When travel eventually resumes, vacation rental property owners will have a lot to think about when considering how to market their homes online.
According to Forbes, consumers will re-enter the travel market with social distancing still top-of-mind. This means that in addition to all of the ways you have historically marketed your home, you will need to update your vacation rental property listing to include information that will make future guests feel confident completing the booking.
Without great descriptions, updated cleaning information, photos, and some personal touches, no one will remember your property listing when it comes time to book. Here are five ways to make sure your vacation rental property stands out online.
1. Market Your Home With High-Quality Photos.
Depending on which city your home is in, there may be hundreds or thousands of listings for travelers to search through when planning a trip. As they scroll through homes, they’re only going to click on the listings that stand out right away, and you want to make sure your property is one of them.
Photos are one of the first things travelers see when looking at a vacation rental property’s listing. That tiny thumbnail serves as the first impression for your home, so it has to be good. If you can afford it, hire a professional photographer to take photos of your place. Large, beautiful, up-to-date photos of a home’s interior and exterior sell it way better than tiny, old, grainy cell phone pictures.
2. Highlight Your Home’s Best Features.
Once you have professional photos, choose your listing’s main image wisely. If your place has a great view or an amazing bedroom, show it off. Can’t afford to deck out the whole place? “If you’re on a budget, spend some time and money on making one room extraordinary and display it on the first photo people see. Eye-catching rooms are more likely to result in a booking,” says Mercedes Brennan at 1ChicRetreat.com. Another budget-friendly tip? Sell your locale with a stock photo. If you’re steps away from the Rockies, save your money on a photographer and just buy a great stock photo of the mountains to include in your images. The destination and proximity to your area’s attractions play a huge part in why guests choose certain rentals.
3. Write a Strong, Detailed Description.
While photos are important, what you say about your property can make or break a guest’s decision. We recommend including a note about your cleaning procedures in preparation for when travel resumes. You can start with something like this;
“Please rest assured that after every stay we follow strict cleaning guidelines and fully disinfect our home between visits to ensure your stay is enjoyable and worry-free.”
This information will be essential in making sure travelers feel safe staying in your home.
Additionally, a great headline is essential if you want people to click on your listing. It should be an enticing introduction to your rental’s story. Use adjectives that describe the vibe of your place, like “charming,” “inviting,” “cozy,” or “beachside.” You could also use your headline to tempt the reader to learn more about what information lies in the actual listing. Headlines like “Oceanside Villa Perfect for Families” or “Stunning Sunsets Await You” are much more creative and informative than “3 BR/2 BTH SLEEPS 8.”
Once you start writing your description, use a mix of emotions and actual details to tell a story. Ask yourself if the property sounds like somewhere you’d want to stay. If not, try re-writing. Instead of just listing amenities, talk about the benefits that people might get from them. “Private fishing dock” could be changed to “Make unforgettable memories fishing with the family on our private dock.” If the customer can envision themselves in your vacation rental property, they’re more likely to click the “book it” button.
4. Invest in Marketable Upgrades.
Think about the last rental property or hotel you stayed in. What made you initially want to book the place? Was it super Instagrammable or was there an in-room jacuzzi? Investing in some upgrades that will set your place apart from others in the area can increase its appeal. Upgrades that guests love include chef’s kitchens, Smart TVs, and pools. Also, think about your destination. If your property is on the beach, invest in some beach toys, umbrellas, kayaks, and bikes. If you’re near the ski slopes, have some skis and gear ready for travelers so they don’t have to bring a bunch of clunky supplies from home.
5. Offer a City Guide or Local Recommendations.
One of the big advantages of a vacation rental home over a hotel is the owner’s local expertise. “Guests want so much more than photos of a property and a list of amenities. They want and expect a pre-vacation experience (what to see and do, host recommendations, itinerary planning) as well as the vacation itself,” says Alan Egan, rental vacation expert at rentmoreweeks.com. Make sure your listing is working hard for you by offering up expert knowledge of the area and providing recommendations. Have a list of FAQs? Take the time to make a short guide of these questions and attach it to your listing as a free PDF with local insider tips. When someone books your place, have something that follows up on your promises when they get there, like a personalized map, a treat from a local bakery, or even a simple handwritten note. Details do matter, and people will remember the small stuff when talking about their vacation with friends and family or when they’re writing a review.
We’ve gone over 5 ways to make your vacation rental stand out on listing sites across the internet.
- Market your vacation rental with high-quality, professional photos.
- Use your listing’s main image to highlight the rental property’s best features.
- Write a strong, detailed description that tells the story of your vacation rental.
- Invest in marketable upgrades that today’s modern guest is looking for.
- Offer up your local expertise in the form of a city guide and recommendations.