Cornish Horizons ultimate guide to ways homeowners can increase their bookings.
‘How can we maximise the amount of bookings that our property receives?’ It’s a question that the property department here at Cornish Horizons frequently get asked from homeowners. So we’ve come up with a list of suggestions to help any property – whatever stage of the lettings process – whether you’re just starting out or want to know how to make your existing property work better for you.
A few years ago, WiFi was an added bonus and something that was not expected by customers, but things have really changed in recent years and it is now seen as a minimum requirement. When customers use our website to search for their holiday cottage, WiFi is one of the most popular search filters. Should you decide to provide WiFi, we recommend getting an unlimited package.
Almost half of all our bookings are with a pet and, again, this is one of the most popular search filters on our website. Rural properties in particular are often quite appealing to people with dogs, so it may be even more important if you have a property situated in the countryside.
3. Short breaks
Over the last few years, short breaks have become more and more popular. For some periods of the year we don’t have any restrictions on short breaks (so customers can book them over a year in advance if they wish). Whereas at other times for the year, we restrict the ‘lead in time’ to 7, 14 or 28 days. We encourage our owners to accept short breaks for as much of the year as they feel comfortable.
4. Finishing touches
One of the best ways of ensuring your property comes across in its best light in the photos, is to make sure there are plenty of ‘finishing touches.’ These can include: brightly coloured cushions in the lounge, rugs and artwork, house plants, cushions and runners/throws on the beds and colourful vase/plant pots etc (making sure that the property never looks too cluttered). Colour is an incredibly useful tool in making your property look inviting but using contrast can also make a photo stand out. These small but crucial flourishes needn’t be expensive to put in, there are plenty of places to source these and, here at Cornish Horizons, our owners get 15% off at Trago.
It seems a real shame that anyone would come away to the beautiful county of Cornwall and watch TV or play computer games, but this is sometimes an important consideration to some people (particularly those with children or teenagers!). It’s a good idea for larger properties to have more than one TV in the house and, if the lounge is quite a big room, to have a larger TV.
6. Customer Reviews
Customer reviews on the website are a good way of promoting a property to other customers. It’s just a little thing but it is nice for prospective customers to see that other people have really enjoyed staying in a property.
7. Security Deposit
We have found that a Security Deposit can sometimes put people off booking a property. So removing/reducing these may help to increase bookings. It is not the most important thing but it can still make a difference.
As ever, Cornish Horizons are always on hand to help homeowners make their cottages a place that guests want to return to year after year.