How to Be Successful With Your Farm Accommodation

How many of you have what you consider to be the best farm accommodation there is, but you just cannot get people to come to your establishment. What are you missing?


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    First of all, look at your farm accommodation critically and ask yourself, why should they visit your farm accommodation, rather than someone else's? What do you have to offer them that they can't get anywhere else?
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    Do you offer them value for money? Are your beds comfortable? Have you actually slept in the room to test this out? It's surprising how many accommodation owners have never done that. Why not? You need to know from first hand experience what it will be like for your guests to stay there. A lumpy pillow or mattress will neither bring you return custom, nor will it bode well for you via your best form of advertising; word of mouth. Is the room too hot in summer or too cold in winter? Is it quiet or is it next to the milking shed? Your guests have come to enjoy the quiet of the countryside, make sure they get what they have paid for.
    • When most people book into farm accommodation, they are not expecting d├ęcor that matches a 7 star hotel, but that doesn't mean that they will accept something that is mediocre either. What you are offering should either be better than what they have at home, or on a par. You will not have a happy guest if what you are offering is anything less. And why should they be happy with anything less, especially as they are paying you to stay in your accommodation. It comes full circle - people want value for money, they want to be comfortable, and they want to feel special.
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    Are you selling yourself properly? Do you have a website? Although many people book farm accommodation to escape to the country for some solitude, you also need to let them know that if they feel adventurous during their stay, there are places of interest close at hand. So therefore you need to mention these popular tourist places on your site. These places are a draw-card for your location, which creates another level of interest as to why they should book your accommodation.
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    What sets you apart from the thousands of farm accommodation in the country? Your answer should be superb customer service.
    • Superb customer service means going the extra mile, getting to know your guests' needs and trying to be accommodating. Even if you don't offer full-board, if you have guests who have traveled all day to get to you and arrive late, offer them a cup of soup and a roll. What that has cost you in monetary terms will have paid you back ten-fold in goodwill and free advertising. A small basket of basics on arrival for your guests renting your self-catering cottage is always welcome. Some homemade bread, jam, eggs, butter and milk can all be built into your cost, but when it is presented on arrival, the feeling is that you have made them feel special and the gesture will be positively received. This is particularly so when people may arrive over a weekend where local shops are shut and food may not be readily purchased until the Monday. Always think of the needs of your guests.
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    Share your knowledge of local activities and sights. Because you live in the area, you are an excellent resource for what to see and do in the vicinity. Collect local maps and brochures of places of particular interest and have these on display for your guests to look at. Some travel books, magazines and a general small library is always welcomed by those who love to read, especially on those rainy days.
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    Lastly, you need to advertise. You know you have beautiful accommodation to offer, but then millions of other farm owners around the world think so too. The competition is fierce. You only have to Google farm accommodation in any country and you come back with thousands of results. Some of you have your own web sites, but you are still not getting the traffic. This is because your web site is buried. Have you ever seen where you rank in the official Alex Rankings? Out of the 100 million pages on the Internet they will give you your ranking. If you are not in the top 1% you need to seriously re-look at your web site, because it means that you are just not being seen. Look up http:\\ and see where you rank. Are you in the top 3%?
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    If you are in the doldrums with your farm accommodation you need to re-invent yourself. Think of what the customer would want, and look at your establishment with a critical eye. Does it check all the right boxes? If not, it's time to make those changes!

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Categories: Online and Home Businesses