Inbox Avalanche? 3 Ways to Turn VR Inquiries into Gold
Can you ever have too much of a good thing?
Vacation Rental Managers (VRMs) may be tempted to answer “Yes!” when they gaze at the avalanche of email inbox leads. What’s going on here?
Shifts in the hospitality market have put vacation rentals on the map like never before. The Sharing Economy has more travelers looking to vacation rentals as a viable option for their stay. That includes both business and leisure markets. As the popularity of listing sites like HomeAway and VRBO skyrocket, they send a flood of inquiries to Vacation Rental Managers’ inboxes.
That’s more potential revenue–a very good thing, right? Yes, if you can promptly and effectively follow up on those leads. Which brings us to…
3 Solutions that Turn Inbox Inquiries into Gold
Challenge #1: Listing sites flood you with leads, leads, leads
Here are some statistics from the 130 VRs that use our NAVIS Narrowcast listing lead management technology:
- Three years ago, 6% of our VR clients’ business came from lead generating inquiries from online listing sites such as HomeAway, VRBO, and FlipKey
- Today, the proportion of business from these listing sites averages 25%
Despite this significant jump, VRs across the country report that they only convert 5% of listing site inquiries. That means 95% of potential revenue gets left on the table!
A major reason: listing sites deliver a separate email for each property inquiry. A potential guest may inquire about 4 properties on one site and 2 of the same properties on a second. Your inbox gets hit with six leads from two different sites–all from the same potential guest. No wonder inquiries build to avalanche proportions!
Solution: The new NAVIS Listing Lead Management (LLM) system consolidates all lead data from email (and telephone) inquiries from the same household into one record. You can access that data with the NAVIS Narrowcast Dashboard and follow up on that business quicker and easier.
Challenge #2: You must open every email to determine which leads are most valuable
Solution: NAVIS LLM lets you rank inquiries according to the metrics of your choice (daily rate, length of stay, requested booking dates, etc.). The system automatically queues up leads according to the value to your business at the time of the inquiry and routes them to the highest converter on your sales team–or according to any other skill metric you choose.
Challenge #3: You need more resources to follow up quickly on valuable leads.
The VR market is competitive. Even with leads organized and ranked, you may not have enough sales agents to ensure that the most valuable leads get immediate attention.
Solution: NAVIS Auto-Agent automatically responds to inquiries based on attributes such as availability, property recommendations, and repeat guest recognition. Plus, the NAVIS Narrowcast Dashboard tracks whether the potential guest opened or forwarded the auto response email.
Here are three more ways NAVIS helps you zero in on your most valuable guests:
- It manages all email and telephone leads in one system with features controlled by a single dashboard
- It’s free of charge to all NAVIS Narrowcast clients
- You can leverage your collected CRM lead data with NAVIS Reach to create personalized marketing campaigns that reach each potential guest at just the right time in their travel planning cycle
Want to learn more about how to convert that avalanche of leads into increased revenue? Vacation rental companies are invited to a free webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST to learn about the latest tricks and tools to better manage listing inquiries and drive more bookings. Click here to register.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing everyone next week at the 2015 NAVIS Leaders Conference at the beautiful Rosen Centre Hotel in (warm and sunny) Orlando, Florida.
Michelle Marquis, NAVIS VP Marketing and Strategic Initiatives