Subscription levels still matter, but this is how you can make your listing better.
Some of the factors a traveler sees on the search results page are super critical (images, price, bedrooms and sleeps as it relates to price, reviews). But there are some things that are happening behind the scenes.
Here’s a checklist of things, that if you’re doing all these well relative to your competitors in the area, you’re going to do great in best match:
- Number of booked nights (number of online bookings). If you’re not reporting your bookings, HomeAway won’t know which listings are doing well and which listings aren’t. It’s critical, that you adopt online bookings and that you keep your bookings captured in the system.
- Views to contacts. It’s an approximation of how travelers are ultimately determining, whether or not they’re going to book your listing or another listing when they look at your property detail page. The higher the contact rate relative to other people in the market, the more successful you need to be too in order to be able to compete against them.
- Price. Look at your price per bedroom or price per sleeps relative to others in your market on the search page. When it’s high it might typically result in a lower contacts rate.
- Images. HomeAway has observed a high correlation between high quality images (high resolution, beautiful images), that do a great job in representing the entire vacation rental. If potential guests don’t see the amenities and features they are looking for in the images, it ultimately doesn’t exist.
- Acceptance rate. This is the rate at which you take contacts and turn them into bookings. If you take booking requests, HomeAway expects you to ultimately accept them for the traveler. Again, it’s all relative to your market. If others in your market have a really high accpetance rate you’re going to need it too.
- Responsiveness. When travelers send you a booking request or inquiry, they expect a fast response. The sooner the better (Response time: Within 1 hour – Response rate: 100 %). There’s no explicit penalty, it’s all relative to the competition in your market (if others are responding fast, you need to respond fast as well).
- Reviews. It’s one of the first things travelers see on the search page. Travelers spend a lot of time reading reviews before they ultimately book.
[Source: via @homeaway – YouTube-Video: https://youtu.be/Bp1LHGKxiC0?t=6m57s (originally published on 12 01 2017 – not available anymore) ]