Take the Time to Respond to Inquiries Personally… Well sort of….

June 1, 2013

Tips & Tricks

If you have a  vacation property website listing, travel portal profile, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or any other sort of web presence, you will receive inquiries from potential guests. We hope you are receiving lots of inquiries, but if you’re reading this blog, perhaps you’d like to receive more.

We all know how time consuming it can be to answer each potential inquiry… Looking up availability, rates, and details of the home can be a substantial time suck each day!  Many of you probably have templates where you cut and paste formulaic responses to your inquiries or may even use some type of auto response for each guest.  But one word of advice… DON”T!  The value of a personalized response is incredible.  A personalized response can make an enormous and positive difference to your conversion rate if you answer your emails individually. Pre-formulated responses are very easily identifiable to e-mail readers, and sometimes evoke a negative reaction. A personalized response is almost always appreciated, as it gives an impression of great customer service and care, the type of vibe your guest will be seeking for their vacation.

It might take you five minutes to draft a personalized response, but the five minutes you have taken out of your day will be worth it – they will increase your chances of converting that inquiry into occupancy.

That being said, we DON’T write a personalized response to each inquiry. I am contradicting myself a bit but this is where it gets interesting.

My property management company received literally 1000’s of inquiries each day. It would be physically impossible to answer all of this with the small staff I have. So.. I have a hybrid system. I have a system that creates an auto response for each inquiry. The auto response includes availability, detailed pricing, discounts if the home is within a week or two of an empty date in our calendar, and a slew of alternative, similar homes that also have availability.   The auto respond system then sends one of my staff an email with the response that was generated by the software. My staff has the ability to edit any part of the response and answer any specific questions that was included in the response.  This saves us an enormous amount of time and still gives our customer a personalized response.  One more thing we do is to call the customer immediately after the my staff presses the send button on the response!

This has been extremely effective in regards to converting people into paying customers.  If you would like to learn more of the details on how we do this, please ask!







About Greg

Greg is the owner of Pacific Coast Vacation Properties, a high end vacation rental management company located in San Diego, CA. He also owns a full service real estate brokerage company that helps owners buy vacation rental and commercial property. In his spare time, Greg volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and other charitable groups in San Diego.

View all posts by Greg

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