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Rental Inquiry Response Time Study

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Promptly responding to rental inquiries is critically important to converting rental inquiries into rental bookings. Most vacation homeowners and Rental Managers (RMs) believe they respond promptly to all rental inquiries – but what really happens? VRS commissioned a study to determine exactly that; “How promptly do both typical owner-operated and RMs respond to rental inquiries?”

The average response time in the study was 8.73 hours. Less than 25% of the responses were within the ”golden” 1-hour window, the period of time regarded as most valuable to convert rental inquiries into rental income (and of course, what impression your prospective guests will have of their future experience). Surprisingly, nearly 1/3 of inquiries received no response! Not only is the initial response time important, it is obviously important to follow-up with the prospective guest. In this study, less than 5% of inquiries received a follow-up email beyond the initial email. In a time when every rental inquiry is an opportunity to generate rental income, every inquiry should be coveted.

There was a large disparity between responses from RMs and Owner-managed properties. RMs either responded promptly or did not at all. 38% of RMs responded within 1 hour, while an equally large group (36%) of RM’s sent no response, and unbelievably, only 2% of RMs sent a follow-up email. One clear difference from RM and Owner-managed responses: RM responses typically included an invitation to view other similar properties they manage

The results of this study overwhelmingly indicate that; low time-to-response, persistence in follow-up and focus on renting only your property rather than a “rental pool” are basic requirements to successfully differentiating your property from the competition and increasing rental revenues.

This much is very clear: to the extent potential rental guests typically book vacation properties that meet their requirements and responses are promptly and professionally managed, higher conversion rates and rental income should predictably follow.

Rapid Response is a core business practice at VRS. Our focus on connecting rental customers and owners “one-on-one” through technology infrastructure and lead management operating systems facilitate rental inquiry responses within 30 minutes. Rapid Response results in significantly higher inquiry conversion rates and rental income for our customers. VRS passes along the savings we’ve created in our business model to our customers, resulting in up to 65% increases in net rental income. VRS provides complementary rental income comparison audits upon request. VRS Rental Management Plans under our low fixed monthly fixed-fee program are just $130.00 per month for a 2-bedroom property.

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P.O. Box 2969 | Telluride, CO 81435