Although there’s uncertainty in the broader market, there’s nothing uncertain about the exponential growth in the US short-term rental market. Demand is up 26.7% year-over-year, with travel continuing to grow coming out of the pandemic. Demand and bookings are predicted to see continued growth through the rest of 2022, in addition to supply which is expected to increase by 21%. This rise in available listings may be a stressor to short-term rental owners and investors, but with some simple marketing tricks, you can make your vacation rental shine among the competition. Check out these eight vacation rental marketing tips to improve visibility, drive more bookings, and increase your revenue!
8 tips to supercharge how you market your vacation rental
Optimize your vacation rental listing
The basis of vacation rental marketing begins with a well-optimized listing. That is your first touchpoint with potential guests and entices them to book a stay. Start with your title, description, and keywords. Your title should describe your vacation rental and leave potential guests compelled to click your listing. Then you can use your description to paint a picture of the guest experience at your home, including all the details that make your property stand out from the competition.
Don’t just list amenities. Describe how guests can make their own memories at your home! Do you have a private hot tub perfect for relaxing after a day on the slopes? Or a game room for some friendly competition and family game nights? Use these in your listing to encourage travelers to hit that “Book Now” button.
When crafting your headline and description, incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to further boost your reach. Research search terms (“keywords”) that are popular in your market and add those to your listing. Some examples could be “private beachfront rental in Hilton Head” or “dog-friendly Joshua Tree vacation rental.”
Use high-quality professional photographs
Capture guest attention on your listing with eye-catching photos. Hire a professional photographer to take high-resolution photos of your vacation rental that accurately reflect the space, amenities, views, and what guests can expect when they walk into your home. Take it one step further and add Matterport images so guests can take a virtual tour of your property. Update these photos and descriptions after making any changes to your home so guests can see the latest and greatest (and so they don’t leave negative reviews about an inaccurate listing).
Price strategically for year-round success
Pricing your short-term rental for market and seasonal trends is one of the trickiest parts of running a vacation rental. If traveler demand is high in your market, you could lose money by pricing your home too low. On the other hand, if your home is priced too high compared to similar homes in the area, you could lose potential bookings. Researching your local market is important so you can accurately and competitively charge for bedroom count, amenities, views, proximity to local attractions, and other key features.
List your property on multiple platforms
Promoting your vacation rental on multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) gets your home in front of more people and means more potential bookings. Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia, and Booking.com are popular OTAs for vacation rental homes. Make sure you understand each site’s criteria and functionality for listing your property, and create a strategy for managing your listing across each. You’ll have to stay on top of guidelines, optimizing your listing, guest inquiries, reservations, and reviews for each platform to enhance your home’s performance.
Start a vacation rental blog
Flaunt your local expertise with a vacation rental blog on your website. A blog is an easy way to increase your visibility on search engines. With a thoughtful SEO strategy and the use of relevant keywords, you can drive more traffic to your website and increase bookings.
Travelers appreciate recommendations and tips from a local. Pair your expertise with your keyword research to write helpful content for potential guests. You can also repurpose your blog content to share on social media. Some articles that our AvantStay writers create for our blog include topics like:
- Top 10 Best Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails
- Wine Country Getaway: Scenic Sonoma County Wineries
- 20 Best Things to Do in Paso Robles
Use social media to grow your online presence
With 4.6 billion social media users worldwide, it’d be a mistake not to incorporate these platforms into your vacation rental marketing strategy. Social media is a great (and free) way to tap into new audiences and keep your past guests engaged so they are inspired to come back. Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are popular among travelers looking to plan their next trip, so be sure to show off your home and its amenities across these sites.
Also, consider investing in social media ads to amplify your reach. Facebook and Pinterest make it easy to narrow your target audience. You can choose to show your ads to your ideal guest by using filters like location, age, interests, and more. This allows you to get the most out of your advertising budget while optimizing for bookings.
Build an email marketing strategy
Keep past guests and interested subscribers engaged and eager to book a stay at your vacation rental with marketing emails. Easy-to-use platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact offer newsletter templates and simple customization options so you can promote your home to travelers in just a few clicks. These platforms also allow you to keep track of your subscribers and measure email performance. Set a regular schedule, like once a month or every other week, so subscribers know when to expect your newsletter.
People receive dozens of emails a day, so keep your newsletter contents to one or two ideas to keep your readers’ attention. You can use email marketing to promote reduced rates or specials, and even provide travel tips and recommendations.
Create an exceptional guest experience
While it may not be a traditional marketing strategy, going above and beyond for your guests can improve your vacation rental marketing efforts. Potential guests will look at your ratings and reviews when deciding to book a stay at your home, so don’t overlook this step in your marketing strategy. Happy guests leave positive reviews, which drives more bookings, repeat visitors, and more vacation rental income.
Providing thoughtful items like a welcome package and vacation rental guest book are little details that guests will appreciate. Is this a holiday celebration or a wedding anniversary? This personal touch goes a long way to give your guests the experience they are looking for. Non-negotiable services like quick communication, leaving the home well-stocked, and CDC-grade cleaning are all key to driving five-star ratings.
Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to leave a review after their stay, and always respond to negative reviews in a professional manner. Also, consider providing incentives for guests to refer friends and family to book a stay in the future.
Ramp up your vacation rental marketing with AvantStay
Creating a vacation rental marketing strategy (and sticking to it!) can be a lot of work. If you’d rather rely on a team of experts to market your vacation rental and maximize bookings for you, look no further. Partner with a vacation rental management company like AvantStay to earn more revenue and plug into a suite of services that will take your vacation rental to the next level.
Our dedicated teams at AvantStay will do all of the above—and more—on your behalf. We offer end-to-end, flexible management programs to give you peace of mind. From financials to design to maintenance, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income so you can sit back and reap the rewards.
If you own a vacation rental and are interested in learning more about AvantStay’s management services, schedule some time on my calendar!