There are numerous businesses out there that all need to monetize their online presence, but in this particular piece, we decided to look at a more targeted industry – the vacation rental industry.
Now even if you are not in this industry that does not mean you have to be dissuaded from reading this article because you may even get some idea for your own niche.
In fact, it is often beneficial to read about how businesses in other niches utilize their integrated online marketing strategies.
In addition to this, if you happen to be a digital marketer, then this article could help your business target those within the tourism industry that need help with their digital marketing campaigns.
Read on for some of the best advice you will ever get in a short article covering how to monetize a vacation rental company’s online presence for very little cash investment!
Cracking a Million Dollars Industry
As you may or may not already know, the tourism industry is a tough cookie to crack when it comes to online marketing. The competition is rife with advertising space being heavily invested in by large companies that operate in this niche.
To say the very least, a marketing budget in the vacation industry needs to be quite large – or does it?
If you are fortunate enough to have a property available for short term rental, or you are working for a property management company and you have properties ready to be rented out, then the vacation rental segment of the tourism industry is certainly worth considering.
Free Listing Websites
There are over 20 websites that allow anyone that meets the stipulated requirements to list their property as available for short term vacation rental lease. What’s more, is that they allow you to do this for free!
It is as simple as this:
- List your property on as many vacation rental websites, like HomeAway, as possible
- Let the website do all the online marketing for you (They already have large marketing budgets)
- Build up your reviews so you can raise your asking price
It really is as simple as that. The way you get your property online traffic is simply by listing it on as many vacation rental websites with high traffic as possible.
People will search for vacation rentals in the area your property is listed, and it will be displayed in their search results.
The beauty of this is that the traffic generated to bring attention to your property is free. The only catch is that when you are pricing the property, make sure that you consider the 20% commission taken by the website for the booking.
Use a Website Builder With Vacation Rental Software
It is all very well having your vacation rental listed on several websites, but what about managing the calendars. If your property is listed on 10 websites, that’s 10 websites to manage. Quite a big ask!
Luckily there are website builders out there that have built-in software that allows you to manage all 10 calendars from a single login point. Arguably the best one we have tried out from quite a few is the Lodgify channel manager software.
All you need to do is list your property on the website builder, then use the channel manager to connect the calendar with calendars on HomeAway, Airbnb, FlipKey, and any other vacation rental website that has synchronization functions built-in.
The end result is this:
- No need to log in and manually update multiple calendars when a new booking comes in
- All calendars automatically sync when a new booking is made
- No more double bookings
The amount of time saved just by using a channel manager makes listing your property on multiple websites well worth the time and effort put in.
Use professional Graphic Designs and Photography
Now the one thing that could really let you down when listing your property is lack of quality.
If you are using a logo, get a professionally designed one with a variety of sizes. There is nothing worse than using one-size fits all logo – the logos need to fit the size limits the vacation websites allow. Squashed or distorted logos will not incentivize people to click on your property.
In the same breath, you should also think about the quality of the images you are using. Especially the images of the inside of your property. You will get more web traffic with bright pictures that show all the amenities clearly.
All you need to do to get this right is to pretend that it is you planning a vacation away. Check out other vacation rental listings you in competition with.
Next, shortlist the ones you would book if it were you going on a vacation in this area. Most of the time you will find your shortlist is filled with properties that have made an effort with their photography.
Quality will bring your property more online traffic, so the best take away from this section is ‘do not take short cuts’ when it comes to graphics.