A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from one of our villa owners in Spain, with a glowing testimonial from some repeat guests she had staying. The villa is marketed by an agency we work with, family holiday specialists Tots to Travel, with whom the guests had booked their stay.
You may know that Rental Tonic advocate using a range of channels to market your holiday property, but including a specialist niche holiday agency in the mix can be incredibly useful as you get to know your market and take advantage of their expertise.
The testimonial that my owner sent me was a perfect example of what happens when you take the time to understand your ideal guest and deliver the kind of holidays they want and deserve.
Here is what the guests wrote to the owner – but the real lesson is in how the owner replied in return, so do read on to find out…
“Dear Cristina & Christian,
I wanted to put in writing all of our thanks to both of you for such a fantastic holiday. From the booking process through to arrival home and the return of the security deposit, you have a lovely personal and thorough approach, thinking of everything ahead of us.
When returning to a holiday venue for a second time, there is always a risk that it is not going to be as perfect as you remember, this time it was even more perfect than we remembered and a very different experience given that we returned with not one child, but 5 children and really tested out your family friendly Finca! Holidaying with children aged 8 months, 2 years, two six year olds and a 11 year old was a challenging combination, but they all enjoyed themselves and the range of inside and outside toys, the pool, DVD’s and the spacious environment all made for a wonderful time.
The equipment for my 8 month old nephew was extensive and really did mean that all we needed to bring were clothes, milk, bottles, juice cup and the usual calpol etc. the things one never leaves home without. The only thing we could suggest for future guests was a playpen or travel cot for use outside under the sails – this would have given us somewhere to put William safely with a few toys if required.
I guess the fact that that is the only thing we have come up with shows just how well equipped the Finca is for children…. With a passion for cooking I personally really enjoyed the different options for cooking – inside, outside oven and BBQ and the recipe books. The file you have put together guiding guests how to cook in the outside oven and suggested recipes was fabulous and I was proud to produce a lovely roast chicken one evening. The highlight from the children’s perspective was the pizza evening where they all got to build their own pizza, presenting me with them to cook in the oven next to the olive wood fire – I have some super pictures and lovely memories!
I didn’t get to thank you personally Cristina for sorting out our booking for the Guided Tour …The seats that you managed to secure for us were the best in house… The restaurant at Zahra was another thing we wouldn’t have missed, in various combinations of family we went back four times…. Ben really enjoyed his bike and was thankful for your advice Christian, your suggested routes and most importantly as I think he had underestimated how hot and strenuous riding in the heat would be – the aqua pack you lent him…
I could go on and on but I guess I am going to have to close somewhere, so we thank you both for providing such a wonderful property, stress free experience and for helping us to bring home some very special holiday memories.
Warmest regards Salli Pilcher”
Now don’t we all wish we could have such lovely guests?? Maybe its not so hard to achieve. Take a look at the owner’s reply…
Thank you so much for your wonderful email. Being so new to this business it means a lot to us to hear your thoughts. Your feedback, from last year, and again this year is invaluable to me. You use the finca in very different way to me and my family (we all sit inside hiding from the sun during summer months), and of course a playpen or travel cot would be perfect for use when outside.
I actually have 3 travel cots there, so I certainly can delegate one immediately to outdoor use. I will also look into play pens, but I am pleased to say that I can act on your feedback NOW.
It really is a pleasure having you and your family stay in our finca. You look after the place so well, to the point that you have watered plants when the irrigation failed last summer, and your mother does the laundry!! What more could I ask for?
Thank YOU for being the perfect clients.”
At the end of the summer holiday season we always encourage owners to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and the most useful part of this is gathering guest feedback and testimonials to use as “social proof” in your marketing – or as a learning curve should that be the case.
If you would like to learn more about how to be successful in the family holiday niche then do get in touch via our contact page and if you liked this post then sign up for the Rental Tonic newsletter.