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10 Tips For Responding An An Enquiry

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When someone emails you about your property, that is only half the dance – how you respond is crucial, because this first point of contact is your opportunity to serenade someone into feeling good about you and your home. Here’s what I know on the subject:

1. React first   Most people looking for accommodation will email a shortlist of candidates with an enquiry. If you are the first person to respond, you have the best chance to make the booking. So check your emails often.

2. Save time  You can use pre-written emails that cover the usual communications: first enquiry, payment enquiry, rental contract, and directions. Then you just copy and paste these into a reply and tailor them as necessary. A great time-saver.

3.  Identify Yourself   You’re probably not the only person the enquirer has emailed so identify yourself by including their message in your reply. It’s also a good idea to add the web address of your website after your sign-off-they can then click through to the site and fall for its charms again.

4.  Use questions to say more There are usually questions attached to email enquiries. When you answer these questions, try placing the enquirer in the property. If they ask about the size of the bed, tell them what a lovely view there is from the bed in the morning. If they ask about the garden, say how lovely it is to be cooking at the barbecue as the sun is setting.

5. Get them involved tell them a story.  How you found the house, why you love it, how you renovated it, its history. Then tell them about the local area, what are your favourite places, restaurants, activities, etc. In a sense, make them fall for it like you did. Make them feel involved and it will be harder for them to say no.

6. Tell them something they don’t know It sounds contrary, but try holding something back from your ad/site, which you can reveal when they enquire. Not something big like a pool, but something like ‘We have hairdryers in the bathrooms so you don’t have to pack them’, ‘We have a library of classic films’, ‘Local phone calls are free’. These will not break a deal, but they may just make one, especially in a market of similar properties.

7. Already booked  If you get an enquiry for a period that is booked, suggest a week that is not booked-some people will change their dates if they really like the property.

8. Tone of voice Tone of voice is important. Don’t talk to them like a hotel does, because they don’t want to book a hotel. Talk to them as if you are writing a letter to a friend. Let them get to know and trust you and they will be much more likely to book your house instead of another.

9. Call to action  At the end of your email, make sure you state what you would like to happen next, e.g. ‘Please let me know if you’d like to go ahead and book’. Sometimes a little nudge is all that’s needed.

10. Telephone or email?  People who switch from replying by email to telephoning say that their conversion rate improves dramatically. Your response time will be quicker and if they like you they may commit there and then. But this is not best for everyone-if you come across poorly on the phone but write well you will be better off charming your prospect by email.