08 April 2008 @ 21:36
I can’t believe it is a week since my last posting, I have been locked away in a time zone! The enquiries have at last started to come in, the British must be sick of the recent snow and cold weather and have at last started to imagine themselves in a warmer climate. Bad weather is always a good wake up call! We had so many enquiries last year from the Irish when it rained for over 90 days none stop. We had them crying down the phone desperate for a week’s reprieve from the rain.
Dealing with enquiries is quite time consuming as there is often more to consider than you first think. I have owners who are very specific on their rental arrangements, for instance, I have one owner who will not offer any discounts or late deals, she is totally adamant on Sat – Sat bookings and will only offer 2 weekly bookings during July and August. I have other owners who will also only offer Sat-Sat bookings but I am finding this more and more of a hindrance as more enquiries than not are for mid-week bookings. A lot of enquirers are booking cheaper week flights rather than the more expensive weekend flights – don’t they realise this causes problems with my calendars!!
At the start of every year it seems I have this big jigsaw puzzle to complete and you have to fit the right rentals in the right places to get the big picture. Luckily I do have some owners who are more flexible and I can rent around the dates I need. It is important to consider your booking calendar and not just take every rental enquiry that comes your way. For instance, I would never leave a 6 day gap between rentals – in all my time renting I have never known an enquiry for 6 days so if you do that you can practically wipe those dates out and what a loss. Far better to say you can offer them the day after and leave yourself a week which you are much more likely to fill.
This week I have had some really time consuming enquires, people who have asked a lot of questions about the position/aspect/view of the apartments, (yes, all of that information is in the description but it seems that is not the same as asking direct) I also had to describe the layout of Duquesa port. In fact this one enquiry has taken over 5 emails to secure the booking, every time I moved forward they would find something else to be concerned about. When I eventually got the reservation form though it felt like a winning round!
Talking about enquires I have to admit that response times are really important. 90% of my replies back begin with “thank you for your prompt response” yes, it does mean that I am tied to my desk 75% of the day but it is worth it when you get an instant booking. If you don’t answer enquiries within a few hours or maximum 24 hours you can guarantee that someone else has and you have lost it. I once managed to secure a booking from another agent in the port as the client had not heard from them in 2 days and I responded immediately, having your finger on the trigger can certainly clinch the deal.