You’ve probably heard the buzz. The $100 billion vacation rental industry is growing like crazy. If you have purchased a vacation home that you intend to also rent out to travelers, or are considering it, this growth represents an exciting opportunity – you have to know how to market your vacation rental.
But launching a hospitality brand in a growing market also means increased competition. Having worked with hundreds of vacation rental owners and managers, OneRooftop has seen firsthand how small businesses can rise above their competition.
To help you put together a marketing plan for your own vacation rental business, we’ve put together this list of 5 tips on how to make your vacation rental stand out from the others.
1. Joining a Vacation Rental Listing Site to Grow Your Bookings
If you’re buying a vacation rental home, you’ve likely stayed at a place you found on Airbnb, VRBO, or some other listing site in the past. (You can also list your vacation rental on our site.)
Listing sites are a great way to discover new homes — and for you this means getting an awesome group of potential guests. Getting set up on HomeAway and Airbnb is a quick way to start booking guests.
Just remember, listing sites mean you are set right beside your competition. Standing out on these sites will depend on:
- Photographs that inspire guests to book.
- Clear, consistent guest communication.
- Always up-to-date pricing.
- Reviews that prove you’re a good fit.
2. Be an Undeniable Brand to Market Your Vacation Rental
The international trip always takes a little bit more planning.The trip abroad is a big occasion for most travelers. Travelers will spend a little more time searching to make sure everything works with their itinerary and will likely look at many vacation rentals. This means you need to be memorable.
One of the best home bases for branding your vacation rental overseas is having a website.
On top of finding a house with enough bedrooms, traveling outside the US has many other logistics to keep track of. By having a website, you can show off your high-resolution photos + give the character of your town + tell potential guests where to go for local food and drink. When the guest is ready to book you can book them directly through your mobile friendly website.
Even when you have a million things going on, you can probably remember the name of a well-branded website. It’s much simpler to remember a domain name like “PelicanPeak.com” rather than a listing ID number on Airbnb or HomeAway.
3. How to Get Press for Your Vacation Rental Marketing
As the vacation rental industry grows, small vacation rental businesses begin to work more like hotels. The story of your brand’s success will come down to the success of your brand’s story.
Press is possible. It doesn’t just happen though.
PR is a proactive habit. Don’t feel discouraged if WSJ Travel Section isn’t ringing your phone off the hook on day one. But at OneRooftop we love sharing the success of vacation rental owners who prove alternative hospitality options can compete with hotels.
Especially for international vacation rentals, press adds a lot of authority to your brand. This could mean coverage in a newspaper or online magazine like AFAR. It could also mean a more established guidebook like Frommers. Look at OldKyoto.com, the machiya-style homes owned and designed by the American, Curtis Hawes. Curtis has been active in his PR efforts which has put him in Lonely Planet, Cool Hunting, and the TV Show “You Live in What?”
4. Working with Travel Bloggers
A study from earlier this year by Collective Bias showed that people were more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than by a celebrity. It’s incredible, but “peer” endorsements can be so personal for consumers. It’s like getting a recommendation from a close friend.
Besides, blogs are where passions reach an audience. If you aren’t reading travel blogs or blogging yourself, then digging into blogs should be a priority. And you can start your own blog for your vacation rental marketing.
As a vacation rental marketer, you’ll want to tap into the culture of travelers and make sure you provide the best hospitality available. Much like when you get press in a magazine, online referrals show your authenticity.
If a travel blogger stays at your place, then your home gets delivered directly to all their subscribers.
Looking for more vacation rental marketing tips? Check out OneRooftop’s blog.
About the Author: Matt Potter is the community and content manager for OneRooftop.com. OneRooftop provides leading vacation rental software for vacation rental owners and managers around the world. This includes a powerful booking engine, website builder and channel manager.