It’s a competitive world out there folks, and the vacation rental market is no different from any other with thousands of cottages, cabins, villas, gîtes and vacation homes jostling to grab the attention of the rental public. To get their attention, the number one priority is to make sure your listing has ‘eye candy’ appeal – lots of extremely good photos showing off all the best features. Here’s a few specifics you could consider
1 Post great bedroom photos – check out these on the UK agency web site Bramley and Teal When I did a recent poll to ask what guests looked for in a vacation rental, attractive and comfortable bedrooms was high on the list. This is an inexpensive way of creating a designer look in any style of property and it sells….believe me!
2 Add features your local competition doesn’t have – internet access; home theatre system; additional watercraft; a hot tub or sauna. Think hard. Why would a potential renter choose your place over one that is similarly priced with similar fixed features? It’s all in the extras you offer and the more you can differentiate the more likely you are to attract the conversions.
3 Make your website sticky – if you have lots of information on your site that makes it interesting they are more likely to stick around. For example, if you were looking for a pet friendly vacation in the Lake District (UK), why would you look further than either Otter or Kingfisher Lodge. Not only is this welcoming but there’s lots of information for dog lovers to explore. It’s a great example of using a vacation rental web site to share more than just a few listing details. I’ll be reviewing the Windermere Lodges web sites soon as there is a lot to learn from what this owner has achieved.
4 Use social networking to get the word out. Use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to broadcast your message. Start by listing with Second Porch and take a look at what The Chicago Tribune said about this new concept in the use of social networking to market vacation homes.
5 Make guests feel welcome from the moment they enter your listing or site – Build your site as if you were a host where nothing is more important than welcoming your guests. Appeal to all their senses in your text and help them out by making it easy to navigate. Here’s what the owners of Le Chant d’Oiseau in The Loire, France, have to say on their site:
Here at Le Chant d'Oiseau we don't promise anything but a place to relax, unwind and cast aside the stresses of everyday life. Whether relaxing in the sun with a good read, or meandering the quiet country lanes by bike or on foot, we invite you to soak up the peace and tranquility of ‘la France profonde' at its most enchanting.
How inviting is that?
Being competitive means standing out from the crowd and offering something that will capture interest and attention. What do you do that makes your place different?