Online Video in the Vacation Rental Industry

Online video has become increasingly more prominent over the last few years, as evidenced by sites like YouTube and Hulu. As online video becomes even more popular, its role will expand into niche marketing purposes, such as the vacation rental market. According to a survey of over 2,900 people conducted by TNS research, three quarters of respondents said they watched more online video today than they did a year ago. Of that same 75%, half also said they expected to watch more online video in the coming year. Why are users watching video online?

Some of the reasons mentioned were:

  • Convenience
  • Relevance
  • Control of Content

At FlipKey we are committed to "expanding the vacation rental market", and we are keeping an eye on the potentially significant role of online video to aide the market's expansion. One of the problems facing the industry today is attracting people who have never stayed in a vacation rental. A short concise online video outlining the services that a property manager provides could be a dynamic tool to help instill confidence in this group of people.

The TNS survey also highlighted that nearly two-thirds (63%) of people said they have taken some action after seeing an online video advertisement. Traditional TV advertising boasts nearly 80% of people taking some action after viewing an ad, but has been around much longer.

"Some Action" was defined as the following in online video's case:

  • Going to the companies website (44%)
  • Searching for more information about a product (33%)
  • Going to the brick and mortar store to look at a product (22%)
  • Talking to friends and family about the product (21%)

Online video can serve as a tool for property managers to help the public learn more about their hospitality services and properties. FlipKey is interested and excited to see the impact that online video can have on the industry.


  1. We are going to be using video on our rental managemnet site in 2008 as a trial, and I'm also recommending it to owners who are setting up their own sites using CMS or blogs.

    Jake - I'll check out your site and take up the free trial to see if I should recommend it to my blog readers.

    My only reservation in promoting this to individual owners is that I find many vacation home owners need coaching in order to embrace the new media. Many are baby boomers who find the concept of social networking too complex to grasp.

  2. Video is another medium for promoting something and it happens to work really well for certain applications.

    We have a service that lets holiday home owners create their own dedicated property website incredibly easily.

    Our trials in the use of video have been very positive and it's a new feature we are going to add to our system. Home owners will be able to film their own video on a camera or mobile phone and then upload it to their website. It will be encoded into Flash so that website visitors can see a tour of the house. It's another great asset for holiday home owners to help them rent their property and get maximum value for it.

    Try it free:

    I'd be delighted to hear your feedback!


  3. Bryan -

    Video has taken off because it provides a much richer experience than text or flat images. If you haven't already, check out this great article on HospitalityNET about how the online travel sector is leveraging it.

    "Video provides that extra level of experience on a website that helps build an emotional connection to the visitor by delivering the full impact of a hotel's, resort's or destination's unique blend of sights and sounds that conveys the feel that is a brand's hallmark. And web videos are now supported by Online Travel Agency websites as well as the websites of hotel, resort, destination or transportation properties. Add that to the increasing amount of consumer-to-consumer and social media in the industry with customers sharing peer-to-peer reviews, assessments, images and stories about their travel experiences and you have a situation tailor-made for the full array of media."

    Full story:


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