Marketing 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. 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.