VRMA

    From Booking to Staying and Beyond

    Above Image by Sliding Door Co.

    Today’s vacation rental scene has exploded into a flourishing online market of homeowners, rental companies, influencers, travelers and vacationers alike. Just about everyone is enjoying the benefits of online rental platforms. With the ease and comfort of managing a listing from home and fostering a more personal relationship with your guests, there less need to rely on a listing agent to manage and promote a healthy rental business. Because the short-term rental market is so competitive, it has become paramount to set your rental apart from the rest and generate a large impact. There are a lot of marketing and design tributaries that feed into the success of a rental. Bring your rental into the future with these marketing tips and strategies.

    Online Presence

    The first and perhaps most critical component to getting folks through the door is managing your online presence. This topic could also fall under “Reputation Management” or “Branding.” There are, of course, a number of existing online rental platforms out there such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway, amongst the top heavy-hitters. It’s a wise decision to spread your reach across a few online rental websites when starting out. By using different rental sites, you will effectively cast a larger net and appeal to those using each specific platform. They are all slightly different—each taking a unique approach to user-experience, commission percentage and listing fees vs. annual subscriptions. If you’re worried about spreading yourself too thin, perhaps try out a few of the rental sites and then decide which one feels the best suited for your rental and individual needs.

    Another smart business decision is to build a website for your rental. This will increase the value and authenticity of your listing as well as provide a platform to attract more traffic from potential clients. Keyword-targeted written content, blog posts, images and videos all help to rank your page higher on search engine results. By including a location pin on your site and registering your listing with a service like Google My Business, you will literally put yourself on the map. This way, you can take advantage of an economic individual approach while crafting a comprehensive marketing strategy that is multi-faceted and thorough.

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    SEO and digital marketing strategies are tools you should be utilizing to garner the results and profits you seek as a rental owner. If you don’t have the time to learn and understand all of the complexities and components of SEO media marketing, hire a professional SEO agency to help shoulder the responsibility and workload involved in great marketing. By utilizing tools such as consistent written content with targeted keywords, heightened social media presence, website updating and other SEO tactics, Legacy Luxury Rentals has enjoyed a massive Untitled design - 2020-03-23T094646.949.pngincrease in business overall interest in their properties. Increasing a rental company’s online presence and getting them on the “digital map” is the most effective way to increase visibility and lockdown bookings.

    Social media is another great way to promote your vacation rentals. Making an Instagram or Facebook account for your vacation rental home is a start, but then take it further. Encourage your visitors to tag your listing in photos taken while enjoying their home away from home. Social media effectively spreads the word visually and offers a fantastic, free marketing platform. With today’s social media influencer impact on the short-stay vacation rental industry, it only makes sense to target and appeal to this growing market of self-made entrepreneurs who seek an idyllic setting wherever they land.

    Design Quality

    Without question, the second deciding factor contributing to your booking success is the visual aesthetic of your listing and how you choose to display it. Good interior design, location and artful touches make or break bookings nowadays. Clear, quality pictures are crucial to initially attract visitors to your listing and compete with the hundreds of available options. Make certain to capture your selling points and unique features that offer distinction and evoke interest.

    An outstanding rental should boast:

    • Tasteful interiors, updated appliances and smart design features
    • Above-average bedding
    • Consistent design theme throughout all rooms in the house
    • A clean and updated kitchen (bonus points for recent remodels)
    • Tasteful, artistic touches and creative flourishes
    • Noteworthy features (“Go green” with eco-friendly/energy-saving features)
    • Display personality and uniqueness

    Especially in today’s current climate battle, we find it increasingly more important to offer eco- features to not only appeal to the market demand but to legitimately evolve the way we interact with our spaces and the environment. Green fixtures and features such as solar panels, smart thermostats, drip irrigation, landscaping with low-water demands, skylights, LED light fixtures and eco-forward appliances will all offer that upgrade. This, in turn, will save you as the homeowner, a lot in monthly energy savings. When a client could just as easily book their stay with a hotel, it becomes apparent that intimate and eco-conscious vacation rentals offer something that hotels don’t—personality, a local feel and intentionality. Your target market is interested in enjoying a more authentic experience, one that offers the perfect medium between comfort, convenience, luxury and locality, all within an eco-friendly environment. 

    Additionally, we see that often times, smart design features increase the desirability of vacation rentals. A smart feature typically allows for the increased flexibility of the space, which ends up enhancing the overall guest experience. Spatial solutions such as installing glass wall partitions in large, communal rooms can be a simple and painless way to offer spatial separation and craft two unique spaces. Most contemporary wall partitions require no major construction and can be put up or taken down within a day. This added function with the aesthetic flourish of glass (a modern touch) will effectively update an interior space. By choosing a wall partition or room divider that has a built-in door, your guests can move through the two spaces with ease or lock the door for some privacy when needed.

    Overall Experience: An Honest Rental

    When people plan a vacation, they look forward to entering into a state of bliss, awe and relaxation crafted just for them. The last thing vacationers want is to be uncomfortable, bamboozled by false descriptions and have their experience fall short of expectations. Your job is to ensure an unforgettable stay, one which will have a massive impact on the overall memory and quality of their travels.

    A stellar overall rental experience should include:

    • Swift and productive communication (be available to communicate every step of the way)
    • Clean and safe environment
    • Useful and thoughtful amenities (extra toiletries, basic cooking supplies, beach kits, etc.)
    • Features and amenities that cater to small parties and couples, as well as families and larger groups
    • Offer trust and transparency with accurate listing descriptions (be realistic and upfront)
    • Provide a list of local tips and popular activity suggestions
    • Consider leaving your guests a welcome gift (chocolates, wine, local coupons, etc.)
    • House manual (guests really appreciate this guide)
    • Easy to use products and technologies (offer fool-proof appliances)

    By being prepared and providing an honest rental, you set yourself up for happy clients and excellent reviews. By putting the upfront work and cost into your rental, you’ll generate a fantastic ROI of which you’ll enjoy for years to come.

     

    Article from I Think An Idea; has helped rental companies such as Legacy Luxury rentals in La Quinta, California to grow their online presence and boost their brand identity.


     The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of VRMA. If you or your company would like to be considered for a future article in Arrival based on a recent press release or services to the vacation rentals ecosystem, please send your request to editor@vrma.org.

    Recent Stories
    A Welcome from VRMA’s New Executive Director

    Member Spotlight: Don’t Lose Sight of Your Success

    The Importance of Maintaining Relative Humidity in Your Vacation Rentals