11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2012 5:39 PM by jan.stevens RSS

    Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls

    New Member

      Good Morning Gang! What are some incentives you offer for return bookings and referrals I have had the best luck with my guests and would love to have a situation where we have consistent guests returning each year. Also What type of "Thank you" is suggested for a super guest and review.

      I have wondered about gift cards, or a night off on a return booking of five nights one night free. something like that, open to suggestions and thank you all for your input and sharing your knowledge.

      All the best Candace

        • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls

          Hi , for the first year on my own rather than the year before paying nearly 45% to a well known company, I offered 15% off any advertised price for returners from the year before and got two bites.(so far). Offering next year returners 10% off + no damage deposit needed.

            • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls
              msdebj Senior Contributor

              I normally offer my returning guests a 10% discount, and at times have waived the Damage Deposit.


              This year I've started an "Excellent Guest List". I'm telling my really good renters they've been added to it and will offer the same 10% discount, but on a case by case I'll throw in some other freebees, depending on the length of their stay. Could be a $50 Visa card, or free passes to a local venue, etc.

              We'll see how this works out!


            • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls
              carol Premier Contributor

              I've been offering a 5% returning renter discount, and I cut the deposit in half for the really good renters. Also, since my returnees usually sign up as they are leaving, they often get 5% off a rate that hasn't yet been increased for the next year, a double bonus.  


              It does cut into my profit --  but it's worth it to have reliable guests who treat your house with respect.

              • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls
                thaxterlane Senior Contributor

                First, my home is an excellent value for the location and amenities - an important starting point.


                Next, I offer returning guests the same weekly rate they paid in the first year.  Since I raise my rates approx 5% each year the returning party is always paying a lower rate than new guests.


                I don't advertise it because my season is fully booked from year to year without advertising it.  My return guests average half ot he eighteen to twenty weeks I rent each year.  Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on their vacation plans for a particular year.


                I do think the initial price point is the most important in attracting return business.  If your guests feel they have received more, or as much as, the vaule of the rent, they will return. 


                Another form of incentive is to update your property with amenities that will appeal to your client base.  I ask my guests what works and what doesn't work and I make adjustments accordingly. 


                Many of my guests have been renting from us for more than ten years, they laughingly refer to my home as their summer home. . It's great!


                Due to the popularity of the overall location, the number of returning guests I have gained, and the overall interest in my home, I do not use any other incentives. 

                • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls
                  dogwoodridge Contributor

                  For guests who left my home in great condition and I give them "preferred guest status" and they can return without paying the security deposit.  For people who left a fantastic review I offered a free night for their next stay in addition to paying no deposit, but I've since changed that to 10% off their next stay.  So far, I've had one who wanted to use their free night, but she has yet to give me any solid dates.




                  • Re: Ideas for Incentives for return bookings and referalls
                    jan.stevens Community All-Star

                    I offer returning guests a 5% discount for their next booking. Although, the discount does not apply to High Season bookings (August - September) nor to Holiday dates. This offer is included in my follow up e-mail after their stay. It includes links to post their review plus the 5% offer.


                    I just had a returning guest book in High Season and I thought that I needed to offer them something for their return. I am going to leave them a large bottle of wine as a "returning guest thank you." In BC the bottle is worth about $40 and but I will purchase it for $9 - $12 in the states.


                    A couple times of the year I send out a "GoDaddy direct e-mail" to my past guests promoting off season rates: Book "3 nights and receive 50% off the 3rd night". or "book 5 nights and get the 5th night free."   I have also offered dinner coupons to a local restaurant if they have booked 3 nights. It helps to promote and support the local island businesses during the winter, aka Off Season.


                    Depending, sometimes I have a promotion end date or I put a limit on the number of the offers and once I have several bookings (maybe 7-10) and my calendar looks fuller, I then end the promotion. It is amazing what a full calendar will do for creating incentive for additional bookings.