While hundreds of thousands of homeowners advertise their properties on sharing economy sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo each year, there is no assurance of commercial success or financial benefit.
Owners are increasingly facing head-on competition, which means they must be at the top of their game to thrive. We break down the three must-haves for every vacation rental company hoping to generate a respectable profit and remain competitive in an industry worth $100 billion.
Assuming you already have a vacation rental home (or are in the process of acquiring one), here are the three other non-negotiables that will help your new business succeed.
1. A well-known vacation rental brand
Your new vacation rental’s paint is just dry, and you’re anxious to welcome visitors – not so fast! Before you start taking reservations, there is one thing you must perfect: your vacation rental brand.
Defining your brand from the start can greatly assist you in establishing the kind of image you want to generate and portray for your vacation rental. Everything from your company logo to your unique business domain name will contribute to the creation of your brand identity, so take your time – these choices do not have to be made overnight.
Once you’ve determined your brand’s personality – whether it’s “friendly,” “familiar,” “cool,” “luxury,” “exclusive,” or anything else – it will be expressed in everything you do as your brand’s voice. All writing on your website, emails, and other marketing materials must utilize the same styles and tones to maintain a consistent image.
2. A vacation rental website that has been optimized
A vacation rental website is an essential requirement for owners who want to get their company off the ground. Business websites are the finest route for obtaining direct rental reservations; owners also utilize them to avoid the increasingly exorbitant fees paid by online travel agents.
However, it is not as simple as having a website and waiting for reservations. Many elements are required to guarantee that your website is optimized for this sector to remain competitive. Because most travel reservations are now on mobile devices, your vacation rental website must be mobile-friendly.
You’ll also need a prominent availability calendar, a clear call-to-action like “Book Now!” and a booking engine embedded into your site so prospective visitors can simply reserve their accommodation. Search engine optimization (SEO) procedures will be performed as part of the web-building process so that Google may discover your website.
Aside from technical aspects, you’ll need the area to exhibit high-quality images of your home, space to write compelling descriptions, and the capability to display those all-important guest reviews and testimonials.
3. A well-defined promotional approach
You’ll need a planned advertising and distribution strategy in place to have your vacation rental viewed by all of those prospective visitors.
When developing your vacation rental business strategy, consider the marketing approaches and methods you will use to obtain online and offline recognition. Consider who your customer personas – or ideal guests – are so you may target these markets more precisely.
It’s a good idea for new companies entering the vacation rental market to promote on various listing sites to reach as large an audience as possible. In the early stages, having a presence on sites like Airbnb and HomeAway might help you get the initial reservations and feedback for your rental.
Tip: If you want to list on various sites, make sure you have a channel manager in place, so you don’t have to manually update all of your calendars every time you get a booking.
Aside from listing sites, there are several additional methods to publicize your website (this should be your primary priority since it is what will bring you significant profits!). Consider collaborating with tourist boards to offer your accommodation in your local region, for example. Alternatively, market your house on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Finally, consider investing in search engine marketing (SEM) such as AdWords so that visitors looking for holiday rentals in your region may quickly locate your home and website.
These are just the top three things you’ll need in place to ensure the success of your vacation rental company from the start. In truth, there is a lot more to learn as your company grows and evolves.
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