1. Increase your Occupancy Rates.
A recent survey by the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog indicates that vacation rental owners who have their own website had a 13% higher occupancy rate on average! Furthermore, when owners leveraged their personal website as a marketing hub and actively engaged in social media, blogged and posted to forums, their average occupancy rates increased by another 15%.
2. Create a trusted brand.
You can customize your website by adding your own logo, content and photos to create a professional appearance. If you demonstrate a level of professionalism, your guests will see that you are serious about your vacation rental and be more inclined to book from you. Many travelers are still skeptical about booking a vacation rental because there isn’t a big hotel’s brand name behind it. It is up to you to cultivate this trust. A memorable brand not only gives prospective guests a convenient URL to remember, but also gives past guests a point of reference to return to year after year.
3. Get your money’s worth out of your listings on HomeAway and other larger listing sites.
You can include your website URL in your email signature in all correspondence with guests and also link to your website URL on your listings on websites like VRBO. Our clients still get many of their new leads from listing websites, and then refer prospective guests to their personal website in order to seal the deal. Plus, some vacation rental website builders, like WebChalet, enable you to sync your calendars and reviews so your website information and listing information is updated together.
4. Showcase your vacation rental with more photos and more content.
This is your opportunity to create rich, unique content about your vacation rental and the local area. You are no longer confined to the limited format of a listing. We like to think of a website as a growing, breathing thing that is always changing. Content is king and if you have engaging and interesting content about your vacation rental and the local area, new visitors will be interested in your website and past visitors will come again.
5. Create a long-term strategy for your vacation rental business.
Bill Miller from CooperstownLuxury.com owns/manages six properties in Cooperstown, New York and we think he sums it up best. “Undoubtedly, without our own website we would not have been able to establish and promote our own business, or let’s say “brand”. Our listings on the paid site are just that…listings, while our own site is a tool we own. It gives us a lot more flexibility and capability; we can track and monitor traffic, see where it’s coming from, see which pages work and which don’t. The transition away from the paid listing sites toward generating the bulk of our bookings from our own site will be over the long term.”
This guest post was brought to you by Chad Brubaker, CEO at WebChalet.com, a leading vacation rental software company. Starting with a wide variety of vacation rental website templates, owners and professionals can create their own website complete with availability calendars, online payment processing, and a suite of marketing tools that are pre-built into the software.