The Availability Calendar is when you show your potential customers which days are free to book, which days you special offers apply to and which days are reserved for guests or your own personal use.
It is vitally important that you keep your Availability Calendar up to date. One of travellers' biggest gripes is enquiring for a seemingly available property, only to be told it is booked for their chosen dates. Not keeping your calendar up-to-date is a dangerous habit to get into, because disorganisation can lead to mistakes like double bookings.
Many owners think that if they have a lot of free space on their calendar, travellers are more likely to make an enquiry. One popular myth is that if you don’t show when you are booked, you can convince enquirers who want to stay on booked up days to change their holiday plans, and book a stay when your holiday home is free.
This practise is very counter productive. Travellers know the specific dates they want to travel. They have work, family and social commitments, so are unlikely to change their plans to suit you. Also, in the days of booking holidays online, travellers expect a quick and convenient service. It takes just a few minutes to book a hotel room online, or a flight with a leading airline. If the holiday rentals industry wants to thrive, owners have to offer a service that is as straight forward as possible. Most travellers are going to find days of back and forth emails very frustrating and are likely to move onto one of your competitors.
Holiday lettings businesses are shooting themselves in the foot by not keeping their Availability Calendars up to date because they are making themselves look unpopular. People like to conform to the safety in numbers rule. If they see that you are taking a lot of bookings they’ll feel reassured that you offer a great self catering accommodation service. If they think that you haven’t taken any bookings they are likely to assume that there is something wrong with your property.