How to Brand Your Vacation Rental Business
The vacation rental industry has grown substantially over the past decade, and vacationers can find an endless list of places to stay. In an increasingly competitive sphere, branding helps your business stand out, attract potential guests, and retain loyal clients.
Branding communicates what guests can expect from your vacation rental through elements like your property name, logo, design, and messaging. Consistent branding combined with an outstanding guest experience ensures that customers recommend your property to others and keep loyal vacationers coming back. Here are some tips on how to brand your vacation rental business:
Defining Your Brand Experience
Before trying to handle different elements of branding like the logo and web design, you’ll want to establish the experience that your vacation management company offers. This will help define your brand and keep branding consistent.
It may help to write up a short paragraph summarizing your vacation rental(s). Property owners might want to consider the following questions when writing a brand description:
- How do you position your vacation rental in terms of pricing? (luxury, mid-range, or budget)
- What makes your property stand out to guests? (great neighborhood, beach access, close to particular tourist attraction, plenty of amenities)
- How would you describe the vibe/personality of your vacation rental(s)? (modern, historic charm, family-friendly)
Designing the Look and Feel
Vacation rental managers should come up with a look and feel that effectively communicates the experience you provide your guests.
Creating a Brand Name
You’ll want to create a brand name that helps your properties stand out and reaches potential guests looking for the experience you provide. The name alone should communicate a great deal about your short term rentals. Do you own a string of properties with gorgeous mountain views? Then names like “Bella Vista” (Beautiful View) or “Mountain Villas” would work great. Perhaps you own several centrally-located city apartments. In that case, brand names like “Downtown Living” or “CityScapes” might make a better fit. A short and simple name will quickly capture your brand and communicate what potential guests can expect from your vacation rental in a concise way.
Designing a Logo
A vacation rental business needs a logo that effectively expresses the brand. You can hire someone to design your logo for relatively low cost, especially on logo design sites where graphic designers compete to create a custom logo. Before spending the money to have a logo created, make sure to have a clear idea about your brief so designers understand your brand. (You can use the brand description paragraph mentioned in the previous section as a brief for designers).
Branding through Photographs and Videos
If you own several managed properties, make sure property photographs always have a high quality, unified, look and feel. Use the same filters (with either Instagram or Photogramio) and color overlays (with Photoshop). A vacation listing site may also allow you to include your vacation rental logo in the bottom corner of each photograph (like adding your brand stamp). If you own properties near a famous monument, make sure to include a photo or two of the nearby attractions when you post listings.
Developing a Brand Standard
A brand standard refers to a set of guidelines for colors, fonts, and messaging. Developing a brand standard ensures consistency that holds your brand together and builds a firm brand identity. You’ll use this across your website and social media to communicate the overall “vibe” of your vacation rental.
For example, if your properties offer historical charm, you may want to choose traditional, calligraphy-style font in classic colors like black or grey. Beach vacation rentals might choose nautical color schemes in navy blue and aqua. Does your short-term rental consist of modern home decor? Then opt for minimalistic fonts with clean lines and geometric shapes. These seemingly small details can have a big impact on how vacation rental brands come across to potential guests.
Getting Your Brand Out There
Using all the branding elements (logo, brand standards, and property photographs), vacation rental owners can begin marketing their vacation rental online.
Your website should include all the branding elements discussed above like the brand description, logo, font, photographs, and video. If you have the time and experience, you can create a DIY website on your own. If your budget allows, you may also want to hire a professional web designer to build your vacation rental website. Either way, make sure the branding stays consistent.
Email, Newsletters, and Blog Posts
Emails, newsletters, and blog posts provide a way to stay in touch with new and loyal clients. Make sure to include all branding elements when communicating with guests, whether through the inquiry template, confirmation emails, newsletters, or blogs. Remember to include the same font, font size, and font color, and messaging tone and add logos in the same location on all messages.
Social media provides an effective way to reach potential guests and stay in touch with existing ones. Social media pages should stay in-line with your branding. Don’t forget to include your logo, brand description, and photographs/videos. You can also use social media to post updates on new/remodeled properties, available short-term rentals, and travel guides relevant to your properties. Remember to ensure the tone of all posts follows your brand messaging.
Branding In Your Rentals
Cohesive Interior Design
Property interior and exterior design should stay consistent with branding. You may want the decor to reflect the property location and nearby attractions. For example, beachfront properties can include coastal styles while mountain rentals would do better with rustic looks. English-style interior or French Provincial would suit vacation rentals in the countryside.
Considering the Details
You can tie everything together by including all the branding elements in the actual properties themselves. Your welcome book and any notes in the house should incorporate your logo and brand standards like font and color scheme. You can make the extra effort of creating a leather-bound welcome book to go with your rustic, mountain property or order fresh flowers for your garden cottage.
Again, language should reflect the same tone used on the website, emails, and social media. If you’re going for historical charm, you may want to use more formal language. With family-friendly rentals, messaging can take a more light-hearted approach and even include a bit of humor.
Look for clever ways to include branding in all the minor details. Make sure to use your logo whenever possible, like on each page of the welcome book, notes left in the house, or even the bow on a bottle of champagne. You can incorporate branding in the WiFi name and password by using your short-term rental(s’) name. Vacation rental managers can name rooms to reflect branding. A country cottage can have names of flowers hand-painted on each door like the Rose, Lavender, or Tulip guest rooms.
As the vacation rental business becomes more competitive, you’ll want to make sure that your property stands outs. Use branding as a way to communicate what your guests can expect from their stay and create a memorable experience so vacationers return and recommend your property to friends and family.
About the author: Originally from Pennsylvania, Allison Dienstman lives as a digital nomad working as a freelance writer. Her travels over the past decade have taken her through China, Israel, India, and Europe. Allison also enjoys yoga, paddleboarding, cooking, and having a laugh with friends.