Everything is rapidly evolving, and each industry is continuously trying to keep up with the latest trends – the vacation rental business is no exception. Adaptability has become an essential aspect of every marketing strategy because it is necessary to keep everything going. If a company lags, they can lose customers very quickly. Since the demand for standout vacation rentals is at its highest, the most challenging part is making your property listings stand out in the sea of others.
Nowadays, customers have access to a lot of third-party listing sites that have become a staple in every host’s arsenal of marketing tools. However, the rental market is known to be ruthless. That’s why following vacation rental marketing trends are very important if you want to keep a steady customer base.
How to Make Your Listing Stand Out
People like to be impressed. However, impressing others can be difficult, especially when the supply is so high that it’s seemingly impossible to make a choice. That’s why your listing has to have that “oomph” factor – having plain, brief descriptions of your vacation home will no longer cut it. You will have to go the extra mile to keep a customer’s wandering eye stuck to your particular rental. Here are some tips on how to do it:
Use Memorable Titles
When searching for perfect homes, the first thing that customers notice is the titles. So, it is imperative to take the time to make your title unique. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think of exciting ideas that would spark your interest. Then, you can also analyze the titles of vacation rentals that have the highest ratings and the biggest customer base. However, make sure not to copy anyone because the customer is seeking originality. Here are some interesting examples that have yielded outstanding results:
- Spacious 2BR in the City Centre – 6 Min Walk
- Enjoy Sunsets at Fully Equipped 1BR Condo at the Beach
- Head-turning style Studio + Ocean View
Nowadays, optics are everything. Since you have to rely solely on websites to market your vacation rental, the visual aspects are the key to attracting customers. It is recommended to hire a professional photographer because they have a unique point of view and know how to work the angles. They know how to make a room seem bigger and lighter, and they are very aware of what looks good and what doesn’t. Also, make sure that your place is sparkling clean before taking any photos.
Write Punchy Descriptions
If the title and the photos are good enough to capture one’s attention, the next thing they’ll be looking at is the description. The most important thing to note here is that you should try to sell a vision and a lifestyle. When a customer is reading the description, you want to evoke certain emotions to have them feel more connected to the rental. You want to create a visual image in their head of how awesome your property is. Besides the obvious information, homeowners should incorporate emotional aspects into their message.
Personalize Your Profile
Creating a personalized profile shows that you care. Setting a couple of hours aside to work on your profile and make it pleasing to the eye can make a huge difference. If a profile is scattered and doesn’t have enough information, it will seem as though you aren’t trying. Besides your vacation rental listings, you are also marketing yourself as a responsible homeowner. Make sure to have a nice, professional profile picture, clean descriptions, no typos, and that everything on your profile is coherent.
Property Pricing Strategy Trends to Keep an Eye On
Having great pictures, titles, and descriptions is a must. However, the price is still a defining factor when it comes to decision making. Setting the correct price is the most challenging part because you don’t want to overprice your rental, but at the same time, you don’t want to lowball it. This is when researching your competition comes in handy. Explore all the listing websites and try to notice any price patterns that seem desirable and compare your prices to others. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when setting the price:
- Always offer competitive prices
- Change your prices according to trends and demands
- Be smart with prices – bump up the price during high seasons and weekends, and lower your cost during weekdays and low seasons
- If you want to set a higher price, make investments to justify it. Add something that would make your rental more desirable such as swimming pools, hot tubs, huts, swings, etc.
3 Tools You Should Use to Reach the Target Audience
Although the vacation rental marketing industry is constantly changing, we can’t deny the fact that it’s easier now more than ever to reach millions of people in a matter of minutes. The whole planet is connected to the internet, so if you use the given instruments properly, you are more than likely to attract a large number of potential customers. These tools will become your best friend when it comes to marketing:
1. Social Media, Opinion Leaders, and Bloggers
Social media is arguably the most effective instrument for driving traffic and increasing your customer base. Another great thing about these types of platforms is the fact that you can observe your statistics and act accordingly.
Bloggers and opinion leaders have a vast number of social media followers who trust their opinions. You might consider partnering up with some by offering a short stay in return for social media promotion. Good reviews are extremely important, and having a trustworthy person talk positively about your rental is irreplaceable.
2. Vacation Rental Forums
Forums are still a necessary weapon in your vacation rental marketing arsenal. People who post on forums are regular people who share their honest perspectives. That gives it a more personal touch, which is precisely why it’s still a very popular source of information. They can be used to research the market, current trends, competition, and promote your own holiday rental.
3. Local Tourism Websites
Even though social media is the most popular, some people aren’t as tech-savvy, and they still look at local tourism websites for referrals. This can be an excellent opportunity for you because these websites are often forgotten about. By posting here, you can get a substantial competitive advantage and reach an even larger pool of customers.
Most Popular Platforms for Listing Vacation Rental Properties
Third-party websites have omitted the need for vacation rental managers and have created an opportunity for homeowners to take matters into their own hands. These platforms are visited by millions of people every day, so it is an absolute must to share your listings there. Here are the most notable websites for vacation rental marketing:
Airbnb is by far the most widely used website for finding dream vacation homes. Here are some Airbnb marketing statistics that will blow your mind:
- As of April 2019, there is a total of more than 150 million users on Airbnb
- According to estimations, hotels are annually losing about $450 million because of Airbnb
- Half of the traffic that this website receives comes from their smartphone application
If you want to hit the jackpot, then ensure that your property is unique enough so it can be featured on the Airbnb Instagram page. They currently have over 4.5 million followers!
HomeAway is owned by Expedia, a known name in the travel industry. That is exactly why it’s widely used for seeking accommodation by users from all around the globe. As a host, you can opt to pay an annual subscription fee or pay per booking. According to some estimations, a good HomeAway listing can rack up to $13,300 in revenue every year.
Vrbo is another leading name in the world of vacation rental marketing. Although it might be less popular than Airbnb for example, it is still used by millions of customers every year. You can list properties for free or opt for a paid version with more features. Vrbo is known to attract families, and it specializes in offering accommodation for popular US travel destinations.
Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to put them to good use. The journey is likely to be difficult and filled with ups and downs. However, if you invest enough time and marketing effort, it’s almost guaranteed to pay off. Just make sure to keep up with the latest trends by innovating and investing in your vacation rental properties.