f you are in the rentals industry, you want to have rental rules that ensure that that equipment is rented as much as possible. Doing this will maximize your earning potential. Let's learn how to ensure that your rentals are always booked by properly setting up your booking rules.
Booking Time Rules
For rentals such as boats, your rental time will be based on your daily hours of operation. Typically this means 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM or some close variation. In order to achieve the most earning potential each day, you will want to offer a full day rental and half day options (morning and afternoon). This is usually what a customer will want if they plan to go fishing, snorkeling, tubing or skiing.
Fewer Options = More Income
The best scenario is to setup your booking system, so the start time options are limited to a few choices that will allow you to have either the whole day booked by one party of two bookings (morning and afternoon) a day.
The setup shown below from the Booking Central system is designed to offer morning, full day, and afternoon rentals. The renter can only choose a start time of 9:00 am or 2:00 pm.
By limiting the start times in the setup, it ensures that your boat will be rented for the entire day, either by one customer (Full Day) or two customers (Half Day).
A quick tip
Notice how the setup leaves an hour in between the morning and afternoon rentals? This is done on purpose to allow for cleaning, gas and supplies re-fill before your next rental. You can choose to adjust this as needed, but having a clean and ready to go boat will lead to higher customer satisfaction.
If you didn't limit this time option and gave the customer the opportunity to select any start time and end time, then it would leave it open to selecting a time that wouldn't allow for 2 rentals in one day. Thus lowering your earning potential. For example, a customer could choose a start time at 11:00 am for 4 hours, which wouldn't allow for another booking for that day, leaving your boat unbooked for several hours.
Can I make an exception?
Of course! Another key feature that is a must with any booking system, is to allow for flexibility in booking rules. Booking Central allows you to create time rules that are only an option when booking through the back office, and not shown to customers booking online. This will allow you to choose a rental time that works best for you if a customer calls in or walks into your rental shop. This is a necessary feature to still keep track of your bookings through the system, but be able to allow a party to book outside these rental times. If it's a slow week or a weekday, it is a great option to ask a customer to reach out for custom time slots.