How To Start Marketing Your Vacation Rental Properties
If you’re getting into the crowded vacation rental business, learning how to market your vacation rental property effectively is one of the most important factors in your success.
While the short-term market as a whole is definitely booming, it can feel like you’re a small fish in a big pond with all the competition out there.
So, how do you make your rental property stand out? How do you get attention from people looking to rent a vacation property in your area?
Here are 10 things for you to consider when starting to market your vacation rental property:
List Your Properties (Nearly) Everywhere
With Airbnb, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and all of the other booking platforms out there, how do you choose which site to list your rental property on?
The good news is, you don’t have to.
While each site has the ability for you to update your availability calendar and pricing, it does not take long to become overwhelming when managing properties across multiple platforms. Thankfully, there is a solution for managing properties across multiple distribution channels.
With property management and channel management software, you can list your property on all the major booking sites as well as many niche ones you may not have heard of. Basically, channel management software allows you to display properties across multiple platforms. These services distribute your property across anywhere from 1-50 platforms with the same availability and pricing.
Then, when you receive a booking, they automatically update your availability calendar across all of the platforms you’re listed on. You can ready more about selecting the right property management software in this article.
Take Great Pictures Of Your Vacation Rental
Pictures are one of the most important parts of getting people to click on your listing.
Humans are visual in nature. In fact, half of our brain is indirectly or directly devoted to visual processing. So it makes sense that if something looks more appealing, we react to it in a more positive way.
For a rental listing, this means better-looking pictures can draw more clicks and bookings.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a photographer (although this would be a very good idea) – you just need to make sure your pictures do a good job at selling your property.
If you plan on going DIY, here are some quick guidelines for you to follow when compiling the photos of your property:
- Make use of composite lighting techniques. This allows you to show off the interior beauty of the property and capture the great view outside the window.
- Take photos in a way that shows off the flow of how your rooms connect. Consider also including a floor plan as a photo.
- Take lots of photos. 20 or more.
Write An Attractive Property Title
When writing your title think about this as one of the most important factors in how you market your vacation rental. You want to include some attractive details about the property so people become interested and click to see more.
For example, instead of writing something generic like “Luxury Log Cabin”, try something more descriptive that includes some features of the property, such as “Luxury 5 Bedroom Log Cabin – Amazing View, Hot Tub, and Fire Pit.”
Suddenly, those reading your listing title can picture themselves in your property.
Include A Detailed Description Of Your Vacation Rental
Equally important to the title is the property description for your vacation rental.
In your description, it’s important to be straightforward and honest. If the property is run by a management company, say so. Construction? Be transparent about that.
Communicate these negative aspects as more informative than off-putting.
“As with many vacation destinations, the area is rapidly expanding. Because of this, you may experience nearby construction during your stay.”
Beyond providing a well-rounded & friendly description, you can also utilize techniques to improve your description & search rankings at the same time. Consider using a tool like Rankbreeze for Airbnb search optimization. Rankbreeze reverse engineers top-performing properties in your market and recommends listing updates.
Reach Out To Relevant Non-OTA Travel Sites
Another way to market your vacation rental is to get it listed on other types of vacation rental listing sites that are not OTAs like Airbnb and Vrbo.
For example, if you have a vacation rental property in Austin, Texas, the goal would be to get listed on pages that list Austin, Texas vacation rental properties – like this one. In addition, if you are a customer of StayFi, you can get your rental management brand listed in The StaySource.
To find these pages, simply type “vacation rental properties in –your city–” and reach out to the site asking them to include your listing. There may also be blogs and other content websites that discuss travel in your destination. For a free night, you may be able to get a great review and content for your business.
Not only will this increase exposure of your rental property to people actively seeking one out, but it will provide a good SEO boost to your website (if you have one).
Price Strategically or Use A Vacation Rental Pricing Tool
You shouldn’t have the same price year round. For best results, you want to price differently depending on a number of factors:
- If your property is new, price low to get reviews on booking sites.
- Price according to demand and seasonality in your local marketing
- Price to influence the perception of your target audience. When the price is higher, for example, – people perceive it as a more luxury rental.
Many vacation rental managers also use automated pricing tools that leverage algorithms to help you maximize profitability. Some option to consider are Beyond Pricing, PriceLabs, OutSwitch, Wheelhouse, and AirDNA.
Rentalizer the Airbnb Calculator, allows you to enter any address in the world, and access annual revenue, ADR and occupancy projections based on historical data, competitor index, and market revenue growth.
Start A Vacation Rental Blog
Blogging is a great way to increase the exposure of your property to travelers through search engines.
If you create web pages about travel topics in your area that rank well in Google, you’ll then have website traffic that consists of people looking to travel to your area.
With this, you can promote your rental property to these readers within your articles.
If you write about topics targeting people looking to travel to your location, this traffic can easily convert into bookings.
Respond To Rental Booking Inquiries Immediately
If people reach out to multiple rental properties and you respond first, you’re much more likely to get the deal.
In fact, if you respond within an hour of them contacting you, your conversions will be 7x greater than if you don’t.
Since only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour, this will give you a huge competitive advantage.
If you have a guest that really enjoyed their stay, you can increase your bookings by encouraging them to refer their friends and family to your property.
One way you can accomplish this is by giving them coupons to give to their friends for a discount off their first booking.
If you want to take it a step further, offer both parties – the referrer and referee – a discount if a referral is made. This way, there’s something in it for both of them.
This isn’t a new business practice. Dropbox grew its service entirely through referral marketing.
Deploy A Vacation Rental Direct Bookings Strategy
In the past view years, the vacation rental #bookdirect movement has taken on more momentum as property managers want to reduce their dependency on Airbnb and Vrbo. You can read more about in-depth vacation rental booking strategies in this article.
The most important factor in driving direct bookings is having an attractive, easy to use website. PMS like Lodgify have made its extremely easy to set up great vacation rental direct booking site.
In order to collect guest emails and other data for remarketing, we also recommend setting up StayFi, so you can greet every guest with a branded WiFi splash screen. This way you can use email marketing to market your vacation rental to all of your past guests, both the bookers and the rest of the guests.