Secret Two: the SuperPower that every Host needs…

In the first post of “Magic Secrets” I revealed to You one simple thing, though extremely important for your Bookings: just having a Listing on HomeAway and Co. is not enough as your Home on these website is like a drop in the ocean.

Now, there are a few well known things that everyone should do (still, not everyone can do!) to make their Listing stand out and improve Booking conversion, like having professional pictures or a catching description of the property. And above all of them there is one thing that I am sure You know about already:

Respond promptly to Enquiries!

HomeAway and Co. are so eager to make YOU perform this task as fast as you can, that they even assign a score to your Listing depending on how long it takes YOU to respond to enquiries. And, should you not know it already, this score will affect the visibility of your Listing in the Search Ranking: the lowest the time, the higher the score, the more possibilities your Listing will have to appear on top of your Guest’s search results and, hence, to be found.

But, there is a huge BUT… actually two of them:

1) BUT is there something else that you can do in the first place to receive more enquiries (before thinking of how fast responding to them) ?

2) BUT is the “Speed” of response really so important or it’s HOW you respond that also makes a difference?

There is only one thing, one Powerful tool, that will answer these simple (yet crucial) questions:

SECRET TWO: THE SUPERPOWER OF LANGUAGES! (EVERY HOST NEEDS IT)

Let’s go back to the beginning, to the time you first have set up your Listing. I’ll take HomeAway as example but that would also apply to all the other websites of the same type. I bet I know exactly what you did at the time:

  • You registered to HomeAway through your own language: if you’re Anglophone you did everything through English, probably on a .com or .co.uk HomeAway domain.
  • While setting up your Listing, you naturally wrote your description in your native language.
  • Every time you log-in as an Owner, you see all the instructions in English and the seldom times you check your “online” live Listing, you visit HomeAway.co.uk (or .com).
  • When you respond to enquiries from your “HomeAway Owner Messages Tool”, you might end up using the pre-loaded templates. Guess what? The templates are in English…

Everything that HomeAway (or whoever you’re using to advertise through…) put at your disposal is in YOUR language. And that might sound very obvious. But did you ever think of why they do it? The reason is very simple: to make you feel comfortable, hence buy “their product” and keep using it on and on…Would you ever commit to HomeAway if they were talking to you in Spanish? Or Italian? Would you not feel uncomfortable in buying something from someone who doesn’t even talk your language?

That’s exactly what happens to Your potential Guests when landing on your Listing and engaging with you. Let me show you how they behave when searching for a place. Let’s say… a Spanish man with no knowledge of the English language who’s looking for a Home in your area:

  • Pablo does not visit HomeAway.co.uk (nor .com) but goes on HomeAway.es
  • Pablo insert the dates and gets a list of available results to choose from
  • Pablo really likes your “Feature picture” and decides to click on your Listing
  • Pablo is in your Listing. He’s very close to booking with you BUT…
  • Pablo sees that on HomeAway.es there is no description (because you never set it up in Spanish) or the description is automatically translated by a software (hence, completely nonsensical!)
  • Pablo needs to know more about your place as the description is useless. He really makes an effort to contact You (many other less proactive Spanish speakers would have already closed your Listing by now…). He asks you many questions in sloppy English (using Google Translate!) that You barely understand and hence can reply to.
  • Pablo, very excited, opens your “fast response” with limited answers . And, lost in translation, he trashes it into the bin.
  • Pablo finds another Listing. It’s written in perfect Spanish. There is no need to ask many questions. Pablo sends in a quick enquiry: the owner replies… in Spanish! The quote is higher than yours. Pablo books this property without hesitation.

I hope that reading this example has given you the answer to the two mentioned “BUT”questions:

1) Yes, you can do something else to receive more enquiries: when setting up your Listing you have to write a proper description in all the available languages. Because your Listing will go live on HomeAway.es, as well as .it, .de, .fr and so on. There is a massive amount of Guests from all over the world that WILL contact YOU (and not someone else) just because your Listing is properly written in their language.

2) How you respond and  the language you use (as much as how fast you reply) will make a huge difference for your Guest. If he feels comfortable, he understands what you’re saying, he gets his doubts cleared, he WILL book your place over another one. Even at a higher rate! Because the “pre-stay service” that is being provided, making the Booking process easy and comfortable, has a huge emotional extra-value for your Guest.

If You want more Enquiries and Bookings, then you should use Languages as a powerful tool. But if you don’t have the Time to respond quickly to enquiries or you haven’t acquired this incredible “SuperPower” yet… then let Booking All In do the job for You!

by Mauro Di Porzio
Booking All In Co-Founder

SPECIAL OFFER: GET FREE TRIAL NOW

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