8 Proven Ways to Advertise Your Vacation Rental
As a vacation rental owner, you want to get your properties out there for people to see and book. There are numerous ways to advertise your vacation rental business online, through marketing services or DIY marketing practices. Here are eight tips and tricks on how to improve your marketing strategy, stand out in the rental market, and capture the attention of potential guests searching for their next vacation spot.
Start With a Catchy Title
You only have a matter of seconds before someone scrolls past your listing in their search for a vacation rental home. The way people scroll through websites and social media is like skimming on hyper-speed. Your listing title is one of the first things potential guests will see when deciding whether to book your place. The title helps to give vacationers an idea of what your place has to offer, and so you need your title to stand out among the numerous listings on booking sites.
Make your title click-worthy and attention-grabbing; this can be done by accentuating your vacation rental home’s specific qualities. For example, “Entire Home On Miami Coast” might get lost among all the similar coastal listings in Miami. Something like, “Beautiful Beachfront Home With a Perfect View,” is more in tune with people’s vacation dreams. Advertise your property’s specific features in the title. If your property has a well-furnished outdoor living space, let the title reflect that. If it is newly renovated, has a hot tub, or excellent parking availability, let travelers know immediately!
Identify the outstanding qualities or features in your home and advertise them in the listing title.
Pictures are another way potential guests make instant judgments when scrolling through booking sites. The pictures you post on vacation rental listing sites play a huge role in whether or not people book your place. Try using professional cameras and lighting. Make sure your home is looking clean, organized, and well-decorated before the photoshoot. Highlight your vacation home’s major selling points and include those attention-grabbing features in the photos.
Another tip is to make sure your photos are compatible with the photo requirements on listing sites and apps. Overstretched, blurry, or pixelated photos may come across as untrustworthy to potential guests. You should also make sure to upload photos that clearly depict your vacation home as it currently stands. You want to avoid disappointing guests upon arrival and consequently receiving negative reviews that say your place does not match the pictures online.
Upload high-quality, current pictures of your home on vacation rental listing sites to make the best (and most accurate) first impression possible.
Concise descriptions should accompany the quality photos you upload to your listing. Here is where you can get more detailed and specific about all that your home has to offer. Again, make sure to include outstanding features that you don’t want to go unnoticed. Make your description visually clear (i.e. bullet points) and easy to read. Vacationers are not looking for flowery language in your descriptions; they want to know the legitimate details of your home.
Your description should be well-written, emphasize your home’s major selling point, and answer any important questions (like how many beds does it have?) the guest may have. It may also be beneficial to include home safety features to let potential guests know they will be secure while staying in your place. If writing isn’t your thing, don’t fret. There are numerous freelancing sites where you can hire people to write your descriptions, including Fiverr and Upwork.
Pull in potential guests with clear and concise descriptions that highlight your home’s best features.
Positive Online Reviews
Potential guests also look at online reviews to determine whether or not they want to book your vacation home. Online reviews carry a lot of influence. If you receive low-star ratings, numerous complaints, and negative comments in the review section of your online listing, many travelers are going to see that as a red flag. The most effective way to avoid negative reviews is to provide excellent customer service and guest experience. This includes being an attentive host or vacation rental manager, responding to questions and concerns right away through direct communication, providing easy check-in and check-out instructions, and going above and beyond for your guests.
After a guest’s stay, you want your hard work to be reflected online in positive reviews. Politely ask guests to remember to leave a review a little while after their stay. You could even try incentivizing the process by offering special perks or discounts to your guests for writing reviews.
Ensure your guests leave positive reviews so future travelers feel more inclined to choose your home on their next trip.
Advertising has certainly changed since the emergence of social media. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow businesses to interact directly with their audience. As a vacation rental business owner, consider setting up social media pages so you can advertise your properties completely on your own terms. Social media offers the marketing freedom to personally manage all of your own accounts.
To garner a strong and engaged following, make sure you consistently post quality content in the form of videos or images. Go beyond your home too and advertise the city around you. Highlighting local attractions will drive online traffic to your location and rental home. Social media also offers the excellent marketing feature of tagging. Tag your rental properties with popular hashtags both globally and locally. By tagging your pictures or videos, your images will pop up in search results for all users to see. Another benefit is social media’s mobility. Market while on the go. Directly interact with potential guests on your phone. Upload content from your phone or tablet galleries. Social media is a versatile, convenient, and personal approach to online advertising.
Take your vacation rental marketing plan social and interact with potential guests on some of the most popular social media platforms.
Build Your Own Website
Being active on social media is a great way to get your name out there. Having a business website is an added way to increase online traffic and flex your professional muscles. A well organized, bug-free website will help solidify your vacation rental business’s online legitimacy, which ultimately helps potential guests trust you and your properties. Your own vacation rental website is also a great way to create and market your own brand that stands out in the rental industry. There are numerous website-building services to help you get started, including Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
Your own website is a great way to establish your business’ independence while still advertising on numerous booking sites.
Speaking of booking sites, you should be on them. Platforms like AllTheRooms, Booking.com, Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and Homestay aggregate millions of listings for travelers to search through. This is where you upload your rental listings, complete with your catchy title, excellent photos, and concise descriptions. Vacation rental homeowners can list their long-term and short-term rentals to a massive audience of potential guests and benefit from booking sites’ built-in marketing and advertising services. Listing your property on booking sites allows you to accept online booking and payment. Booking sites are free, subscription-based, or commission based.
Maximize your online visibility by listing your vacation rental homes on top booking sites.
SEO & Data Reporting
Include SEO and data analytics in your marketing strategy. Tracking SEO helps you know the keywords necessary to maximize online traffic. Knowing keywords for search optimization will strengthen the titles and descriptions you write for your listings. Make a note of high performing words that yield the best search results to climb the Google ladder. The more successfully you integrate SEO, the more online visibility you will garner. Vacation rental apps like MyVR, iGMS, and Streamline offer built-in data analytics and SEO reports.
Use these helpful tips to improve your advertising strategy. Happy marketing!
About the author: Emily Russo is a writer based in New York. She loves traveling, meeting new people, reading, and being outdoors. She hopes to travel to Italy 500,000 more times in her lifetime.