Friday, February 27, 2009

2009 Vacation Rental Season - Take Control now!

This may be the toughest season ever for vacations rentals in a very long time. How are your rentals for the 2009 season?

Here are some proven techniques to keep your properties booked and the cash flowing.

Sitting around and complaining that the economy is bad and your bookings are down will get you no where. This is the time to get to work! You need to go over everything and put some time into your business.
1) Update your photos! Do you have a quality photo album to showcase your place? If the guest know to shop around, they will be looking harder and harder at the online photos that represent your rental. You need your best foot forward. Taking new quality photos is not expensive and can help! Be sure your photos are the best you can afford!

2) Advertise! This is the time to advertise more! Not less. Run specials. Make it look attractive to book with you! What does your title say about your property on your ads? Does it say, "BOOK WITH ME" or does it say, "I have not updated my ad in years". Here is one example:
GOOD AD: "Save $250 today! May 1-7 is open! Ocean View Condo, Call today"
Not so good ad: "3 bd 3 bath condo with dvd player in master bedroom"

You need a call to action and a reason to call you, instead of someone else. A coupon or special may be the trick to get them to call!

3) Follow up. Call if possible the prospect that emails you. If they put a phone number in the ad, call them at that number as fast as possible. If there is no number, email them as fast as possible. Answer the questions and tell them you want the business.

4) Have an online reservation system. This makes taking a booking fast and easy. The easier it is on the guest, the better the chance they will book with you! Using a site like and the vacation rental software it provides can make a difference. Who wants to wait for documents to be emailed back and forth and then filled out and mailed back! Make it easy and attract more business.

5) Do something every day! Update your calendars, change your ads, call your guest. Take 10 min and ask your self what needs to be updated and ACT! Sitting around will get you no where.

Try a few of these options and you will see the results! More bookings! People are still going in vacation and you need to be out there and get in front of them.

Good luck in the 2009 season!

More information on vacation rental software and vacation rental management software.