As more and more people list their homes and properties on home-sharing sites, the more competition there is for guests. More competition isn’t a bad thing, especially when your property stands out with our vacation rental marketing tips.

We’ve outlined six ways for you to stand out from the competition and immediately increase your vacation rental bookings.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #1 – Respond Immediately 

An inquiring individual is already ready to book by the time they ask you a question. The longer you take to respond, the more likely the inquirer chooses another listing. A study done by Homeaway showed that 57% of travelers looking to book a vacation home will go somewhere else if they haven’t gotten a response back in 24 hours. That is a lot of lost business!

Responding quickly to questions and requests instills a sense of trust and reliability between you and the inquiring individual. After the booking has completed, your guests will appreciate receiving fast and professional responses, and your efforts will be rewarded with repeat bookings and positive word of mouth.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #2 – Request Reviews 

It’s pretty obvious, reviews matter for vacation rental marketing. According to Tripadvisor, travelers are 80% more likely to book a vacation rental listing that includes reviews from past guests.

Listing sites often send a prompt to guests to leave reviews after their stay. Your competitors rely on those alone. Be different. A little extra effort on your part can increase your review rate exponentially. Here are a few things you can do to get more reviews:

  • If you are comfortable and are around during your guest’s visit, request feedback and reviews personally from guests within a few days of their departure.
  • Mail a hand-written thank you note and include a review request. This will easily stand out since it is extremely rare to receive a thoughtful hand-written note in the mail these days.

Your quick, professional response to the guest will shine through. Don’t worry about a slight hiccup in the guest’sexperience. An attentive host that takes care of issues in a timely manner will lead to a happy guest. And happy guests will surely mention your attentiveness in their review of your property.

There is not a one size fits all solution to more reviews. Do something! Figure out what works best for you and your situation. The more reviews you collect, the more comfortable prospective guests will be staying at your property.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #3 – Improve Your Property Description 

The quality, length and simplicity of your property description can have a large impact on your booking performance. Professionally written descriptions perform as much as twice as well as those who are haphazardly put together.

You want your listing’s description to be from the potential guest’s perspective. You want to provide a tour through your home and surroundings. That way they have an image in their head of what it would be like to stay there.

Spend more than a few minutes crafting your property description. Most experts suggest providing a property description that’s at least 300 words long. Get family and friends to read your description and provide feedback. Also when getting feedback from guests, make sure to ask guests if the property description was accurate and helped sell your property. Do consider hiring a professional copywriter to assist when possible.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #4 – Offer the Right Amenities to Increase Bookings 

According to an Airbnb survey, 97% of US travelers say amenities impact their travel experience.

The majority of respondents surveyed rated functional amenities first, such as a coffee maker or a full set of wine glasses. Thoughtful amenities, like a bottle of wine, a bicycle to ride around town, or a packed beach bag, were ranked second.

Don’t skimp on the comfort amenities. The majority of those surveyed (59% in the US) cited air conditioning as one of the most important indoor amenities over internet/wifi and full kitchens.

Lastly, the survey showed that people in the US prefer free parking over luxury items such as a pool. And 29% of guests in the US prioritize pet-friendly listings as an important amenity.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #5 – List Enough Great Photos 

Most guests travel more than a day’s drive to stay in the Finger Lakes Region. Your internet listing will usually be the first time they see your property. Don’t show off sub-par photos and not enough photos. Travelers won’t feel comfortable booking if you don’t show your property well.

Listings with better photos enjoy more views and higher booking rates. Here are some tips on how to take high-quality photos on your own:

Proper Staging:

  • Clear knick knacks from the room.
  • Set the dining room table with nice dish-ware and placemats.
  • Turn off all computer & TV screens.
  • Add fresh flowers or brightly colored fruit to brighten up the room.
  • Arrange pillows or a throw on your sofa to be more inviting.

For best results & the least headache, let us shoot and edit the photos for you. We will give your listing the best chance of getting more views and converting to more bookings.

Vacation Rental Marketing Tips #6 – Stand Apart With Video 

Listings you compete with might have good vacation rental marketing with professional photos. How do you stand out even more than them? Video! Virtually no vacation rentals in the Finger Lakes region uses video tours in their listings and marketing efforts.

A well-made video tour of your rental property gives potential guests the best idea of what they will be booking. There’s no need to hire a professional copywriter to sell your property in the description, the video will do so and be more effective. Drone shots set the scene of your property and smooth indoor video set to music sells the experience of your property.

Creating a stunning aerial and indoor tour of your property yourself would cost around $7-$8,000 in equipment, licenses (FAA drone, music, etc.), editing and time. And the resulting video might not be effective in selling your property. Let us shoot a video for you and watch your booking rate rise!

Follow Through  

Vacation rental marketing is hard. It takes time and energy to market well. If you follow our 6 steps, we guarantee that you will out-book your competition and put more income in your pocket.