The rental entrepreneur is selling a wonderful short-term experience. But to get the booking requires an eye for beauty, an ear for storytelling and a head for promotion.
5 min read
Hotels are great but there's something they cannot give — a home away from home. The good news is that makes a great selling point for vacation rental entrepreneurs. However, there’s a challenge — now thousands of homeowners are competing for rental guests, too. Just take a look at listings like Airbnb, HomeAway, Arrived or FlipKey to see for yourself!
The winning team is the one that knows just what to do to make itself stand out from the rest of the pack. To do that you need to know exactly how to market your property. Here are three super, easy steps that you can take right away to get started.
1. Lay the foundation.
Effective vacation rental marketing needs legs to stand on. There’s a lot that has to be done in the background that will attract travelers to stay at your property. However, most times it’s the minute details that vacation rental entrepreneurs miss.
How your property looks, the amenities available, and the overall experience your property provides your guest play a huge role in your marketing strategy. You have to be sure you make a good impression from the get-go.
Perfect the aesthetics.
A picture says a thousand words. And for potential guests who are trying to decide if the property is the best fit for them, your pictures say a lot more to them in your vacation rental listings.
The closest potential guests can get to your property are the pictures they see on your listings. Investing in a great photographer to take quality pictures of your property will be money well spent.
But don’t stop there. According to Alan Egan, founder of Rent More Weeks, rental staging is vital. “Rental staging is a method of marketing where we add props to dress a scene before taking a photograph.” In other words, it’s taking pictures strategically. It helps potential guests imagine themselves on holiday at your property.
Plug in things that will make the experience memorable.
You want your guests to be enthralled with your property. To keep them coming back and drop a great review of your property, you need to make sure that your property plays the part.
Let’s be honest. You won’t be able to take alluring pictures of your property if it is in bad shape.
Clear out the outdated décor, broken items, old paint and give your property the needed facelift. The aim is to make sure that you are able to give your potential guests a memorable experience — a good one, of course.
The same goes for providing amenities as well. Get the Wi-Fi up and running (if that’s the kind of service you want to provide), get cable, and make sure that the facilities are working. Remember, it’s the little details that matter.
2. Build a brand.
David Angotti of Smoky Mountains encourages homeowners and managers to leverage the power of storytelling to offer their potential guest a worthwhile experience. In the process, you earn more than just bookings; you win their hearts. Your story matters, and it can do a lot for your marketing.
Tell your story.
Being a vacation rental entrepreneur is much more than just renting out your property; it’s about the people behind the property. People want to know about you, your property and the stories of those who have stayed there before.
There are so many ways you can incorporate storytelling to market your property. The easiest way to share your story is to document your journey on how you were able to bring the property to where it is, what made you fall in love with the property in the first place, and what you want your guests to experience while they are there.
Where can you share your story? Blogs, social media, and emails to your mailing list subscribers are excellent platforms. In essence, you are marketing your property with your story.
Leverage your expertise.
Don’t let the word expertise scare you. You know a lot more than you think.
Keep a blog where you can talk about how your guests can enjoy their stay at your property and in its locality. It’s a great way to give value. People are looking for more than just a place to spend the vacation. They also seek additional information on how they can make the best of their stay. They need tips on how it can be memorable and guides to the places to hang out.
As you give value through your blog or social media posts, more people will get to know more about your property, and you’ll build an audience in the process. Consequently, the chances that guests would like to stay at your property grow.
3. Promote and then promote some more.
List your property on as many vacation rental listings as you can. But don’t limit yourself to listings alone. Post about your property on social media. If you have a marketing budget, invest in ads. But most of all don’t slow down in your outreach. Keep at it, and stay consistent.