VRS023 – Create Your Own Vacation Rental Website with Sarah Brubaker of Web Chalet

There’s a lot of discussion about whether you should have your own vacation rental website, and many owners happily rent with a listing alone. However, in areas where there is a lot of competition, being able to send incoming traffic to your own web site, deliver additional content, create new pages and be in total control of the site can be the key to more reservations. When it comes to managing more than one property, it’s even more important.

My guest in this episode is Sarah Brubaker from Web Chalet which is a full service vacation rental software company. Sarah is passionate about the connection between good design and a solid marketing strategy to create a full functional website that can equally serve an individual owner or a rental management company with multiple properties. She shares a lot of information on the best way to approach the development of your site, and cites a really successful small agency that has built their brand with a great site.

We also discussed how important it is to be mobile responsive and explored what that actually means and why companies like CNN actually have two separate websites – one that looks great on a larger screen and another for mobile phones and tablets. Do you need to do this or can it be done in a simpler way? In fact, most vacation rental website and software companies include a mobile version in their package and that is something worth checking before you commit your money.

This is what we covered:

  • Sarahs love of vacation rentals as an accommodation choice for her family
  • The importance of setting goals for your website – why you need to plan what you want well in advance
  • Selecting a domain name
  • How one company created their brand & how it works for them
  • Why content is so important and the what makes your website stand out from the crowd
  • The value of including local information
  • The impact of an About us page and personalised content
  • What mobile responsiveness is and how to ensure your site can be seen on every device
  • How using analytics can save you money
  • Trying out small differences on your site using A/B testing (check the link to find out what this is)

And the sites we mentioned:

Web Chalet

Cooperstown Luxury rentals.com

Lake Arrowhead Vacation Rentals local information


Analytics with Matt Landau

Google Analytics – it’s free


Sarah Brubaker

Thanks for having me on, Heather! If anyone has any additional questions, please feel free to contact me sarah@webchalet.com.

    Heather Bayer

    Or simply write them right here in the comments section to share with our other listeners :o)

Tyann Marcink

Wonderful interview with excellent information! I enjoyed listening, Sarah and Heather!

Cottage Pages

Great post. We just recently created a website cottagepages.com that provides all free listings to owners. It’s custom made but everything you mentioned is essential especially analytics. It’s our best tool to see which direction to follow. I’m surprised many cottage owners don’t have their own website. For example from our site they can link directly to their own site. It costs nothing and only helps bring traffic from search engines. Maybe half our listings only add their website. BTW any feedback to us would be great on how we can make our site better.


If you want to create your own vacation rental website and you’re a property owner I strongly recommend bookingready and lodgify. I’ve used both and slightly prefer bookingreday as it offers better features and has wonderful choice of templates.

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