Holiday home from home
Julie and Eric Audigé moved to Logis de Lussais in Deux-Sèvres in January 2016. We asked them how they make the most of their holiday let throughout the seasons
What should you do to make the most of your property outside of the main season?
It’s important to update your photographs according to the season. There’s no point in showing a swimming pool for a promotion in April if you do not open it until July. Always use sunny photographs even in autumn or spring.
Use promotions and special offers during Christmas or Easter, again with appropriate photos. I do go on about pictures, but according to statistics, customers will be booking with their eyes first, so make them a priority.
Is your target market different outside of the peak season?
You will find that there is a vast amount of people who like to enjoy the out-of-season holiday, mainly because they can! For example, families with pre-school aged children, empty-nest couples and the grey-green market to name but a few. They all enjoy lower prices and quieter roads with no queues!
Should you offer any extras to guests during the quieter months?
Yes, you should offer little extras, such as breakfast included for short breaks. Make sure that your customers know what kind of heating you have in the property during the winter months, and if there will be any extra costs involved for this.
Be flexible if you can with dates. If your customers come mostly by plane then it’s worth checking the arrival and departure days. Very few airports/airlines will offer Saturday to Saturday, so in the shoulder season we make sure that our accommodation is in sync with our local airline.
Short breaks are more popular in the winter. Make sure your rates are updated to reflect this.
Do you offer any promotions or link up with any local events throughout the year?
Features and promotions are essential to build future bookings. Creating a 12-month plan to set your promotions up and reserve feature slots could be the difference between success and failure. Base your marketing on the season, national and local events – especially out-of-season events and activities – and focus on your customer type. Timing is key!