There's no doubt that the vacation rental industry is booming and the competition is red hot! If you want to stay ahead of the game, you should bring the `wow' factor. So, how do I market my vacation rental property? You should have a strategy in place to drive traffic and get bookings.
Top marketing tips for your rental property
Narrowin your ideal guests
Before you come up with a vacation rental marketing plan, you should define the target audience. Some ideal options may include millennials, large families, or business travelers. While most of this decision will depend on the location, the type of property also matters.
Create a property website/blog
A website can be a smart marketing tool if you leverage the power of SEO. You should add localized content like restaurant recommendations and neighborhood sites.
Whether your property is tucked in a secluded getaway or the center of a city, you should ensure the website shows all the features. Make sure you communicate directly to guests and explain how they will have an unforgettable stay in your property. To ensure your vacation property stacks up above the competition, you should provide detailed and up-to-date information. Of course, you have to include contact information, Google Maps, and more.
A vacation rental website allows you to stay in charge of all the details without the middleman. The homepage should have all the details a potential guest might want including the amenities, number of rooms, and special features. And don't forget to add some high-quality photos. Finally, you should ensure the site looks great on mobile as this is what guests use when on the go.
Blogs will help you gain authority and take advantage of content marketing. There's so much to write about to bring travelers to the website and make a booking. Apart from stating what you offer, you can also write the history behind your property. Let visitors connect you at a personal level to gain more confidence in your services.
Your blogs don't have to be all serious; you can write something funny to capture the reader's attention. Another important thing to note is that visitors will always look if the blog has current information. If it was updated months ago, they will walk away. Apart from having an active blog, you should ensure it's optimized for SEO. Don't forget to link your blog on Facebook and Instagram.
Leverage local events
If a festival or a holiday is coming up, you should offer perks that coincide with the local happenings. When you tune in to what is going on in the market, you'll get more bookings and probably charge more.
When there's a big event around your vacation property, the guests want to go there and enjoy it. If they can find good accommodation, you should make the trip even more memorable. This will make them keep coming back and may even recommend your services to their friends. Don't shy away to contact the organizers as you can advertise each other.
If you haven't done it already, you should reach out to the local tourist office and ask them to give any information you need for guests seeking accommodation. Guests will always check out on events before choosing their destination. If you register with a tourism association in your area, they can link your services to your website. While most companies will do this for free, others can charge a small fee.
Post quality photos
When it comes to vacation rentals, the pictures will feed the entire marketing engine. The first thing that captures the travelers' eye is not the number of rooms or price – it's your pictures.
If you have eye-catching descriptions but the photos are blurred, it will not resonate well with potential future guests. Pictures are worth a thousand words and this applies in real estate. They show how customers evaluate the property. When visitors come to your website, they only want to see the prettiest home.
If there're other vacation properties with the right number of rooms and within your price range, the visitors will choose the one that looks great. So, high-quality photos will not only make a heck of an impression but also convert into more bookings.
This is where the services of a professional photographer come in. He knows how to use the right colors and angles to give a realistic view of space. High-quality pictures mean less unqualified inquiries, fewer questions, and more confirmed reservations.
Cultivate more reviews
Did you know satisfied customers can do the marketing for you? As long as the renters are happy during their stay, you can ask for reviews.
But why do you need reviews? It's estimated that 9 out of 10 customers read online reviews before they make their investment decision. When visitors see that other people enjoyed their stay, chances are that they too will enjoy it.
Regardless of the review you get, there're a few things you can do to increase the odds. The best time to ask for a review is when the vacation experience is still fresh in the guest's mind. If you wait until they get to their homes, the memory will have faded away. You also risk getting a generic review instead of a genuine one.
A modern traveler wants to have everything at their fingertips. You can ask them to leave a review in the guestbook. It's worth mentioning that you have to manage reviews across the different platforms. When asking for reviews, you should not offer to pay to receive positive comments or pester the guests via phone calls.
Read more about how to encourage guests to leave a review here!
Consider paying for traffic
Although cost-per-click may seem costly, it's crucial for any vacation rental marketing. If you want to entice guests or drive traffic, you have to get visitors with the targeted keywords. But it's not just about the traffic -you should market the experience.
Vacation rental marketing mix
When marketing your vacation rentals, you should pay attention to the trends within the industry. If you don't, the client base will reduce. Once you understand how to market your property, you'll have a competitive advantage. Instead of fighting the waves, you should adapt the four marketing Ps (Price, place, product, and promotion).
How to make your vacation rental stand out from the rest (product)
Why should people choose your property and not that of your competitors? The first step in your marketing plan is to improve the listing. Make sure you create an eye-catching title to generate interest from guests – every word you use is important. Be sure to mention the best features but don't overuse them.
The description also matters. A compelling description will make the property sound desirable. Besides that, you should add subheadings to ensure the visitors can easily skip to the information. They should be powerful enough to make the viewers want to book with you. Avoid stern rules that could put off potential guests.
As you promote your property, you're also marketing yourself. You should give a brief description of who you are and verify your profile. This gives credibility to your business.
When it comes to pricing, you should ensure what you set looks attractive to potential guests. It should not be too high or too low because you need to cover the expenses. From a statistic standpoint, 40% of vacation renters will make bookings based on the pricing strategy.
Before you set the price, you should consider the occupancy rate and the prices of other competing properties. If you're a first-timer, you may want to place the price about 25% below the market value. Guests will always go for the best deal, so you want to be near the top when customers carry the searches. This doesn't mean that you should have a fixed price all year round. Instead, you should adopt dynamic pricing that change in line with the demand.
Weekday and weekend pricing should be different. If the weekend rates are a bit higher, some guests may choose to come early to take advantage of the low price. How about adding special touches that appeal to guests and charge more? For instance, you can invest in a hot tub, put a barbecue in a balcony, or even offer special services like bicycle rental.
Read more about pricing your vacation rental here!
How to reach out to potential guests (promotion)
This is where the rubber meets the road. Promotion is the DNA of any vacation rental property. It includes special offers, advertising, and public relations. When you use the right promotional techniques, you can drive more traffic and maximize your reach.
If you want to learn how to manage your business, you should join forums. Bloggers and social media followers will also bring you some publicity. You may also want to contact influencers, let them stay in your property, and then write a review.
If there're other vacation rental properties around, you should do a lot to improve the occupancy rate. Just put on the marketing hut and test all the channels to find the one that works best for you.
How to market your vacation rentals
Before you market your property, you must address all the meticulous details to give your guests a memorable experience. More specifically, you should ensure both the interior and exteriors are up to standard. If the guests find used-and-abused furniture, scuffs on the walls, or things of that nature, that won't work.
You should put yourself in the shoes of the traveler. How would you feel if you take a long flight only to find out that what was depicted in the photos is different from what you see on the ground? Do you get the picture?
Marketing your vacation rentals via email
When email marketing is done right, it can give the best ROI on the vacation property. This is what most vacation managers use to stay ahead of the game. But first, an email has to be sent to a targeted market segment. It should be relevant to the group of contacts and needs to be interesting. If special events are happening around your property, you can send an email that talk about ski specials, golf specials, and best restaurants.
The subject line should grab the reader's attention and must have a specific call to action. If you want to make an email more engaging and interesting, you should not make it salesy. Another tactic of using email marketing is getting a custom report in Google Analytics. It tracks the number of bookings and the time of the day you send the bookings. Be sure to send your emails based on these metrics.
Today, the cost of email marketing is fairly cheap. If you want to give your guests a reason to open the emails, you should be consistent.
Read more about vacation rental email marketing here!
Most travelers are looking for beautiful locations to spend their time. While you can create intriguing content to bring guests to your property, a video tour can do wonders. Perhaps, you can take a video of people enjoying the scenery to give potential guests a reason to come to your space. You can post on social media or the website. Unlike photos, videos will keep the target audience engaged and will differentiate you from the competition.
Partner with local businesses
Your vacation will thrive if you connect with the local community. This is not only a simple way to strengthen relationships but also help you build a brand name. When the local shops, cafes, and businesses partner with you, you'll get more qualified leads and bookings.
Word of mouth
If you want to increase bookings in your rental property, you should talk to people. Start by focusing on the people in your area and participate in local events. Make sure you have business cards that contain your name, phone number, and address of your website.
Advertise on social media
Facebook and Instagram will let you drill deep down when targeting your ads. Your adverts should target people interested in travel, recently booked vacations, and people from specific geographic areas. Needless to say, the ads are affordable compared to other advertising platforms.
Your past renters can be a good source of communication, so you should keep the communication lines open. Some may be willing to send some renters your way. This is a simple way to build grassroots interest in your brand and promote relevant news to the city.
Both Instagram and Facebook Social Media have exploded in recent years, so they will help you reach out to a bigger audience.
Read more about Social Media advertising here!
Wrapping it up
If you want solid profits for your vacation rentals, you should not underestimate the power of marketing. As you advertise your services, be sure to refine your marketing strategy with time. Keep in mind that diversification is the name of the game.