Posts Tagged ‘bed and breakfast’

Mark your calendars… its time to book!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

As we have previously posted here, travelers need information in order to make an informed decision about what vacation rental to book.  Not providing important data upfront may discourage travelers from even contacting you.

One very important tool that many vacation property owners overlook is their availability calendar.

Travelers in Rentalo have the option to enter their travel dates right from the home page.  Properties that don’t have this information updated wont benefit from being displayed as one of the first options for the traveler.  Travelers NEED to know if you are available or not, otherwise, many won’t even take the time to contact you.

Over the years I have spoken to many property owners that have given me similar reasons for not updating their calendar.  Here are the top ones, and my thoughts on them.

1. I don’t have time to update my calendar every time someone books my property.  I understand we are all busy, but owners should create a habit of updating their calendar online immediately after a booking has occurred.  In Rentalo this takes no more than 2 minutes, and will help you get better inquiries and avoid inquiries for booked dates.
2.  I don’t want to show travelers that my property has very little bookings.  Again, I understand the reasoning behind this; however, travelers value information more than ambiguity.  Leaving your calendar open with no booked dates, looks worst, than having at least a few days booked.
3. I don’t want thieves to know when my property is empty.  I have heard this from more than one property owner in the past.  If you don’t have homeowners insurance, you shouldn’t be renting your house in the first place!

Owners that have their information up to date have higher chances of booking their vacation rental, bed and breakfast or hotel.

Update your calendar today and make a habit of keeping it updated.

Frank

 

A picture is worth a thousand dollars $$$

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

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Example of a great vacation rental picture gallery

You”ve heard the old proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Simply put, you can communicate in 1 picture what it would take pages to describe. A picture has the power to communicate large amounts of information in a very short period of time through visualization.

According to online research, the average Google user takes about 7 seconds to decide were to click. Google displays mostly text in its search result. Now lets think about a traveler that searches for vacation rentals in lets say Orlando Florida through Rentalo.com. They are going to be presented with a list of properties to choose from. What do you think it’s the first thing that catches their eyes? Your picture of course.

Too often I speak with property owners that complain that their listing is not getting enough attention. In researching most cases, I find that the problem is not traffic to their location, but traffic to their specific property. 9 out 10 times I”m able to determine the culprit by simply going to their location and comparing their ad to the others they are competing against. Usually the pictures are not too appealing.

Now being married to a professional photographer, I can tell you that not most of us know what it takes to get a great picture taken; however, most of us are sure able to stand in awe when we see a great photograph. Pictures sell. Period!

Great pictures of your property are worth their weight in bookings. Some property owners want to get bookings with scanned pictures taken from a brochure. This is just not going to work for savvy travelers that are accustomed to high resolution images of the products they are about to purchase. This is even more true now that we offer high resolution slide shows to every property owner. The time is now, update your pictures and make sure they are high quality and crisp.

Here are a few tips that we highly recommend:

‘?¢ Hire a professional photographer to take excellent photographs of your property. This may not be the cheapest solution, but you may recuperate the investment in just a few bookings. Look at options before you commit to a photographer. Look at their portfolio and go with the one that has the pictures that impress you the most.

‘?¢ If your budget is restricted at the moment then get a digital camera if you don’t have one already, besides it’s the year 2008! You don’t need to get a fancy and expensive camera. Any camera with a resolution of 3.0 mega pixels or more would be great for the job. With this option you have no time restrictions; you can take as many pictures of the property as you want. Remember Rentalo gives you unlimited space for images and you can upload them yourself.

‘?¢ Look at other properties in your area or in other cities and see which ones catch your eyes first. Try to emulate that in your pictures. Look at the angles from which the pictures were taken, look at the lighting, etc. Small details go a long way.

‘?¢ Use free software to enhance your picture. Nowadays you don’t need to be an expert at Photoshop to retouch your pictures. There is a great free program by Google called Picasa which allows you quickly organize and make simple changes to your images. You can download it at http://picasa.google.com/

‘?¢ Ask other people you trust to tell you what they think of your pictures.

I would recommend to all our property owners to take a few minutes to look at their images and determine if they need to be changed or modified. If you need help with this and are not sure what to do, remember that you can contact us via our help page and we will gladly arrange a time to speak with you and go over the listing with you at no extra cost.

Until next time’?¦ say chee$$e

Frank Suarez

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