How to Optimise Your Property Calendar to Attract Bookings

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The top 20% of our properties with the most flexible calendars and availability get twice as many nights booked as those with less flexible calendars.To increase bookings, it's a no-brainer to try and make your holiday property calendar as flexible as possible. Here are some recommendations from our expert team on how to improve your calendar set-up to appear in more searches and improve your overall appeal of your property to potential guests.

Allow check-in/check-out on as many days as possible

Some holiday property owners and hosts set a specific arrival day and length of stay during peak holiday times, i.e. Friday to Friday, or Saturday to Saturday with a minimum 7-night booking. That may be OK for high season, but away from peak season, it is a good idea to offer guests more flexibility than this.

Think about the guest that wants to book your property and arrive on a day you don’t allow. Your property simply  won’t show up in their search and you’ll lose out on a potential booking. By allowing check-in and check-out on more days, you’ll get more eyes on your listing as you’ll show up in many more searches.

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Reduce your minimum nights stay

Our most successful properties are the ones offering shorter stays. Our data shows that the most popular length of stays are 1,2 and 7 nights. Properties with a minimum of 3, 4, 5, or 6 nights simply won’t appear in searches made by weekend or professional travellers. 

Reducing the minimum number of nights people need to stay can result in twice the number of bookings. We are also aware from our partnerships with Airbnb and Booking.com that 1 night stays attract more views and potential stays at your property.

Before you make this call you need to really understand who you’re appealing to. If you have a large property and are appealing to groups then you can probably rely on longer stays. However, if you’ve got a smaller property and are appealing primarily to couples then you should absolutely consider offering shorter stays.

Ensure a minimum of 90 days availability

The majority of the major booking channels we work with (Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, HomeAway,TripAdvisor, TUI and many more), require a property to have a minimum of 90 days availability in order to list it. It is therefore essential to set up your holiday property calendar with a minimum of 90 days availability per year.

We also recommend having availability and pricing set up for the next 24 months. Doing this will ensure your property shows up in searches being made by people who want to book ahead – helping you attract more bookings. 

Use Instant Book

Instant Book has a significant impact on booking volume – it removes the need for owners to pre-approve every booking. If a guest wants to book a property right away and it doesn’t offer Instant Book, they’ll simply look elsewhere. 

With Instant Book, guests can simply choose their dates and if the property is available, it can be booked straight away. All the major booking sites we work with (e.g. Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and many more), allow guests to filter searches using Instant Book – properties without this are not included in filtered searches. Not having Instant Book has a detrimental impact on the performance of your listing on channels. 

That’s why TravelNest uses Instant Book for all bookings received through our platform. When you become a TravelNest customer, Instant Book is automatically enabled for all properties and all listings that are managed through our platform. 

Lower your booking notice period

The booking notice period (also known as advance notice period on some channels) refers to the  number of days notice you require before a guest can arrive. We recommend keeping your booking notice period as low as possible – one day’s notice will help you attract last-minute bookings. 

Be realistic if blocking out dates

Your property may also be a holiday home for you and your family to enjoy, but blocking out every popular holiday date from Christmas to Easter and the long Summer holidays isn’t going to get you far when it comes to making a decent profit margin.

Try to be realistic in terms of when your family can visit (unless of course, you’re charging them), and when you want to make it available for paying guests. If you consistently block out swathes of dates on your holiday property calendar, the property will lose its appeal, fast. 

We don’t recommend blocking off your calendar for long periods of time unless absolutely necessary. If your property is unavailable for long periods of time, you risk being delisted by the channels. 

Be flexible with check-in and check-out times

Although most properties stick to established timings to make sure they have time to clean and reset after visitors have been in, your check-in times don’t need to be set in stone. Consider whether you can offer guests the option of early check-in or late check-out. If so, consider whether it’s something you’ll charge for or include as a complimentary service.

Charging makes sense if you need to alter the timings of your turnaround staff (if you have them), and if they will in turn charge you for different timings. Not charging for a later check-out will keep your guests happy.

How the TravelNest calendar works

The TravelNest calendar makes light work of managing your holiday property calendar and availability across multiple booking sites. Our calendar syncs all the channels you select in your account. You can choose to list on more than 30 major booking sites with TravelNest and your availability will be automatically updated across them all – saving you time and eliminating the stress of double-bookings.

Additionally, if you have listings outside TravelNest (such as a separate Airbnb listing that you maintain yourself, or your own booking website), you can use our iCal calendar sync to synchronise these external calendars too. For more information about the TravelNest calendar, read our handy customer guide. 

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about TravelNest

TravelNest gets your property seen in all the right places. We can list your property on over 30 of the best booking channels including Airbnb, Booking. com, Expedia, HomeAway, TUI and TripAdvisor.