Top Vacation Rental Marketing Strategies

Sarah Hofmann

Guest experience expert at Wishbox
This article will give you ideas on how to make your vacation rental listing stand out from the rest.

When it comes to marketing your vacation rental, the competition is red hot! There are hundreds of properties on listing sites that you will need to get ahead of if you are to drive traffic to your own vacation home and get bookings. You will need a marketing strategy to correctly target your listing to potential guests.

Make your listing attention-grabbing!

Many listings have been scrolled past and ignored due to the lack of the ‘wow’ factor. Badly written descriptions, poorly formatted posts and tired or blurry photos all indicate a lackluster approach to your vacation rental marketing. That does not resonate well with your potential future guests. When trying to reach your rental market your listing should practically leap off the page and instantly draw the eye of prospective reservation makers. As you are designing your listing you, or your vacation property manager, need to include appealing design elements like:

 

  • Clear, good quality, and well-lit photos 
  • Accurate and punchy vacation rental descriptions
  • Clear and friendly personal profiles
 

Be as honest and detailed as possible but not overly wordy. Bullet point lists and subheadings can be your friend, as well as short paragraphs and nice formatting. The key is to make your vacation rental listing as easy to read as possible. Remain honest and candid in your descriptions to build trust with future renters.

Devise a property pricing strategy

While the price is rarely the sole factor when committing to a purchase, it is important to price your property listing appropriately. As part of your vacation rental marketing strategy, you will need to determine an appropriate price for your property listings. This is where a bit of research will help enormously. 

Assess the other property listings, compare the type of property, age, quality, amenities, features, and any other factors that you consider important. This will help you to pinpoint an average price for similarly sized properties in your area. From there you can decide how to price your property. But price with care; too high and you may not reach potential guests, too low and you may attract the wrong audience.

Develop effective property promotion

There are many areas where you can contact your potential guests. Here are some ideas on how to reach your target audience effectively. 

Social Media Sites

Use social media platforms to advertise your property to relevant audiences. A few likes or shares can enhance your advertisements reach substantially. Some platforms like Instagram are very visual by nature and can gain followers by the use of some great property photos.

Vacation Rental Forums

Join forums and offer advice and support to potential guests. Sites like Quora or Reddit have a number of threads dedicated to travel. As your reputation increases, you may get a few bookings from your helpful advice.

Opinion Leaders/influencers

These people have loyal followers in large numbers and those followers place much emphasis on the influencer’s suggestions and recommendations. If you can partner with one of them, they may give you a mention on their channels. 

Blogs/Bloggers

In a similar fashion to leaders and influencers, many bloggers have a large number of people that read their articles and take note of their suggestions. Getting featured on one of their blogs can drive traffic to your property listings. Alternatively, you could even start a blog of your own as part of your marketing strategy.

Local Tourism Websites

Online forums have quite a wide scope, but to reach a smaller, more localized group of people some tourism websites are great for targeting one area. These experts can be useful when you have a property listing that fits their profile. 

Vacation rental marketing platforms

With the increase in the sharing economy, many vacation marking platforms have become well-known to consumers. There are several to pick from with sites Airbnb and Vrbo being very recognizable brands in today’s market. These are a great way to reach a very large audience of potential guests.

Email Marketing

If you have a website or keep a database of previous guests then email marketing can prove very effective. It is a great way to keep your previous customers informed of upcoming deals, special offers, or promotions. 

There are plenty of different outlets that you can use when creating your vacation rental marketing strategy. Local listings, social media groups, or partnering with social media influencers can be a great way of driving traffic to your property listings. Some may work better for you than others. It is worth investing some time in testing various methods until you find out which ones work the most effectively.

Click here some free marketing tools to help you get started.

Select platforms for listing vacation rental properties

Although Airbnb marketing has become one of the most common ways to advertise your vacation rentals, there are other platforms available to use for your vacation rental listing. You will need to decide whether you prefer a commission-based platform or a fee-based platform; which roughly translates to paying for each booking or paying for each listing. There are also some completely free property listing sites available too, but they may not reach quite as large an audience for potential guests. 

 

Commission based platforms

Airbnb

HomeAway

Vrbo

Booking.com

Tripadvisor

 

Fee-based platforms

Tripz

Perfect Places

Tourist-Paradise 

 

Free listing sites

Welcome Worldwide

Free-Rentals

 

Many successful vacation rental markets use a combination of all of the platforms and incorporate various other promotional methods to create a successful marketing strategy. Thanks to automated tools hosts can easily create listings on several platforms and avoid double-bookings. Moreover, all of the properties and accounts can be managed from one dashboard.

Conclusion

These suggestions should provide you with enough information to market your vacation home successfully. Diversification is the name of the game and even though free sites, for example, may not reach a huge audience, it is still worth adding your listing and perhaps gaining one or two bookings that you may have otherwise missed. 

Tracking your data and traffic will help you in terms of analytics and determining where your audience is coming from. As you continue to advertise your vacation home on listing sites and social media, you will be able to refine your marketing strategy over time.  

About iGMS: a professional all-in-one vacation rental software with native integration to major platforms such as Airbnb/HomeAway/Vrbo. iGMS offers automated guest communication and reviews, team management, channel management, financial reporting and lots more.

 

Author Bio:

Inna Shevchenko

Director of Marketing at iGMS

Inna has 10 years of experience in marketing and content writing specifically. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing at iGMS, a short-term rental management software company.

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