Marketing your rental property is crucial to the success of your business. You’ll need effective marketing strategies to get your property to attract tenants.
In many cases, having an ineffective marketing strategy can spell the difference between a long-term vacancy and a successful rental, especially for new investors.
Good advertising is an important step to getting enough bookings to keep your cash flow going.
When advertising a short-term rental, you need to be strategic and come up with effective and creative ways to increase bookings.
Here are seven ways to increase your vacation rental bookings:
1. Review your listing
Review your property description and have someone go over it and give you feedback. An excellent description should highlight your property’s features and amenities. Is it conveniently located? Is it near any transportation mode? Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. What would you want to know about the property?
Remember to keep your descriptions brief but informative. Be precise and witty while communicating as much information as you can. Check out other listings to get a feel for what words work and how to frame your listings to highlight your property’s best features.
2. Use the internet
Vacation rental advertising through social media and other rental sites can be very advantageous. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent for boosting your ROI. These platforms’ algorithms are designed to help you generate the most traffic to your rental.
Guests don’t typically search for vacation rentals in-person. Rather, they can search and book at home. Ensure that you get a visible and strong presence on the internet to get more bookings, clicks and likes, directing traffic to your rental.
You’ll have a strong competitive advantage if you use social media, a personal website, or even rental listing sites.
3. Use quality, high-resolution images
Blurry and grainy pictures of the property are sure to turn off many of the prospective renters.
A first impression matters and you need to try your best to make it a good one. Guests click through hundreds of images, and they’ll skip over anything that doesn’t catch their eye.
Images can determine whether a potential renter clicks on your listing. Find the best angles for your property and showcase them. If you don’t think you have an eye for this, it’s best to hire a professional photographer. They’ll only need to take pictures once, and the returns will be worth it.
4. Competitive Prices
The next thing that potential renters will look at is the price point. With all the apps available today, it’s easy to compare prices of vacation rentals with similar features.
Offer a reasonable price and bundle it with something free or a deal. Catch your potential guest’s eye by offering something that they can’t get with similar listings. Conduct comparative market research to check whether your prices are competitive.
5. Ensure rapid response times and communication
When guests contact you and ask questions about the property, keep in mind that they may simply be trying to get a feel for you and your property. How you respond says a lot about you. Guests appreciate prompt, polite, and helpful feedback. This responsiveness tells them you care about your guests and are on top of things. If you’re curt and delayed in your responses, people may lose interest in you and your property.
Make sure to keep in touch with former guests to communicate updates, reminders, and promotions to them.
Staying in contact with former guests is a free marketing channel with real audiences that can also help you maintain a good relationship with your renters.
6. Stay up-to-date
Nothing frustrates guests more than coming across their ideal vacation rental and finding out that it’s booked or comes with different rates. Not only is this bad for business and reviews, but you’ll also end up losing customers in the long run if you’re known to be inaccurate about your calendar and prices.
An updated listing and calendar will earn you the trust of your guests. This will lead to helping you find more renters through word-of-mouth advertising. Avoid any miscommunication and inconvenience by staying up-to-date at all times.
7. The power of reviews
Nowadays, consumers rarely buy anything without reading reviews. Everyone wants to make sure they’re getting what they’re paying for. Positive reviews encourage people to book your listing, and negative reviews can deter potential guests.
Always ask your guests to leave a review. Even if it’s a less-than-stellar review, feedback is important. It helps you understand what improvements you can make to your property and tells you what amenities your guests expect. Take this feedback and act on it. It’s also important to reply to each review with either a simple “thank you” or any improvements you’ve made to the property to make your guests’ vacation even more memorable.
8. Get someone to do it for you
If all these tasks seem daunting to you, you have the option to hire a property manager. These professionals have the experience, skills, and knowledge to effectively market and maintain your rental property.
While hiring a property management company may not be cheap, think about all the time your property has remained vacant, failing to earn you any returns. Considering the wealth of services that come with hiring a management company, your expenses for hiring these professionals will become an asset once you see that your property is booked year-round.
Vacation rental marketing may seem like a complicated task. When you treat your rental like a business, you understand that you have to sell. Use all the technology available and improve your listings and posts. Maintain a full calendar and treat your guests with great customer service. With the right amount of effort, you’ll notice upward trends in your rental bookings over time.
This article was written by Alexander Hassoulas who is one of the founders at Upkeep Media. Upkeep Media specializes in working with property management companies – including vacation rental management companies.