Enquiry Alerts

It is well known that a fast response to customers is going to convert more e-mail enquiries into bookings. But let’s get practical here, we all get lots of e-mails and we have other things to do than sit glued to a PC all day.

If you’re a small holiday rental operator, you’re likely to be multitasking. You may be currently on a critical task, ordering the linen, organising the cleaner, paying the bills, or even doing the cleaning.

The last thing you want is to stop what you are doing every time a low priority email hits your inbox.
Alerts can help convert enquiries
So, what would it be like to have a magical voice whisper into your ear just when a vital customer is asking for your attention?

I use a system to do just that.

Well, it isn’t quite a whispering voice, it is just a simple chime from my smart phone when I receive a customer enquiry or reply.

How does it work?

I just arrange my email system to send an SMS alert when I get a vital incoming e-mail inquiry, and it sets off a chime on my iPhone. By the way, it works with any smartphone.

It also triggers a vibration so if my phone is set to silent and resting on the table when I am in a meeting, the subtle buzz tells me something is going on. I can glance at the screen to see the nature of the email and I can then choose to respond immediately or at a later time of my choice.

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In an separate article,  More holiday rental bookings – the magical sound alert, I explained how an automated alert can tell you when one of those important email enquiries comes in, without having to look at all the other distracting emails.

The reason you would do this is to respond quickly, convert more enquiries to bookings and make more money.

This article explains how to do it – how to set up an email filter to check just for special incoming enquiries. Also how to make the filter trigger an SMS to set off an audible warning in your smartphone.

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In an earlier post More holiday rental bookings – the magical sound alert, I explained it can be useful to have a simple sound warning on your smartphone for all incoming emails. This can help you respond quickly to incoming enquiries.

This is particularly well suited to holiday rental operators who have a small number of incoming emails daily.

Below I show you an example of how to turn on the sound notification for emails – in the Gmail App for iPhone with IOS 7.
Other smartphones/ apps/ operating systems can be setup to do the same thing, the principles are the same.

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The top line of the Holiday Rental Mastery website asks: “Are you a fully booked rental owner?”

Several rental owners have told me they don’t take the claim seriously that a property can be fully booked.

Many regions like mine have a peak holiday season and owners will say “Well of course I’m fully booked! In summer we’re booked solid for six weeks.”

When I say we’re usually booked 90% of the time, 90% of days of the year, their eyes glaze over. No one can do that. They are very happy with their six weeks.

This disbelief probably starts with the real estate agent who sold them their house.
“Oh, yes that is a great little renter. You will get amazing rental. You’ll be full over Christmas, Easter and all the holiday weekends. It’s amazing”. This sets expectations low and I’ve become used to the glazed-over look.

The reality, as savvy rental owners know, is different but sometimes it is hard to get the message across.

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I am constantly experimenting with new ways of running my holiday rental.  It drives my partner crazy!

I nearly fell off my chair last year when I saw a whole lot of pink on my listing dashboard.

Pink is good, it means a converted booking.  There were 9 converted bookings out of 15 enquiries – 60%.  Over the following weeks, the number varied from 60% to 90% and one day for a short time it was 100%.  It was averaging 80%.

I had been changing my standard script and timing.

I thought if I could  get into my guest’s brainspace before anyone else, I would have an advantage.  I also wanted to get a conversation going before anyone else.

I had stumbled onto a successful formula.  When I thought about it, there were quite a few things that I was doing that my competitors weren’t doing.

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