Tips to help property owners make the most of the New year bookings rush

Be bold, be distinct and be ready to attempt something new. That’s the message from holiday leasing expert and author, Wendy Shand, who is advising property owners to do some last minute ‘holiday lettings housekeeping’ in readiness for the January holiday bookings rush.

“It’s a tough economic environment out there with many property owners vying for the same customers. If home owners want to ensure a steady pipeline of bookings for 2011, they should invest a bit of time now to ensure they stand out from the crowd,” says Wendy.

She advises that all holiday home owners run through this pre-booking season checklist:

1. Who’s your target market? – Do you know what type of renter you want to attract? Is it families, yoga enthusiasts or walkers? Niche marketing is easier than trying to appeal to everyone. Once have established what your main market is, be fearless in saying so.

2. Does it meet your customers’s needs? Saying you have a specialized holiday property for yoga enthusiasts will only work if you are genuinely able to offer what ramblers need. Think about what they’d want and add that to your ammenities.

3. Evaluate your existing marketing – are you advertising in the right place for the type of people that you want to attract? Make sure you spend your marketing budget on the methods most relevant to your target market.

4. Reread your current listings – alter or amend anything that is out of date, doesn’t read well or is incorrect. Will it resonate with your target customers? Emphasise the important selling points that make it appropriate for a particular audience.

5. Revisit your photos – replace any that are out of date or do not do your property justice. Add new photos, particularly of the nearby area and your house looking its greatest. If you’ve chosen to niche market, ensure your pictures depict that niche.

6. Check out your competition – what are they doing well/badly/could improve on. How does your real estate compare? If you are doing something better, make a point of emphasising that aspect. If you’re not, make changes to ensure you are on par.

7. Try something new – If you continue doing the same thing then the results will be the same, so try presenting something different. What about presenting little added extras that will make you stand out – like offering ramblers loaned GPS devices, local geocaching sites and packed lunches?

8. Pricing – Revisit your pricing. Is there any way that you can increase your prices by delivering added value? Instead of lowering your price to secure more bookings, try adding appealing extras allowing you to charge a premium.

9. Need additional ideas? – Order and read Holiday Lettings Expert, Wendy Shand’s free book ‘Empty Weeks, How to get more bookings and make more money from your holiday home’. Details below.

Wendy Shand advises parents looking for safe holidays with children and has sold over ?1.25 million worth of holidays in the last five years, and Wendy now advises property owners in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Asia. To receive your free copy of “Empty Weeks” visit

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