Making Your Vacation Rental Ads Stand Out

Thanks to Tom Harris of Home Away Australia for this guest post.

lightbulbs With the number of vacation rental ads growing every day, it’s easy for your ad to blend in with the crowd. However, there are some strategies you can use to help your rental ads stand out from the competition. Do you tell prospective tenants everything they want to know? Do you entice them with photos, details, and testimonials from former guests? Here are some strategies for separating your rental ad from the pack.

1. Re-evaluate Your Photos

It’s easy to upload a few photos and assume they’ll do the trick. The best ads go a step beyond this and thoughtfully arrange an album of images. What is your vacation rental's single best feature? Do you place that first in a line-up of photos, putting your best foot forward? This will ensure a potential guest is hooked straight from the beginning.

When it comes to the photos themselves, quality is incredibly important. If your photos were shot with a camera phone or when natural light was poor, it’s time to try again. Take more photos than you ever think you’ll need. Take photos in morning light, afternoon light, and at night. Get specific, showing off a great range in your kitchen or tub in the bathroom. These details can often tempt someone to make a booking.

2. Presenting the Right Information

Some vacation rental ads are too spare and don’t provide enough details. Others include lengthy paragraphs of flowery descriptions. Keep in mind that you how organize the information is almost as important as what you say. Start your ad with one paragraph that describes your rental in rich detail. Highlight the best features first, and get specific. What do you love about the home? From personal experience, what makes it stand apart from the competition?

Keep in mind that not all people will read paragraphs at all, and some are looking for the key information organized in an easy to digest format. This is where bullet points come in. Organize details in short bulleted lists, with no more than four or five bullet points. Tell readers specifics on the kitchen, living space, bedrooms, and outdoor space. If your appliances are name brands, say so. If you welcome pets, feature this prominently.

3. Go Above and Beyond

One of the best ways to make your vacation rental ad stand out is to provide a service. Go above and beyond describing your rental and talk about the location. You are a local expert and an important source of information for someone visiting for the first time. Provide details on nearby attractions, hidden markets, local restaurants, and great shops. All of these specifics might encourage people to make a booking.

In owning the property, you probably have learned a few things about how a trip can run smoothly. Including details on opening hours of the nearest supermarket, a great local tour guide, or a beach that is particularly peaceful all show that you are a thoughtful owner that knows the destination well. Believe it or not, a great rental ad can actually encourage the reader to trust you—and rent your home.

4. Quality Not Glitz

One easy way to try and make your ad stand out is by changing the font, color, or size of the text. Most people that are researching for a vacation rental are looking at several options, and one with bold or all-caps print is more likely to come off as cheesy rather than appealing. Just as you wouldn’t send out a glitzy resume to a potential employer, don’t rely on cheap tricks to get the attention of renters.

With quality photographs, descriptions that are rich in detail, and bulleted lists you are setting yourself on the right track to the perfect vacation rental ad. There’s only one more thing you need to finish it off.

5. Customer Testimonials

Feedback from your past guests is important to securing new ones. In your ad, include quotes from past renters with details on what they loved about the property. This is one great reason to keep a guest book in the house, as renters will often flip through to see what others have written and add a note themselves. You can take a photo of these notes to include in your ad or simply type in the gist of the comment.

You might be surprised how these quotes can include something you missed. Plus they provide different perspectives, from say a couple or senior citizens or a group of girlfriends. Offering multiple perspectives in your ad helps a reader to visualize themselves in your rental.

Tweak a few things in your vacation rental ad and it will stand out from the masses. A little extra work and thought on your ad is an investment in how frequently you will translate a reader into a customer.

Tom Harris is a writer and marketer for HomeAway Australia.