How To Handle Multiple Booking Requests
As part of your real estate business, if you list your home on many different vacation rental sites, there is a good chance you will start receiving multiple booking requests for the same property for the same dates. This can seem like a good problem to have, but if not handled carefully could result in double bookings. Here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing which booking to accept:
If you have your home listed on sites with varying booking fees, you may accept the booking from the site with the lower fees. However, the booking fee shouldnt be the only deciding factor. You should also consider the listing sites overall experience for yourself and the guest. Which websites make it easiest for guests to book and for you to accept payment? Which websites make it simple to communicate with guests?
Consider which listing site offers the highest protection for both you and the guest, and which sites implement screening and background check practices that help keep both parties safe.
How Can I Make My Vacation Rental More Appealing
We have extensive experience helping vacation home owners maximize their revenue. For instance, installing a hot tub can bring in 1520% more rental income. Designating your property as pet-friendly can garner a higher occupancy rate. And, your vacation homes interior design can capture more interest and help your home stand out among the competition.
Write An Attractive Property Title
When writing your title think about this as one of the most important factors in how you market your vacation rental. You want to include some attractive details about the property so people become interested and click to see more.
For example, instead of writing something generic like Luxury Log Cabin, try something more descriptive that includes some features of the property, such as Luxury 5 Bedroom Log Cabin Amazing View, Hot Tub, and Fire Pit.
Suddenly, those reading your listing title can picture themselves in your property.
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Effective Ways To Advertise Your Vacation Rental
1) Your own website + email list
Of course the number one way to advertise should be building your own vacation rental website. A website gives your rental a unique voice, a potential alternative booking platform, and best of all, a way to capture guests who may be interested in staying by creating a email list. An email list is probably one of the best ways to advertise your property, and if you can capture the email of a guest that is not interested right now, but may be in the future, you can certainly fill more vacancies this way.
2) The old fashioned paper method: bulletin boards, flyers, etc
3) Free marketplace websites like Craigslist
Not everyone knows this, but Airbnb actually got its start by cross-posting listings on Craigslist under the Vacation Rentals section. This can still be a useful and free spot to advertise, all it takes is a little time.
Kijiji and Backpage are other options, depending on your location. These services, as expected, bring about the highest noise to signal ratio. However, VR property owners admit that from these, they get spam and sometimes and worthless inquiries, however the price point is low and real bookings are often generated as well. It is also not the most effective in bringing in bookings for their properties but for the price, it is a very high ROI.
4) Free Vacation Rental Listing Sites
How Do I Advertise My Vacation Rental
The 7 Best Ways to Market Your Vacation Rental and Keep It Booked List on several sites. If you want more visibility, then dont just stick to one platform. Advertise on social media. Create a property website. Cultivate more reviews. Leverage local events and happenings. Invest in quality photos. Tap your past renters.
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Join Vacation Rental Forums & Social Media Groups
Vacation rental forums can help you grow your business by teaching you how to manage your rental more effectively and you can also benefit from the word of mouth advertising to promote your rental. By staying active in the community, your fellow hosts will be more likely to look out for you and send some business your way. Its very important to work on building up your credibility so that other hosts know that they can trust you enough to send you referrals.
Instagram For Vacation Rentals: Sharing Your First Post
Theres a lot that goes into creating engaging content that your followers love and also attracts new ones. And it all starts with: what should you post?
Here are a few ideas of content to share on your vacation rental Instagram page:
This is the most obvious way to showcase your rental and attract new guests. Take well-staged pictures of your rental that really convey the atmosphere of the place and help guests imagine themselves staying there. You dont have to take photos of entire rooms: you can focus on the little details a stack of books, a vase of fresh flowers, an armchair with a blanket that make your home unique.
Guests usually dont choose a rental for the property itself but for the location. Use Instagram to share photos of beautiful spots and fun things to do in the area. This will inspire your guests to travel there and see it for themselves.
User-generated content. UGC is a fancy term for content that other people share about you or your business. Whenever youre short on content ideas, you can repost an image that your guests have shared on Instagram of themselves staying at your rental. Having people in photos helps future guests visualize themselves staying there, too. Just make sure you credit the owner of the photo by including their Instagram handle in the caption.
Heres how to create your first Instagram Post step-by-step:
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The Best Sites To Advertise Your Vacation Rental: The Definitive Guide
If you have already put a vacant property or room to rent and make that extra income with tourists in high season either on the coast when it is summer, in the mountains when it is cold or in Rio during World Cup and Olympics you already had a small sample of how the vacation rental market is a profitable business in Brazil.
After receiving some guests, you have certainly stopped to think: what if most nights of the year were booked? How much would that bring in income for you?
The result of these calculations is so tempting that professionals have left their fixed jobs to dedicate themselves 24 hours to the seasonal market in the capitals. They rent rooms on their own property or one of friends and relatives and even buy other properties that they transform into mini-hotels to receive travelers from inside and outside the country.
Make Sure Google Can Find Your Home
Search engine optimization is a marketers best friend, and it can be a vacation rental owners, too.
Simply put, SEO refers to the tactics used to make sure a piece of content appears in search results for the right people at the right time. It requires an understanding of how search engines determine what the best answers are to questions people type in their search bars and it can tell you a lot about what people are looking for in your area.
Without this expert knowledge, a vacation home might be a perfect fit for a guest, but theyll never know because search engines wont know to surface it.
Here are some basic vacation rental SEO tips owners should keep in mind:
- Conduct location-specific research to identify how people are searching for amenities and property details.
- Weave applicable research into your listing headline to catch the attention of scrollers.
- Feature popular amenities and more property details in your listing description to help attract more guests and convince them to book.
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Respond To Rental Booking Inquiries Immediately
If people reach out to multiple rental properties and you respond first, youre much more likely to get the deal.
In fact, if you respond within an hour of them contacting you, your conversions will be 7x greater than if you dont.
Since only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour, this will give you a huge competitive advantage.
Take Better Rental Photos
Theres a reason and people said it was a steal.
Pictures are valuable.
Theyre easy to view and require little mental energy to digest.
The majority of us are not going to read an entire listing .
We look at location, price, and pictures.
Lets talk about taking better pictures, so we have quality images to share on your listings.
Simply paying attention to framing and lighting can go a long way with your photos.
Watch the video above to learn how to take better photos for your rental listings.
Editing Rental PhotosDoes a guy or girl in the dating scene wear the same clothes they wear in the house?
Of course not theyre trying to be attractive, and 10-year-old sweat pants dont get you a second date .
The same goes for your photos.
You want to go the extra step and edit the photos to give them a nice touch.
In the video above we discussed paid and free options for editing your photos.
These photos can be reused if youre consistent with your paint options and the rental is updated.
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Consider The Power Of Search Engine Optimization
Though many travelers will use listing sites like Airbnb to find a rental, much more will simply Google vacation rentals in CITY. If you want your vacation rental to be found in those searches, then you will need to learn how to useSEO .
SEO plays a big role in vacation rental marketing, yet few companies know how to effectively use the tools out there to attract the right customers. Google crawls websites on the internet to find relevant content for its users, and its your responsibility to optimize your keywords to attract the right audience. If you create a website and blog with content that is relevant to those looking for a vacation rental in your city, Google will put you in the search results. Here are some practical tips for getting started:
Consider writing a blog article titled Top family-friendly restaurants in CITY. If this is a good article, is well-written and researched, then Google will find it, and the next time someone searches family-friendly restaurants in CITY, or simply family-friendly restaurants because Google knows theyre in your city, then your website will likely show up. This is great free publicity!
Attracting More Guests Send Out Email Marketing Campaigns
Keeping in touch with your past guests is very important, as a regular customer base will ensure your rental doesnt suffer in the off-season.
Let your regular guests know via email about the latest news about your vacation rental, and about discounts for early bookers and repeat guests. However, avoid sending a barrage of emails every week. Its best to plan email campaigns to coincide with vacation periods, such as Christmas or Easter, and before summer, as a reminder.
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Instagram For Vacation Rentals: Completing Your Profile
This is where it gets exciting. Now that you know how to navigate the Instagram app, its time to fill out your profile!
When you created your Instagram account, you probably already entered some profile information. You can edit that information whenever you want. All you need to do is go to your profile and click Edit profile.
Once there, you can add or change your profile picture, name, web address, bio, and username . And, most importantly, this is where you can switch to a professional account.
The last step is crucial because it will allow you to use Instagram for business reasons, instead of just personal pleasure. Since youre going to be using Instagram to promote your vacation rental business, you need to have access to features like Instagram Analytics and Promotions. These will allow you to optimize your performance on Instagram and promote your top-performing posts to reach a wider audience.
So before you fill out your profile info, lets go ahead and turn your Instagram into a Business Account. Here are the steps to take:
There! Now you have an Instagram Business Account for your vacation rentals. Well get into using some of the business features later. Now, for the fun part. Lets fill out your profile with info thats unique to your vacation rental business and will appeal to your audience.
The Right Vacation Home Pricing
Want to improve sales and profits? Pay attention to your listed price for your property. Keep in mind that your price should fluctuate to accommodate busier times of the year such as summer holidays, celebrations and off-season. Make sure not to underprice special weekends or occasions. Remember to adjust pricing frequently to meet demand.
If you are not sure about the right price for your vacation rental, you can always use a price comparing tool like smarthost
This app can help you to compare your pricing with similar listings in your area analyzing listings from sites like Airbnb, VRBO, Flipkey and others, it also will allow you to know when specific nights are in high or low demand.
Just as you want to keep prices competitive during the high-season, it is just as important to offer discounts when availability increases. This included incentives to previous renters such as gift certificates and free night bonuses. Attract longer term guests by adjusting nightly rates.
Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Much like email marketing, social media expands your reach by tapping into new audiences. Plus, it can capture the attention of people who may not be ready to book a vacation right now, but who still want to be inspired and bookmark your home for future reference.
Here are some best practices for using social media to your advantage:
- Create business pages on all platforms to give viewers all the relevant information they need .
- Post as often as you can to stay top of mind for your followers, and use relevant hashtags to help your vacation rental surface in in-app searches.
- Stay engaged with your community by responding to comments and private messages, liking related content, and asking guests to tag you in their experiences at your home .
Download our complete Guide to Making Thousands Moreand get even more vacation rental channel marketing insights for free.
What Type Of Content To Post
Now, you may be thinking that you wont have anything interesting to post. But, when it comes to vacation rental businesses, we know for a fact its quite the opposite.
So what can you post? Before addressing this its essential to consider the motivations and goals of the average traveler.
Leisure travelers want to learn about new cultures, taste new cuisines, and try new experiences. Many of them use travel as a way to develop and strengthen relationships. Sharing a travel experience brings people together, be it a romantic getaway, a family trip, or a few nights away with friends. Having this in mind, create content that will relate to any of these aspects. Here are some suggestions
What makes your vacation rental unique and special?
Could it be the lovely terrace where guests can chill in the evenings? Dont shy away from snapping a sunset shot.
Or could it be that indie painting?
Give your guests ideas about what they can do or experience while staying at your place.
Tell people the most exciting things to see or visit near your vacation rental.
Highlight your neighborhood and city.
Showcase outdoor amenities such as the beach, parks, and landmarks.
On RentalScaleUp.com, weve written extensively about the features and amenities most prized by travelers. This article outlines the most sought-after vacation rental features. Being on top of travel trends and having a little creativity will help you come up with plenty you can post on Instagram.
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How To Market Your Vacation Rental On Instagram
Instagram Stories ads: Stories ads can run for as long as you wish, and you can target them by reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness. Ads have a full-screen vertical format. You can analyze your Instagram Stories ads performance in the insights section of your business profile on the app.
Instagram photos ads: these types of ads allow advertising through photos in square or landscape format.
Video ads: you can share videos up to 120 seconds long in landscape or square format.
Carousel ads: these types of ads allow another layer of depth to campaigns, where your audience can swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad.
Collection ads: you can present an integrated story by using video, photos, or both.
Ads in explore: you might consider these types of ads if you want to extend your campaign to different audiences and be part of whats culturally relevant and trending while reaching Instagrammers who want to discover something new.
How To Leverage Your Marketing Plan In The Right Places
Now that you have established a strong marketing plan as a vacation rental property manager, its time to start putting all your planning to good use. But where to begin?
Start by doing thorough research into the types of vacation rental listing websites in your area. While there are a few big-name sites that come to mind, like Airbnb, most local tourist destinations have several niche and locally-focused vacation rental websites that you should be advertising on.
Conducting a simple Google search will reveal a lot of information about the types of advertising your competitors are doing in this market and which of these listing sites are getting the most traffic.
Some of our recommendations for websites that you should be using to list your vacation rental properties include:
Google Vacation Rental Listings
These vacation rental listings are often the first listings that guests will browse when looking for a vacation rental property in a specific area.
VRBO and HomeAway
These two websites are part of Expedias network of hotel and vacation rental property listing websites. Listings on these sites generally appear quite high in search engine results, and are a good way to reach potential guests.
Other vacation rental property websites you should be posting on include Flip Key, Trip Advisor, local niche sites specific to your region or area, Expedia, Hotels.com, and even your own website where you can pay for Google advertising.
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