Sales tips & strategies (how to get more bookings)
Hi colleagues. :)
I was wondering are u using some strategies to make more bookings. What I mean is how do you use (and are you using it) all the features that Booking.com software is offering us?
Let me add more about me. I rent apartments in the Mediterranean, summer season is when we (all region, not just me) make money, during wintertime no one visits us (ex Yugoslavian republic, Montenegro). Although we have excellent weather during March/April, the season starts in May and lasts for 4-5 months (June/July/August/September, July/August is a "high season"). Even the 5-star hotels are closed from November to April.
So June-September is not a problem to fill our accommodation, April/May/October is a tricky time to get some reservations. ;) So these are my thoughts.
In high season, most of my reservations are 7-20 days long (my place is a family resort, people come for longer periods), so my min stay is set to "7" nights (I don't want people coming for 1 or 2 nights, when I know I can get a longer stay). I set a min stay to fewer days only when I get a "hole" between 2 bookings.
Also, my cancellation policy is set to "30% advance payment/no free cancelation" So, the high season is set to pretty strict rules, because there is a lot of interest in accommodation and it can be done like that.
But what about LOW SEASON? How to improve sales in those months, that is the trick. ;)
I've just started a new "campaign" for April/May and I will see will it work out at all. There is some interest in those months for our region, but in those months we are visited by younger couples and they want to book for a night of two only. They mainly visit my country for 7-10 days and they stay in 3-4 cities for 1-3 nights, depending on how much they like it.
So my thoughts are, set a min stay to 1 night, set a FREE CANCELATION policy, anyway there isn't much interest for holidays now, so if someone books my accommodation and then cancels later, it won't mean I've lost something, anyway there was almost NO INTEREST for it. :)
In the past few years, I had a couple of stays in a low season, my "min stay" was set to 3 nights, and those people who had visited me mainly prolonged their stay to 5-6 nights.
So my idea is, set a min stay to 1 night, set a low price and a flexible booking policy, and maybe there will be more bookings than before, it can hardly be fewer bookings. :D And those guys who book for 1 night only, they are mainly visiting my country for the first time and don't know what to expect, when they get here and see all this beauty and taste all our tasteful food, I know they will prolong their stay to 3-4 nights. I mean, I hope so ;))
I was wondering is it possible to set one cancellation policy for high season and a different policy for low season, and just yesterday I succeeded to do it (with help from a Booking.com support guy via phone because I was not able to create a policy I wanted from extranet by myself). I created an additional "Rate plan" and created a different cancellation policy for it. So for high season, I have a "Standard rate plan" active with 30% advance payment, and for Low season another "Rate plan" with FREE Cancellation associated with it.
So I was thinking to share our strategies here... Do you have some and how do you fulfill it?
And what I mean by "using all the features that Booking.com software is offering us" is that I am thinking about creating a LAST MINUTE offers for some dates in JULY/AUGUST right now, because when the season starts I don't have so much time to deal with all my booking as much as I have now.
So I am thinking to make a last-minute offer with 30% discount now and set it can be booked 5 days before the dates actually come, and another last-minute offer that can be booked just a couple of hours before the apartment gets available with 50% discount, because "the worse apartment is an empty apartment" as they say. :)
So are there any "tricks" or strategies like that, that you are using ... Share please ... ;)