In recent years, the vacation rental industry has developed and evolved into a competitive space. While boasting a property with a great location definitely helps, marketing your vacation rentals has become equally important.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many vacation rental owners and property managers experienced that they had to pay more attention to marketing in order to secure bookings.
They have learned the importance of ensuring that they resonate with their audiences. So, to ensure that your property will be attractive to travelers in the years to come, revising how you market your vacation rental property is a good place to start.
1. Offer a unique selling proposition
Similarly to other fields, to stand out in the short-term rental industry you need to identify a unique selling proposition. In other words, what is special about your property?
If you do not boast obvious unique attributes such as mountain views, you can create a feature that will set you apart from the competition. You can, for example, transform your property into a remote home office or make your place pet-friendly.
2. List your property on multiple channels
Placement and promotion work hand in hand. Today, there are several platforms available where you can list your properties. The key is to identify which ones will work best for your type of property (this can be a time-consuming process) and list your property on several sites.
By listing on multiple platforms, such as Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com, you will increase your visibility which translates to more opportunities to get reservations.
3. Optimize your listing
There are several ways in which you can optimize your listing to make it stand out. These include working with your title and description, getting professional photos, using video, and focusing on generating more reviews.
4. Writing your title and description
Ideally, you want to focus on the following in your title: the type of property, a special amenity, and a nearby attraction. The goal of your title is to get travelers to view your property and then your description will explain to your potential guests what they can look forward to when staying at your place.
5. Creating your visuals
Ideally, you need about 20 photos of your property that are professional and can capture the attention, yet be accurate and up to date. The latter is extremely important as if you misrepresent your property, it will only come to haunt you in your reviews. Not only will you use the photos in your actual listing, but they will also be valuable for marketing your property on social media and in blog posts.
You can also consider using video. It is an underutilized tool and will help you to set your property apart from the competition.
When it comes to taking photos and videos, you might not have the skill or equipment to capture high-quality photos. As photos are one of the top tools to market your rental property, it is always a good investment to enlist the services of a professional photographer who specializes in this type of shoot.
6. Generating more reviews
If your property does not have many reviews, travelers will be inclined to think that booking your place will be too risky. So, to help you generate more reviews, it is key that you take the time to follow up with your guests regarding their stay and use this opportunity to request a review politely.
7. Increase your vacation rental marketing activity
Even an optimized listing that is placed on multiple channels will need more marketing activity. Partnering with other local businesses and reaching out to travelers on local forums and websites can be a good place to start.
Another great way to increase awareness and interest in your property is to use social media and blog posts. From YouTube to Instagram, there are many platforms that you can use to target future guests and engage with previous guests.
What makes social media such a powerful tool is that you can use it to share relevant news about more than simply your property. You can, for instance, share interesting stories about your destinations and create listicles with the top attractions.
8. Prepare your listing for a new market
Due to the global pandemic, you will most likely find that what worked in previous years no longer yields the same results. So, when marketing your vacation rental, you will need to prepare your listing for a new market.
This means that you might need to switch to a flexible cancelation policy, allow instant bookings, and use pricing tools to change your prices more frequently.
9. Use vacation rental software
Staying on top of your daily tasks alone is already hard enough that you will be forgiven for wondering where you will find the time to revise your marketing strategy and implement these tips.
Many hosts rely on vacation rental software to automate their routine processes, such as synchronizing their calendars across multiple channels, confirming reservations, sending check-in instructions, assigning cleaning jobs, etc. So, with the help of such a tool, you can essentially keep your Airbnb automated and free up more time that you can use to promote your property.
Also, using the software can actually improve the guest experience by boosting your responsiveness and eliminating the possibility of human error. This can help you to receive more five-star reviews – the social proof that travelers search for when booking accommodation.
Wrapping Things Up
These six tips on how to market your vacation rental property will help you to promote your rentals to the right target audience and generate more bookings even during a challenging time. However, tweaking your strategies calls for effort and time, and results don’t happen overnight.