...

Holiday let marketing and sales

Once you have decided to let your holiday home, setting up your listing and having a marketing plan in place to support sales is essential.  The team at HolidayHost work with you from day one to present your holiday home in a way that will maximise its letting potential. 

That includes providing professional support when it comes to copywriting, photography, price pointing and creating your online listing as we as other marketing materials. 

Marketing and sales services include:

  • Setting up your listing
  • Financial administration
  • Booking administration
  • Guest communications 
  • Price pointing
  • Monitoring guest feedback

Setting up your holiday let listing

Setting up your holiday let listing requires attention to detail and a clear understanding of what you’re doing and why.  

Key components include:

  • Which platforms are you going to use?
  • Who is your property for?
  • What are you going to write about it?
  • How is your photography going to sell it?
At HolidayHost, we promote properties across more than 20 online travel agent platforms and marketing partners, including VRBO, the Expedia Group and Airbnb. That means that your property has a greater chance of being found and is not vulnerable to fluctuating terms on any one channel.  

Following property viewings and discussions with you, our marketing experts work together to best position your property for its most relevant market(s). Perhaps it works as a family holiday home or a couple’s retreat? Maybe it can be used for multiple types of guest, offering different benefits for different people? 

This positioning then needs to be reflected in the copywriting and photography presented on your online listing. At HolidayHost we always recommend using a professional copywriter to create the content for your listing. Copy should mention practical amenities and information, but it should also take prospective guests on a journey through your holiday home, to help them understand the experience they can expect to have when they visit. It’s helpful to include information about the local area and any tips such as favourite restaurants or activities. 

Equally, photography should be a combination of aspiration, information and setting the scene for a guest’s visit. Again, we always recommend using a professional photographer, as imagery should be high quality so that it doesn’t become pixelated in marketing materials.  

All information should showcase the best aspects of the property, but it shouldn’t attempt to make it into something that it isn’t. That will only cause complaints down the line. 

At HolidayHost, our professional team produces text and photography for all your relevant online travel agent platforms. Our professional copywriter makes sure content is enticing and informative. Meanwhile, our photographer is on hand with the support of a staging expert who will present your property at its best. We then upload content to multiple online travel agencies to optimise your visibility and make you less vulnerable to changing terms and conditions.

Pricing a holiday let for marketability 

When it comes to letting your holiday home there are lots of factors that are important to make it a success, but pricing is one of the most sensitive. We all know that being the cheapest doesn’t guarantee more bookings and it certainly doesn’t guarantee that you make money. Then again, neither does being the most expensive. Getting the pricing right and controlling the factors that influence your margins are central to helping you make a commercial success of your holiday let.

Key factors include: 

  • Agency commission
  • Knowing the local market
  • Anticipating inflation
  • Gauging public mood
  • How and when you communicate price rises
Agency commission sets a baseline for what you can afford to play with when it comes to pricing your property and responding to market changes. If commission is at the 16% to 32% of the letting revenue that traditional letting and marketing agents command, that will limit the elasticity of your pricing according to seasonal or wider socioeconomic trends. 

Then again, there can be something too good to be true about the 3% to 4% charge of an unsupported self-let via an online travel agent like VRBO and Airbnb when you take into consideration the intangible cost of your time to manage all the administration that goes with it.  

The middle ground that we offer at HolidayHost equates to a combined commission of 13-14%, including the online travel agent fee for professionally hosted support. In turn, that is likely to improve customer experience and support repeat bookings, make cost-effective use of your time, allow you the highest margin possible and also minimise the likelihood of complaints and refunds. 

Local knowledge is important for pricing that gives owners the most financial benefit but without holidaymakers feeling ripped off. Knowing the local restaurants, the difference between one property’s walk to that beachside cafe and another’s and understanding not just what other properties are letting for, but why, are all nuanced reasons why detailed local market knowledge is a game changer for getting pricing right.  

Inflation is another one of those unavoidable elements that will influence pricing, your profits, or both. This becomes a particular issue when you have guests who want to return to your beautiful home year after year and become disgruntled at rising prices. For this reason, we never set prices more ahead than 12 months, unlike old school agents which often open bookings 24 months in advance.  

The other reason we don’t set prices more than 12 months in advance is because the demand for holidays changes and it’s vital that owners’ pricing strategies reflect that feeling in a timely manner. On the other hand, we do commit to prices annually, setting them each September. This is because we don’t think it’s fair on guests when larger agencies use algorithms that change prices moment to moment. From a customer service perspective, this helps to develop good and trusted relationships with customers, who are much more likely to accept price rises if they’re given fair and adequate warning. 

As we operate by leveraging the use of online travel agents, owners are subject tothe conditions they set when it comes to pricing. We therefore place your property listing on a variety of platforms instead of just one. This not only spreads your marketing exposure, but it also reduces the risk that one platform might change its terms overnight. 

These decisions, along with a careful analysis of the area and surrounding holiday let prices, also allow us to create a price list for the year and position your property to best meet your preferred goals. We will discuss with you what is realistic in line with those objectives, although ultimately you have control over all final decisions.

Holiday let sales support

Our work doesn’t stop once your listing is live, however. We also produce print marketing materials in the form of signage outside your property, and social media promotion across our platforms and through Google advertising. 

Signage is strategically placed outside your holiday home. Unlike other agents, their purpose is to encourage bookings at your property, and not simply to promote our brand. First and foremost, this is about you. That’s why the signage features your property name in the largest font.  

Where it gets clever however, is that we use your HolidayHost property specific email address to draw email enquiries from your sign. It also features a unique QR code that’s linked straight to your property’s booking pages. We then analyse the data internally, so we know how often the code is being scanned and continue to assess whether the signage is in the best location to promote your property. 

Once we begin working with you, we make sure your listing stays up to date and those prices are re-evaluated each year. We process bookings and answer any questions that guests, and potential guests may have, quickly and efficiently. Then we collect and review feedback to see if any improvements need to be made. This not only helps to secure bookings, but to support positive guest feedback and help improve the likelihood of repeat bookings and revenue.

This is all included in the initial fee and the combined 13-14% commission for our services and that of the online travel agent.