Today we are featuring a guest post from Sarah Brubaker of WebChalet, a site dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers create high-impact, easy-to-maintain websites to promote their vacation rentals.
As you may have noticed, competition for renting out vacation homes is heating up. More people are listing their houses, which is a good thing for travelers looking to have choices when they plan the perfect vacation. Yet if you are a vacation rental owner, then you need to find ways to make your vacation rental stand out from the crowd.
A no-brainer is to launch a personal website for you vacation rental. These days, a website is essential for your vacation rental marketing, yet many owners still don’t have one. And if they do, many owners haven’t touched it since 2003 because they have to ask their second cousin’s cousin to update it. Believe it or not, there's no need to ask relatives for help: it's now easier than ever to launch an affordable website that looks professional and allows you to edit and manage content with no technical knowledge.
A personal vacation rental website with your own domain name can become the hub of your marketing efforts. You can link your website to your directory listings, on sites like FlipKey, as well as any of your social media campaigns to increase your chances of booking more guests. A personal website also helps you seal the deal with potential renters by giving them all of the info they need and emphasizes that your place is the best option for their vacation rental needs.
Here are five ways that a personal website will help you boost your vacation rental marketing:
1. Showcase Unlimited Photos and Videos
With a personal website you can feature unlimited photos of your property. Some vacation rental listing sites place limitations on the number of photos you can upload or the amount of text you can include in your listing (Editor's Note: FlipKey has no limitations on photos or text). A website will allow you to feature as many photos and as much text as you like. This vacation rental website, psmid-century.com, is a great example of how you can give a 360-degree view of your vacation rental online. After viewing these amazing photos, how can you not want to plan a trip to Palm Springs to escape the winter blues?
2. Search Engine Optimization - Create a Brand that can be Found
85% of travel planning begins online. Don't miss out on travelers looking to find a vacation rental through one of the major search engines like Google or Bing. For example, a great domain name like www.MountShastaRental.com helps this vacation rental manager optimize their website when travelers type in the keyword “Mount Shasta Rental.”
3. Increase your credibility
Many owners feel that the professional appearance of their website is what gives their guests the confidence to rent from them. With a slick vacation rental website design, you establish yourself as a professional and build immediate trust with your renters. On your website you can create a comprehensive local guide to your city or town and recommend restaurants and attractions to renters. This info provides real value to your visitors and builds even more trust and credibility.
4. Take Control of Your Marketing
Link to your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages to further engage your website visitors. All WebChalet websites have social tools built in so that clients can share and promote their vacation home through many channels. You can even drop in FlipKey’s widgets and showcase your FlipKey Reviews.
5. Increase Repeat Guests
By having your own website, your past guests can easily find and share your information with friends, rather than having to search through thousands of directory listings for an address that might be easy to forget. You can send out newsletters, drive past guest to your website and create repeat business. Plus, you can include your website address in your email signature when corresponding with potential renters so you are always accessible.
Create a long-term vacation rental strategy with a personal website. Developing your own web presence will complement your current marketing efforts on FlipKey and other directory sites and give your vacation rental marketing a boost that makes you stand out from the pack.
Sarah Brubaker is one of the founders of WebChalet, the Vacation Rental Website Builders. We can help you choose a vacation rental template and get set up today! Call us at 855-777-2284 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.