The Top 10 for 2016
Our network of holiday managers are working across over 1400 holiday homes New Zealand wide every day. So naturally we have put that wealth of knowledge to good use, as they pass on their top tips to help your bookings in 2016!
1) Comprehensive photography
You’ve all heard about it, but high quality photos are well worth the effort and investment! They’re the first thing every potential guest wants to look at, so make sure to take your time to get them right. When you look at one of the many secrets of high performing holiday homes, it's all part of visualising that the guest can see themselves in your property.
And even consider professional photography. As Airbnb mention, professionally photographed listings get booked twice as often as those without professional photography. And with photographs being read and registered 600,000 times faster than plain text, that's reason enough to make sure you capture the unique qualities of your place.
Our top tip: Take at least 20 high quality images covering all aspects of your property, on a sunny day!
2) Get your pricing right
If you’re looking to optimise the occupancy of your bach, pricing is critical. Many owners have kept their pricing at the same price for years, or never compared how they stack up with the local market. Find a comparable listing on our site, plus make sure you have made some clear financial objectives including your break even point.
You don’t want to be overpricing and missing out on bookings, but likewise you don’t want to be leaving money on the table. Make sure to consider seasonality and shoulder periods that are becoming more and more popular. This is an area of expertise our Bachcare team constantly work on with you to maximise holiday home occupancy.
Remember during your busiest times to also set your minimum stay - it is typical to set a minimum of 7 nights over the busy Christmas and New Year period.
If you operate in an area where short breaks are popular, it's recommended to offer a 3 night minimum stay.
Our top tip: Do your research - how is your property compared to others in the area, and set a realistic and appropriate price to match your goals.
Chat with our New Owner Advisor team if you'd like their expert advice!
3) Wi-fi - make sure you're connected
WIFI is becoming the most searched and requested option among our holiday home searches. With an increasing demand to stay connected for work, or to post those holiday snaps online immediately, it’s a critical one to boost your booking chances.
Our top tip: check with your local provider to see if you can go unlimited on broadband. Or if that is not available, USB broadband is super popular and easy to implement.
4) It’s all about the little (and big) things!
Adding a pool table to your holiday home and adding photos to your listing increases the views of your property by 20%. It’s all about creating great memories, so consider what things you can add that will make a real difference. Pool tables, dart boards, bikes (and helmets), kayaks (and life jackets), spa pools. Even a few of these types of items can help potential guests visualise their holiday being at your home. Check out the selection below!
Our top tip: Keep an eye out on TradeMe to grab a second hand table tennis or pool table. For a small amount you’ll get a huge increase in site views of your bach.
5) Meet a niche
Along with your holiday home in its super location with beautiful photos at the right rate, it also makes sense to address certain niches. About 30% of our guest searches include a specific need. So whether your niche is being pet-friendly, family friendly, accessibility, is a luxury home or a specialist at arranging last minute bookings - make sure it’s clearly identified, as it could lead to a neat upswing in bookings.
Our top tip: Dog-friendly bookings are becoming more and more desirable - is it something your holiday home could cater for?
6) Check your bedding configuration
Bedding configuration is everything. If you have a flexible solution for potential guests that meets a wider range of options, your booking potential will skyrocket! A flexible bedding configuration opens your property to a wider range of guests.
Our top tip: Instead of single bunks, consider a double / single bunk (double on bottom single on top). Consider a split-king bed instead of a Queen for 2nd and 3rd bedrooms, allowing couple or twin share of the bedroom.
7) Focus on your entertaining areas
The outdoor entertaining areas of a bach can make or break your booking potential. Whether a couple on a romantic retreat, or a bustling family weekend away, it’s one of the key parts to a guest deciding they want to stay at your holiday home over anyone else's. What can you do to improve the ambience / setting?
Our top tip: Check out the gallery to see some fine examples of showing the outside space in its best light.
8) Convenience - offer your guests the ultimate break
With so many people spending their day-to-day lives permanently switched on; staying at your bach is probably the first time they have relaxed in some time. Not every guest will want to clean the bach themselves or bring their own linen, and guest expectations are increasing around house presentation standards. At Bachcare part of our service can include all the cleaning, linen, and rubbish removal services, making it entirely stress-free for the guests, and you the owner.
Our top tip: Make it easy on yourself, and include these services as part of Bachcare helping manage your holiday home.
9) Increase the chances of where your holiday home is seen!
With international visitor numbers to New Zealand higher than ever, and domestic tourism reaching new highs, there’s never been a better chance to maximise the booking capacity of your holiday home. The key to maximise its exposure is to list on a range of rental websites to maximise your rental opportunities. Obviously this can be fruitful, but very time consuming! With Bachcare, not only do you get a fully-managed listing on our own high ranking site, but additionally we can manage your listing on the variety of high profile rental websites including Airbnb, Bookabach, Holiday Houses, Tripadvisor, and more.
Our top tip: Maximise your distribution - it’s worth the effort to list across the entire range of rental websites.
10) Delight with extras for repeat bookings
Guests arrive excited at your bach. The delight of a small surprise can make a big difference in the entire experience, and mean you guarantee families coming back for years to come. It could be a welcome pack, a bottle of wine, or just your secret tips on where the best beach and fishing spots are! Have a think what can really personalise the experience for your guests. One of our Tauranga based owners has this advice for holiday home owners:
“We are Bakers so we provided premix cookie jars for our guests at the beginning and a recipe on the blackboard and guests love it. Little things like that go a long way. We also provide other cheap but luxury things to add to the overall experience. Present your home the best you can by adding homely things like throws and fresh new modern cushions. We made sure our kitchen has some condiments like olive oil, spices, soy sauce etc and we provide all dry baking ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder. Not everyone uses it but it's a nice touch to know that you care.”
Our top tip: We have found our guests that also reward repeat bookings are our highest performing and get more word of mouth bookings too!
At Bachcare, we've over 10 years experience working with holiday home owners across all of these areas and much more. So if you're looking for the best, stress-free approach to a holiday home rental income, enquire now with our New Owner Advisor team.