Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been renting homes for years, it’s important to adapt to the current market.
Vacation renting, or short-term lodging is a concept that has been around for hundreds of years. With all the advances in the travel and information industries, it’s becoming important to adapt to the marketplace to make sure that your property is getting the right kind of reach.
Here are a couple of online basics that will drive business your way.
1. Get Your Property On A Listing Channel
There are hundreds of listing channels for you to put your property on. They range from major conglomerates with small divisions like the HomeAway family, or classifieds similar to Craigslist and Kijiji. Then there are niche marketplaces, for example, SmokyMountains.com, that focus on hyper-specific kind of rentals.
There’s a variety of channels available. The best way to get listed on the ones you want, simultaneously, is to invest in a channel manager. Much like Futurestay, which allows you to be featured on all these channels, plus get automation.
Whether you opt for a channel management tool or do it manually, it’s important to be featured within these marketplaces. In no order of importance, here are a few listing sites:
There are dozens, if not, hundreds of more websites that tailor to specific kinds of vacation rental homes, so it’s always good to list on channels that will have the kind of guests that are looking for your type of property.
Industry-wide, the average rental owner is featured on at least 3 of these listing sites, and though the numbers aren’t precise yet, the trends show that more visibility leads to more bookings.
2. Create A Website & Drive Engagement
Are you looking for a way to avoid fees from other websites and handle the demand on your own? Invest in a website.
Yes, it’s still important to be featured on some of the world’s best listing channels and drive bookings through them. But it’s still important to differentiate yourself as an independent business with your own website.
Use a website creator like Wix, Weebly, or Futurestay, to display your property.
You can even add a booking engine on your site and adjust prices to make sure that they’re up-to-date and change depending on the season. You should also use high-quality images of your property and the area surrounding it.
The more professional the site looks, the higher the booking conversion rate will be.
Driving Traffic To Your Vacation Rental’s Website
Like in online marketing, it’s important to focus on using different channels that lead to your website. Using the aforementioned listing channels and having a channel manager, is the best way to get your property out there.
You’ll have to invest a little bit of time, money, and effort to get your website flourishing. Though some listing sites give you the ability to link back to your page, others won’t — fearing that they may lose their transactional fees.
So if you want to invest a little bit of money to get a solid return, you can put your efforts on these three things:
- Social Media
- E-Mail Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
These 3 marketing initiatives will help drive new kind of traffic to your website. More importantly, drive bookings that you may have never been able to previously attain.
The fact of the matter is, people are searching for a new escape or experience. If you market yourself appropriately and obtain visibility throughout all the different channels that are available; you’ll be able to have more guests, and hopefully, more referrals.
Utilize Social Media & Other Channels To Drive Bookings
There are two ways of going about social network marketing: advertising and creating great content. There are pros and cons to both of them, but it is ideal to balance both and test which ones work.
Creating ads consists of finding the right demographic to target and digging deep to get certain people to view your advertisements. When starting it’ll require a lot of trial and error, along with getting used to the advertisement creation ecosystem. So start off with small investments and move up incrementally.
Content creation, though it sounds appealing, it is a bit difficult to master. If your content initiatives aren’t high-quality or don’t have good images or wording, you may not see the return on your efforts for quite some time. So the time spent coming up with images, editing, and adding a call-to-action can be more costly.
3. Make Your Property A Brand
Starting and marketing your website, along with listing it across the web, are the three essential keys to improving your property’s visibility.
Something as simple as adding a Yelp list of your favorite things to do nearby will show potential guests what are some of the best things to do near you. The best part is they’re being curated by you, or the ‘brand’ that represents your property.
Adding these small personal touches to your site will garner the interests of new guests, thus improving the odds of landing a booking.
Use Videos To Show-Off Your Property
Aside from all of the tips, I am finding that the use of different media is helping with website conversion rates.
It is best to look into having videos on your site, social networks, and if possible, online ads. Giving your potential guests a look into your property and having them feel as if they’re there will make it easier for them to make the decision of booking your vacation rental.
However you choose to go about getting your vacation rental online, just know that there’s no one way of doing it. You’ll have the options of picking out one of the many services to list your property, along with multiple ways of displaying it online. Find the formula that works for you.
Need More Tips To Get Your Vacation Rental Online?
Feel free to ask for help in the comments below, we have vacation rental advisors that will help answer any and all questions about the industry.