5 Tips to Boost your Bookings

It's that time of year for vacation home owners when the first flutterings of panic can set in. Maybe you've got a week or two booked; perhaps you've had lots of enquiries but few conversions so far; maybe you are already fully booked, in which case read no further!  If the first two describe your situation, here's a few tips to boost your booking rate and get the ball rolling.

Use some free listing sites. Try craigslist, or kijiji. Cottages in Canada give you a three month free trial. I just found a new one called Tiny Surfer. This might be worth five minutes of your time to drop in a quick ad.

murphys_pool Update your photos. In a crowded market, enticing photos sell, so do a review of the images you are using. Are your kitchen images showing cluttered surfaces? Do the bedrooms look attractive? Do your photos show off the best aspects of your property?

Review your listings and update the features and facilities list. Vacationers criteria can change so show your most attractive features at the top of the listing. If you've installed hi-speed internet, make it prominent; if you have upgraded your entertainment system, describe it; if you accept pets, make sure that pet loving renters can see that you do.

Talk to your friends and find out if their places of work have intranets. These are great places to advertise or have a review of your property posted. Government organisations and large companies often have extremely active and informative communication networks, and once you get a positive review posted, you could find a significant increase in enquiries.

Contact your previous renters and offer them a reward if they refer a friend. A discount on their next booking usually works quite well. We offer our loyal guests a considerable reduction on an out of season weekend for referrals, and this has worked really well.

With a lot of properties seeking a limited amount of rental guests in the off season, owners need to be creative to capture the market. It's not sufficient to put up a couple of listings and hope for the best. 

I'd love to hear your creative ideas to boost your cottage rental bookings. Just leave a comment and and share your thoughts.

BP Kids

I love your website! I was in property management for ten years and dealt with cottage rentals for most of that time. Your stories brought back many memories that were not always pleasant at the time. Luckily I can laugh today. Thanks for sharing some of your stories, and keep encouraging people to rent. It can be so much fun!

Cornelius

Hi and thanks for the interesting site.

I too have worked in property management and must say I learned a lot in that time. I would never go back to doing it though. If there was one thing I learned from my time managing rental apartments, it would be providing the service. That goes both ways; the tenant and the landlord. Good service equates to repeat business.

Thanks again.
Cornelius

Roys Retreat

I have just started to list our cottage for rental for the 2008 season. This will be our first year renting after spending the last two summers renovating and redecorating. I have listed with Cottages in Canada and have been pleased with the traffic that the site is receiving. Just a note; I was only offered one month free trial, not that I’m complaining because of the excellent site, I will gladly pay their annual fee. You may want to update your info.
I am certainly happy that I found your blog, great info and I have bookmarked to visit often.
Jackie from Roy’s Retreat

Roys Retreat’s last blog post..The Magnificant Loon

Heather Bayer

Thanks for the update on Cottages in Canada Jackie. That change from a free three month trial to one month, slipped by me!

Good luck with your rentals.

Yuriy at Rent Cottage Canada

I work for Rent Cottage Canada and just wanted to mention that our website is also offering a free listing (12 month free ad).
Please visit http://rent-cottage-canada.com/add-listing/free-listing/list-cottage-free-one-year/ for more details.

Vitali

Dear Cottage Guru,
you mad made and most important you keep maintaining this amazing cottage rentals blog. I used to read it when I was renting cottages and I am reading it now and suggesting my friends when they need to book their cottages. We have just made our own website that offers free listing for the cottage owners http://www.ontariocottagegetaways.com since we are brand new and just growing.
We encourage our cottage owners to personalize renters experience in their cottages, we ask to put some information about what attractions they would suggest in their area. We would love to hear the renter’s comments about staying at the cottages and what would they suggest to the next renters, what did they like the most in the area.

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