6 Ways to Stand Out in a Competitive Vacation Rental Market

6 Ways to Stand Out in a Competitive Vacation Rental Market

If you own vacation rentals, you should know that the market is in a very good place right now. As the travel industry continues to hit high exceeding pre-2020 figures the opportunity to maximize the utility of any existing properties is going to increase. However, the competition in the vacation rental space is incredibly stiff, particularly in areas where tourism is a mainstream industry. To take full advantage of the vacation market’s positive trends, you must examine your business’s marketing approach and take steps to stand out from your competition. If getting bookings is a problem, try out these tips to make sure your vacation properties are more easily found

1. Build a Professional Website

A professionally designed website will do much to increase both your trustworthiness and your site’s online visibility. Aside from the usual best practices like ensuring good navigation and mobile friendliness, you’ll also want to look at some of the more specific needs of vacation rentals. In most cases, you’ll want to use a vacation rental website builder rather than a more general solution so that you can easily integrate all the most important features needed in your industry.

To appear truly “professional,” make sure to build your site in a way that showcases your properties in the best possible light. This not only means including high-quality photos and detailed descriptions but also positive guest reviews that create trust signals that site visitors could latch on to. To further strengthen your site’s legitimacy, include endorsements from reputable travel sites as well as security badges to give your payment processing the credibility it needs to encourage bookings.

2. Integrate a Smart Booking System

While your website’s credibility is important, you also need to make sure it has an intuitive booking system. Whatever system you implement, it should require a minimal number of taps or clicks to book your rental. You also want to make sure that your potential guests can view availability and pricing with no issues. Importantly, once guests are booked, your system also needs to easily facilitate extensions and inquiries over any desktop or mobile platform.

Your booking system’s specific features should also be tailored to your target market. For instance, if you have a luxury offering, your booking system may also need to allow a fair degree of customization so that you can offer a bespoke experience with minimal fuss. If you mostly do quick weekend getaways, then a quick booking option that doesn’t require filling out a long online form might be worth considering.

3. Leverage Interactive Features

In an online landscape full of static web pages, hosting interactive features on your website will certainly help ramp up engagement, potentially resulting in bookings. Some options you can try include interactive maps, carousels featuring reviews and testimonials, or an insider-style blog full of authentic local insights.

If you’re after something a bit more ambitious, you can offer virtual 360-degree video tours of your property to give potential guests a better look at your space. Another thing you can try is to set up a virtual concierge service on your site. From there, you can assist guests with planning their trip and offer recommendations for restaurants, activities, and special services. Whichever strategy you integrate, interactive features of some kind will help drum up engagement that translates into bookings.

4. Provide Responsive Customer Support

The best way to stand out in the vacation rental business is to have consistently good word of mouth. Essentially, you want to get to the point where previous guests are happy to do most of your marketing for you. Of course, having clean, well-maintained properties is a given but you should also go the extra mile to make sure that guests are happy with the support you provide.

At the minimum, your business needs to be contactable through your website’s live chat, email, and contact forms—even better if you can also entertain concerns over the phone and social media. You and your staff also need to be available to answer questions and provide assistance before, during, and after your guests’ stay to ensure a positive experience.

5. Run a Consistent Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing may be a bit old school but it still provides incredibly consistent results for vacation rentals, particularly for maximizing customer lifetime value. The main value of these campaigns is that they let you stay connected with past guests, keeping your place on top of mind and consequently encouraging referrals and repeat bookings. For even better results, send out newsletters with special offers, updates on local events, and personalized recommendations based on guests’ previous stays.

6. Invest in Good Search Engine Optimization

If your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) is weak, you’ll almost always pay more in marketing dollars to secure bookings. Good SEO provides a great foundation for all other online marketing campaigns and keeps the cost of standing out down, regardless of how you choose to promote your site. Notably, you can expect to get a much bigger bang for your ad spend if you run a solid SEO campaign alongside your paid ads.

Going Beyond the Basics of Vacation Rental Marketing

These strategies are only the bare minimum of what you should do to set your rental business apart from the crowd. Alongside these strategies, you must also look into other online and real-world opportunities that can give your business the leverage it needs to stay ahead in its market. With a proactive approach, you can position your vacation rentals for long-term success, regardless of current market conditions.

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