The SuperControl team has been out on the road visiting self-caterers across the south of Scotland and the north of England. It was fantastic to meet so many SuperControllers, to discover what’s most important to you and your business and learn how we can support you even more.
Several of you have holiday rentals and glampsites that are also successful wedding venues. We heard many times that this is fantastic for generating advance bookings, however it leaves you with midweek availability that can be difficult to fill. We can help with that.
Here are our 5 top tips to boost your midweek bookings.
1. Make it easy for guests to book the days that suit them
Welcoming bookings on a fully flexible basis makes it much easier to achieve your desired occupancy levels. This means enabling any start day and any length of stay. You can choose to do this throughout the year or only make short breaks available when you have late availability to fill. When it comes to pricing, do your research. What do your closest, comparable competitors charge for midweek breaks? Loading the price for short stays makes all bookings profitable.
2. Appeal to business travellers and organisations
Business travellers need accommodation during the week. Typically easy guests, business travellers are 60% less likely to cancel, have a two times shorter booking window and spend more, eg on meeting rooms, breakfasts etc¹. If you are located close to conference venues, with easy travel connections and the perfect infrastructure to support guests flying in to attend shows and networking events, ensure this is featured on your website. 94% of business travellers expect to be able to contact the property at any time¹ so make it easy. Excellent WiFi is a must for this traveller profile.
Also, if your wedding venue has all the facilities needed to host a corporate event, promote this as well. Do you have the required audio and visual equipment, or can you provide hire options? Most conferences and award ceremonies happen midweek – the opportunity is there for the taking. Network with event organisers and host venues to let them know that your venue is available and your holiday lets are perfect for delegates that require accommodation.
3. List your properties on the best known booking websites
Websites like Booking.com and Airbnb are the go-to platforms for people booking last minute, short breaks. Traditionally guests take their time researching and planning their main holiday so are more likely to book direct, but time-starved busy people will often use the well-known channels when they are in a hurry to book a last minute break. One in five bookings on Booking.com are business bookings and business bookers return to the same location 60% more than leisure guests¹, a fantastic opportunity to secure repeat bookings
It’s easy to add and manage your listings with SuperControl’s in-built channel manager. As a Premier Connectivity Partner, SuperControl has the highest level of integration with Booking.com and syncs excellently with many other websites so you can manage your listings from one handy hub.
4. Get in touch with previous guests
Send an email to guests that have stayed with you before, who fit the profile of people likely to be able to stay midweek. Filter your database by those that eg required a cot or where the booking included an infant (families with pre-school age children are more likely to visit during term time). If you have added a custom question to your enquiry form asking the reason for your visit this would also feed through as one of the filter options, enabling you to select those that ticked ‘business’ (see point 2 above). If you want to set this up for future use here’s how.
Write a catchy email inviting guests to book a midweek stay. If you want to provide an incentive or reward loyalty you could create a special offer for specific dates you want to fill.
5. Be clever with your Facebook posts and ads
Make the most of Facebook to reach the right audience to boost your midweek bookings. Video content is a fantastic way to showcase your self-catering accommodation and events venue, it creates expectations and introducing the people behind the scenes builds trust and encourages engagement – perfect if you have any budding presenters in your team that want to get involved . You can target your posts to reach users that fit your guest profile (eg those that live within a two hour radius from your property are more likely to be interested in short breaks and late availability); create adverts targeting audiences based on guest data (those that have booked with you before) or visitors to your website (potential guests who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer). This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Check out this three-part blog series that takes you through how to do this step-by-step.
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¹ Source: Booking.com 2018