5 Ways To Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out From The Competition - Vacation Rental Formula

5 Ways To Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out From The Competition

sunflower-standout 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?

A compliment from a real expert | Otter and Kingfisher Lodges

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Dr. Richard

I couldn’t agree more with this Heather. There are new properties popping up everywhere now plus new websites for listing vacation rentals seem to appear every day – this makes it tough to stand out. Your point about photos is very true and a good camera (or professional photographer) can really pay off here. I love the sticky website idea and I’d agree that piling useful information into your site is one of the best things you can do – it’s good to also supplement this with information on other sites that can link back to yours, such as other blogs, forums, articles, Squidoo etc. This helps to spread your net wider and also boosts your rankings for the search engines

Margaret Leach

The more information you pile into your site, the more important structure and navigation become. No good having masses of information if it can’t be found easily. I’m always amazed at how many sites with good information are great at hiding it away.

Heather Bayer

@Dr Richard

Getting the word out via social networking is becoming more important. I like that you mention Squidoo – it’s one I tend to forget!

@Margaret

You make really good points about navigation. Paying attention to that aspect is primary. And yes it is easy to get so immersed in putting information on a site then forgetting to tell people where it is.

Philip Schofield

Hi Heather,

These are great tips.

With listing sites becoming saturated with properties, I think its wise to invest in building a ‘sticky’ website that answers potential guests queries and showcases why they should rent your holiday cottage.

Keyword research can highlight popular searches in your area for content ideas – best beaches, walks, restaurants in “ for example.

The Otter & Kingfisher Lodge site is a great example of how you can target a niche with content. (I look forward to your review).

If you have website, mention it on your listing.

Philip

Philip Schofield’s last blog post..Recap of holiday home news: 12 January 2010

Kanaloa

You have to have your own website, and it has to look good! If your site has a modern, professional appearance people will tend to associate the same qualities with your rental property–and vice-versa. I realized recently that my site which had not received any major updating in years was starting to look a bit dated. I did a quick redesign and immediately have noticed a rise in inquiries.

Kanaloa’s last blog post..A New Look for Kanaloa at Kona Vacation Rentals

Rentclass apartments for rent

I absolutely agree with Kanaloa. Quality pays. We’ve been into the industry for years and our clients have evolved with us. The website was a direct consequence.

Carlos

Good suggestions. I’ve been working on your 3rd suggestion – “Make your website sticky” – by adding information about things to do in the area we’re in which is the central California coast.

I’m also doing a couple of Youtube videos that will show the different rooms of our vacation rental and some of thefun things to do in our town.

Master Health Education

I absolutely agree with Kanaloa. Quality pays. We’ve been into the industry for years and our clients have evolved with us. The website was a direct consequence.
You have to have your own website, and it has to look good! If your site has a modern, professional appearance people will tend to associate the same qualities with your rental property–and vice-versa.

Master Health Education’s last blog post..education world lesson plans for children s mental health

Wilson Lake Resort

Yes those sites are perfect, we all need to take a few lessons

Olga @ SimcoeCottageRentals.ca

Thanks, Heather! After reading this I realized that our master bedroom can be improved to look more homey and tranquil. Thanks a lot for great tips!
Best,
Olga

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