Repeat Booking Strategy

You've just had a great review from a vacation rental guest, you've built up a good relationship, and they even said they'll come back to your rentals next year. Great! But how can you make sure they come back to you directly so you don't have to pay booking platform fees over and over for the same guests? Especially when you've already done the hard work of building that good rapport and offering them a great stay? The answer: Building a direct repeat booking strategy that really works. 

This blog post will show you why you need a direct repeat booking strategy and how to create one that really works.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

Why You Want Repeat Bookings

There are several reasons why repeat bookings are essential for vacation rental owners and managers:

You've already done the hard work of attracting a new guest. As long as you provided them with a five-star experience, securing a second booking should be a breeze, right? Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. In fact, the majority of your bookings will likely come from first-time guests.

You Save on Advertising

Acquiring new guests can be expensive. In fact, the cost of customer acquisition is only getting higher. Luckily, once you've secured a loyal following, you won't have to spend as much on advertising and marketing to attract new guests. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful, and they're free!

You Increase Profit Margins

When guests book directly with you, they bypass the middleman (Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc.). That means more money in your pocket since you don't have to pay commission fees.

You Build a Stronger Relationship with Guests

When you have a direct relationship with guests, you can communicate with them directly before, during, and after their stay. This allows you to build rapport and get feedback so you can improve your rental property and the overall guest experience.

Repeat Booking Strategy

10 Ways to Drive Repeat Bookings

#1 Make Sure You're Providing an Exceptional Guest Experience

This one seems obvious, but it's worth repeating. If you want guests to come back, you need to give them a reason to do so. That means providing an exceptional experience from start to finish. Here are a couple of ways to do that:

  • Be responsive to guest inquiries. Send a personalized welcome message and stay in touch during their stay.

  • Follow up after they leave. Ask for feedback and use it to improve your rental property. Even if you're doing everything right, there's always room for improvement. The key is to constantly strive to provide the best experience possible.

#2 Use an Automation Tool like Host Tools

Host Tools can help you manage bookings, communicate with guests, manage cleaners, and a whole lot more. Using an automation tool will help you streamline your operations so you can focus on providing an excellent experience for your guests.

#3 Use a Professional Cleaning Service

Hiring a professional cleaning service is one of the best ways to ensure your rental property is clean and comfortable for guests. It's also a great way to free up your time so you can focus on other aspects of running your vacation rental business.

#4 Offer Complimentary Perks and Discount

Who doesn't love a freebie? Complimentary perks and discounts are a great way to show your appreciation for guests who choose to stay with you again.

Some ideas include:

#5 Make Check-In and Check-Out Easy

Check-in and check-out can be stressful for guests, so it's important to make the process as easy as possible. One way to do this is to offer a self-check-in option. That way, guests can come and go as they please without having to coordinate with you.

If self-check-in isn't possible, try to be as flexible as possible with check-in and check-out times. You should also provide clear instructions for guests, so they know exactly what to do when they arrive and leave.

Repeat Booking Strategy

#6 Offer a Local Experience

Guests want to feel like they're getting an authentic taste of the local flavor when they travel. You can provide this by stocking your rental property with local products or offering discounts to local businesses.

You can also create a house manual that includes information about the area, such as popular attractions, restaurants, and events. This is a great way to help guests feel like they're a part of the community, even if just for a short time.

#7 Keep Your Rental Property Well-Maintained

No one wants to stay in a rental property that isn't well-maintained. That's why it's important to regularly inspect your property and make sure everything is in working order. This includes everything from the plumbing and electrical to the furniture and appliances.

If something does break, be sure to fix it as quickly as possible. The last thing you want is for guests to have a negative experience because of something that could have been easily fixed.

#8 Compile an Email List

One of the best ways to keep in touch with guests is to compile an email list. This way, you can stay in touch after they leave and let them know about any special offers or discounts you may be running.

You can also use your email list to send out a monthly newsletter, which is a great way to keep guests updated on what's going on at your rental property.

Repeat Booking Strategy

#9 Set Up a Direct Booking Site

If you want to make it easy for guests to book directly with you, you need to set up a direct booking site. This is a website that allows guests to book your rental property without going through an intermediary.

There are many benefits to setting up a direct booking site, including the following:

  • You'll save money on commissions and fees

  • You'll have more control over your property's listing

  • You'll be able to develop a closer relationship with guests

#10 Use Social Media

Encourage your guests to follow your property on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Here you can promote seasonal offers, special perks, new amenities, and anything else that might be of interest to return guests.

You can also use social media to show off your rental property and give potential guests a sneak peek of what they can expect. Be sure to use high-quality photos and videos, and don't forget to include hashtags! 

If you want to encourage repeat bookings from your guests, it's essential to create a direct repeat booking strategy. This can be done by:

  • Providing 5-star experience

  • Using an automation tool like Host Tools

  • Offering special perks

  • Working with a professional cleaning service

  • Making check-in and check-out easy

  • Providing a local experience

  • Keeping your rental property well-maintained

  • Compiling an email list

  • Setting up a direct booking site

  • Utilizing social media. 

By following these tips, you'll be able to save money on fees, improve guest loyalty, and boost occupancy rates.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

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