This is how success in all marketing campaigns is crafted, and is no different when trying to market your holiday home. Identify what market you want to tap into – families, couples, groups of friends. Finding your niche will increase your holiday home’s potential. Each group will have different demands and you will have to look at the features your property can offer and build your strategy around that.
If you have over three bedrooms and a garden, then you could be well suited for families with pets or a group of friends. If you have a smaller home with no garden, then you could be in a better position to provide for a couple who won’t need as much space.
Identifying your audience is the first and most critical step in successfully marketing your holiday home. However, try not be too niche, as you may alienate important sub-markets.
>You do not have to be J.K. Rowling, but you do need to write effectively about the merits of your property. Things like ‘Big three-bedroom end of terrace cottage’ will not bring you much joy. But ‘Spacious three-bedroom end of terrace cottage with high ceilings, lots of natural light, and a large well-kept garden’ will help your cause. Identify what makes your property stand out.
Ask yourself: what gives it character? How is it different to the properties around you (who may be the competition?) Think about what makes you like it and translate that into words. Get personal when describing your home’s strengths!
The more at home you make your guests feel before arriving, the more successful your holiday home will be. Towergate offers a wide range of holiday home insurance products, take a look and find out how you can protect yourself.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many fall flat at this invisible hurdle. Smartphones and Instagram have turned us all into amateur photographers, and many phones can offer almost professional-grade images. But unless you are a photographer, it is vital you ensure your home is captured in its best light – hire a professional. Or a friend who owns a camera and knows how to use it. They will understand exactly how to make your home look good as it possibly can – to improve the chances of success in marketing your home.
Maintaining an online presence on the most popular sites – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (if your home has strong or uniquely designed features) will make you more visible across channels and therefore to a wider audience. It is also very important for you to put your property on social review sites like TripAdvisor. So that once your guests have left, you can ask them to leave positive reviews for you. Over two thirds of people check reviews on TripAdvisor before booking, so good reviews can be very helpful.
On the other hand, bad reviews are generally unwelcome, but they can give you a chance to understand your customers and their concerns so you can improve. These customer testimonials will be key in successfully marketing your holiday home -especially in quieter seasons where people are planning their holidays. Their value cannot be played down – people care about reviews and will see these testimonials as a sign of your excellence and ability to provide a quality experience.
As much as you are marketing your home, you are also marketing the surrounding area and proximity to key tourist destinations may be a big pull for some guests. You should provide information on the best local restaurants, activities, pubs and bars, parks etc. They may have done their own research, but they will want to know about the places only locals do.
Try and tailor the information you provide to the group of people you are marketing the holiday home to. Upon your guests’ arrival have a holiday pack prepared for them. It’s a nice welcome and can spur good reviews. Which should feature some locally sourced gifts for them to enjoy and to get a feel for what your area/region has to offer.
Keep abreast of the average prices in your area and let this feed into how you price your own property. Do not undersell yourself, it is important to know your home’s value. But if you charge too much potential customers may be scared off. If it’s more expensive for a reason offering true added value, highlight this!
From the moment you begin marketing your property, you begin forging important relationships with your customers. Repeat bookings are what make having a holiday home a successful business venture. Look to keep in touch with guests using email marketing, social media, keep them aware of local events with a newsletter too.
Strong, lasting relationships are built by having a thoroughly customer focused approach. Like we mentioned earlier, listen to feedback left by your guests – respond to what they ask you to improve upon. They are the most important part of the whole experience.
Try and find holiday rental portals and agencies to advertise your property on – this is where you’ll get lots of bookings. Traditionally, there are two ways to advertise your holiday home. You can use classic local letting agents or more forward-thinking solutions like holiday home websites.
Both of these options will market your property and manage customer payments and paperwork for you (the boring part!). Local agents offer the services that will make your life easier like gardeners, labourers and cleaners. This network of people can prove vital if/when disaster strikes.
Popular holiday home websites – such as homeaway.com, holidaycottages.co.uk - have a wide reach and can get your home in front of millions. Airbnb's popularity has rapidly increased in recent years, with the public enjoying access to a wide range of homes and its ease of use. Airbnb allows you to be picky too. Peer reviews from other hosts will help you evaluate whether new guests will be respectful of your holiday property or a bit of a nuisance. Reassuring if it’s your first time letting it out.
Making your home friendly to the disabled could help increase the appeal of your property. In the UK there are over 14.6 million people living and working with disabilities and 9% of children are disabled. By ensuring your home has all the up-to-date and necessary fittings, you could see your profits increase.
Travelling abroad with disabilities can be difficult, and many individuals and families may prefer to have their holiday’s at home. Although costly, this long-term move will help to widen your audience and increase your profits.
We can provide insurance for a variety of holiday home property types, including chalets, cottages, apartments, lodges and villas.
For more information, visit our holiday home insurance page or call one of our specialist advisers on 0345 266 8561.
Alison Wild BCom (Hons), MAAT, MATT, Taxation Technician is a highly respected industry professional who has been working with and advising SMEs in areas including tax, pensions, insurance and marketing for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and also has over 20 years' experience as a residential landlord.
Date: November 11, 2016
Category: Home and Property