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Matt Brown

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Matt works in Customer Care at FlipKey. A veteran of the stage, Matt has toured much of the country in a 1994 Buick Regal. He enjoys movies, professional sports, and dancing like nobody's watching.

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Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the leap and list your vacation rental on FlipKey and TripAdvisor. Now how can you market it? There are several different types of travelers out there, so here are a few tips to help you target the key demographics.

A Family Vacation

Parents want to make sure that their children will be staying in a happy, fun and safe environment. If there are local amusement parks, attractions and restaurants for the whole family, be sure to mention them in your property description. It can also be very difficult to transport all the comforts of home, so why not help to fill a family’s checklist? Do you have family friendly amenities that you don’t mind sharing? A high chair, crib, backyard games and pool toys? Don’t be shy to include them in your property description and amenities. Even that big screen TV and Blu-ray player might come in handy on a rainy day.

The Romantic Getaway

Do you have a quiet and secluded property? Your vacation rental may be the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. When couples plan this type of escape, they want to know that the atmosphere is just right. Your stone fireplace, four poster bed or hot tub may be the key features that separate your property from the rest. Be sure to highlight them by taking advantage of our unlimited photographs on FlipKey and TripAdvisor. You might also want to mention a few dinner spots that are perfect for a night on the town.

Business Trips

A business traveler is looking to stay connected and have a seamless experience getting in and out of town. First, they are looking for a solid WiFi connection. Be sure that WiFi has been added to your list of amenities as it has become a key selling point for all types of travelers. Close proximity to the airport or public transportation is also a strong selling feature. As business travelers don’t always have the option to extend their stay, it may be helpful to cater to these travelers with a nightly rate. Business trips may not fit your minimum stay requirements, but these reservations can help to fill the gap between your weekend and long-term travelers.

Elderly and Special Needs Travelers

Finding a property that caters to travelers with special needs can often be a challenge. If your property is handicap accessible, it can be a major selling point for your listing. Make sure to note that your property is wheelchair and elderly accessible. Prospective travelers have the ability to search for these types of properties using one of FlipKey and TripAdvisor’s many search filters. Also, if your property is not currently listed as pet friendly, you might want to consider making a special exception in the case of a service animal.

You may have already noticed that your listing is a very popular spot among a certain demographic. Why not cater to your market and make it the best?

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If you own a pet, I don’t need to tell you that planning a vacation can be a challenge. Your pets are members of the family and finding a trustworthy caretaker can be an exhausting process. Even if you know your pet is in good hands, it’s hard not to wonder if all is well with the furry members of the family back home. It’s nice to have the opportunity to bring your pet along on vacation, but what if I told you there were ways for your animals to travel in style?

Best Friends Pet Care – Orlando, FL

Disney World is the quintessential vacation spot for children and children at heart. While the princesses may have their run of the Magical Kingdom, at Best Friends Day Care, Pluto is king. Their staff provides day care during theme park hours and well as luxurious overnight accommodation for cats, dogs and a variety of other small pets.

DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center – Desert Hot Springs, CA

DogSpa Resort is the perfect romantic getaway for spa and dog lovers alike. This unique six room hotel offers an exclusive experience with picturesque mountain views. Better still, there are no additional pet fees or breed restrictions.

Paw House Inn – Rutland, VT

This Vermont Bed & Breakfast was built specifically to cater to dog owners. Their specially designed playhouse is the perfect place for your pets to hang out while you explore the area. If your dog prefers to be a lone wolf, each room comes with its own private dog run. There is even a local vet available 24/7 just in case.

PetTravel.com

PetTravel.com offers a number of resources for those looking to take to the air with their pets. Their pet travel experts will provide you with all the information you need to help you and your pet travel safely and comfortably.They also can help you to find a pet friendly hotel when you have selected your vacation destination!

If you prefer a vacation rental, FlipKey.com has you covered. Many of the property owners on our site welcome pets and indicate that their homes are pet-friendly in the suitability section of their listing. You can also adjust your search criteria on FlipKey to only return homes that are pet friendly. After all, if a vacation rental is truly your home away from home, why not bring the entire family?

What should we write back?

*This post is focused on how listings look on the TripAdvisor app to travelers.

No matter where you look these days, you’ll spot someone with their face buried in a smartphone. Preoccupied strangers watching the latest viral video, oversharing in 140 characters or less, and sling-shotting agitated birds at laughing pigs. You may find this cultural trend disturbing, but there is a silver lining. Did you know that more and more people are using their phones to plan their dream vacation?

By listing on FlipKey & TripAdvisor, you’re in luck. Our mobile apps are designed to give your potential customers a mobile friendly experience. When an aspiring traveler opens the app, they’ll be prompted to search by their desired location and dates of stay. Almost instantly, all of the key information about your listing is right there at a traveler’s fingertips.

Imagine your listing as it appears on a computer screen. Now shrink that listing down to a five inch smartphone screen. How does it look? What do you see? More importantly, what information will your customers see?

A beautiful description of your property with a lengthy introduction will read wonderfully on our website. However, on the mobile app, it may read something like, “Imagine if you will, a summer sunrise over the majestic (… Read More)” A mobile customer is probably not going to read more. More than likely, their data service is spotty, their smart phone is at 3% battery life and they have waited until the absolute last minute to book the perfect vacation. The long-winded sales pitch = death as far as mobile conversions are concerned.

If that sunrise is a key selling point for your property, make sure it’s one of the first photographs on your listing. Don’t waste that limited smartphone real estate describing it to them. Show them!

On FlipKey, you can upload an unlimited number of photos to your listing at no extra cost. However, it’s not a bad idea to keep your mobile listing in mind when determining the order of those photos. The unique lighting fixture in your second bathroom may be appealing, but is it going to give the traveler a sense of why they should stay at your property? Lead with a great shot of your exterior and be sure to feature the bedrooms and living areas your travelers will temporarily call home.

Keep in mind, there is no reason to remove any of the information or photos that you have added to your listing. Think of your FlipKey webpage as a novel. It can be as long and as rich of a read as you’d like. Your mobile listing is the cover that will make a traveler want to pull the book off the shelf.

So, the next time you find yourself sitting at a restaurant, looking at a table of Millennials buried in their smartphones, don’t judge them too harshly. They could be a few college classmates that have spent years talking about taking a big family vacation together. In fact, tonight may be the night they collectively spring into action to find the ideal vacation spot. With a little effort, and a little bit of luck, that perfect spot could be your rental property.