You and I seem to have similar questions. I too had worried in the past about views vs. Inquiries and Inquiries vs rentals. I don't believe you should get too wrapped up in it. I would recommed that you do a chart over the next year and see where you stand. The only true answer to your question about visits vs inquiries and inquiries vs rental is what is your intent with the rental. Do you rarely use it for personal use and the home is simply a rental or do you use it frequently and simply want to assist w/ the mortgage?
I have found that there are a few things that will impact visits to create more inquiries; price, reviews and amenities. Most people look at price first and then look at the post. I almost always put in my post to read our reviews. When a person reads the reviews they gain general insight to the home that no picture or price can do. They become more attached to the home and typically will set up an inquiry.
Another thing to consider are your amenities. We recently added a hot tub and found that our inquiries quadruppled! Look at other local rentals. Compare price, amenities, and calendar. If they offer what you don't then you either need to drop your rate or add the amenity.
We went from 1 inquiry per 550 visits to 1 inquiry per 220 visits. While I am not sure how that stands in the VRBO world, I am confident it is a good number for us.
Welcome to Community! This is the perfect place to gather the information you’re looking for. You may find this discussion useful as a few owners shared their ratio of bookings to inquiries. Owners also shared ideas on how to improve the number of inquiries they converted into bookings in this discussion. Also, you can see this article about improving your bookings to inquiries ratio.
I hope this information is useful.
All the best,
wrdwzrd, I commend you for wanting to learn more about the statistical side of booking your rental. Over my time with vacation rentals, I have come to realize that measuring is the only way (from the very start of the traffic process, to the very end of a guest's post-stay review) to improve. I wish I had realized this earlier
Here are some of the findings from my research:
- Inquiries per visit is a direct product of the quality of your website. Do you have a prominent call to action? Is your inbound traffic targetted? Do you rank well organically for pertinent phrases...etc.
- The average vacation rental has a reservation rate of about 15% (meaning 1.5 out of every 10 inquiries actually make a reservation).
- There are a number of ways you can bump up this reservation rate (the top of which is getting the guest on the phone)
- The Contact Us form (or however your guests contact you via your website) has a direct impact on the quality of your inquiries. Striking the right balance of questions, length, style...etc is key.
I would highly recommend starting a simple excell document with the following columns: lead, source, description, booking (yes/no).
We have a log of about 4 years worth of this data and have narrowed down the techniques that statistically bring us closer to sealing a reservation. If you really want to get fancy, you can start tracking reservation length as well (how many nights they book). A great question and a big CHEERS for those who strive to measure what's working and what's not!
Matt research and more goodies can be found on his blog, Vacation Rental Marketing Diaries...
Great topic, as we all want to know how much energy we have to devote to follow up of replies and expectations.
I use several websites and find that VRBO and Homeaway generate the most inquiries; however the actual booking is higher on Homeaway than in VRBO, I don't know why. Other sites that I use have a higher sales ratio although a lower number of inquiries, this may be due to the method HA & VRBO use that promote multiple requests without any effort from the guest.
My ratio ranges from 5% to 20% depending on the site people are using.