I used to get LOTS of inquiries…some turned into bookings.Most inquiries just took up a LOT of my time and went nowhere.I now have almost 100% bookings with or without an inquiry. Most are insta book. Here is what I did. I made it clear up front in CAPPED letters no more than 2,adults only NO EXCEPTIONS; no stay longer than 10 days and then I told them do NOT email me with a request for longer than 10 days!Also upfront I tell them I am sorry, I do NOT give discounts!!!That stopped all the ridiculous amount of emails wasting my time. Now people just instabook and thats it!Also, I have been told if you gets lots of inquiries that go nowhere it affects your placement in the search engine…you will go lower. I also upfront said read entire website as all your questions are answered on the website!!This is a timesaver and no, people do not think I am mean;they read my reviews they all say I am super nice.(ha ha) Hasnt hurt bookings; I have had 9 bookings in 18 days.Dont let people waste your time.
What are your suggestions for people who don’t use Instant Book?
Just make your rules super clear upfront. And tell them you dont give discounts.Let them know if you dont want long term people also. Make them read the website and answer all questions on the website. I was afraid of instabook but honestly now 100% of my bookings are instabook, so much easier and you can still cancel without penalty if you have a good reason.You can also set it so they can only instabook if they have reviews. (over half of my business are people w no reviews).Im so glad I dont have to engage in back and forth BS and have it go nowhere…if they want it just book the damn thing. I have had more instabooks at like 2am in the morning!People dont want to wait for response!
maybe also tell them please do not email me with requests for…fill in the blank.Discounts, pets, kids, more than 2, long term whatever it is you dont want cut them off at the pass and tell them not to email you!
Is this a common problem? Lots of inquiries asking for discounts, etc. that don’t lead to bookings? I have had one request for a discount from someone who planned to stay 14 days, and wondered if I would offer a weekly discount. he didn’t book since he diddled about and the dates were gone. The other two people who spent my time asking questions, were asking the types of question that I would never put the answers into the listing. How far to Salem for Halloween, near a college friend, etc. Out of the 66 inquiries, only two didn’t book. One because he didn’t book in time. The other because we really weren’t the right place for their trip.
Obviously, I am still new to this, so I am curious how much other people are bothered with random inquiries?
I used to get lots of discount seekers as a new host. But now that I have seven years behind me, I think they can sense when someone is experienced… and don’t even TRY it.
These days? Hardly ever bothered with questions and lookie loos.
Funnily enough, we have never gotten requests for discounts. I wonder why not?
How are your prices? Maybe they’re already getting a great deal.
Although I use Instant Book, I still find that most guests send an inquiry of some sort first. This doesn’t bother me in the least because responding takes only a few minutes, especially if you use saved messages.
I like it when people enquire for two reasons. Firstly, it helps me to ‘get to know’ the guest a little before they arrive - and I always get 5 stars for communication. Secondly, I believe that an inquiry is a sales opportunity. I can understand that some guests have questions that they want to ask first, such as whether I can store their luggage or how close the apartment is to certain amenities. My response often helps to close the deal.
I much prefer getting an inquiry before booking. Only those three inquiries have led nowhere, and for good reasons. Much prefer that they don’t book if I am not the right place than to have grumpy and unhappy people sharing my home.
I was just curious how much of a problem this was for a greater swath of people. Clearly diamond is getting too many.
I don’t get requests for discounts. Since I have instant book I don’t get a lot of inquiries that lead nowhere. Once someone wanted to make sure there wasn’t dog hair in the guest quarters. He not only booked, he brought me a gift after check out. I’ve only had about 5 odd requests (out of over 150/2+ years) that didn’t result in a booking.
It’s very unusual that all 64 out of 66 booked. That’s a very high percentage. In my case the book 30% of the time and 70% just inquire
Fully agree on all points. I have IB, but most folks still ask a question or two before they book. I prefer the interaction.