Do you own Google vacation rentals or plan on purchasing one in addition to your primary residence?
You can use this investment to earn passive income and even start a vacation rental business, eventually adding more properties to your portfolio. The beauty of this real estate investment strategy is that, with a mortgage and tenants to pay it, your vacation rental property pays for itself, while producing positive cash flow each month.
The rental property concept has gained momentum in the real estate space over the past few years, spurred by economic growth and entrepreneurial vision meeting the demand for more home-like and unique vacation properties like Airbnb rentals as opposed to commercial residences such as hotels.
But buying a vacation home is quite different from traditional real estate investing that involves purchasing a property for renting, long-term holding, or fixing and flipping. When buying a vacation rental property, a real estate investor has to widen his/her understanding of local markets as he/she might meet vacancies throughout the year on vacation rentals. This means you should have a keen understanding of two aspects of vacation rentals before jumping in:
- Which platforms are most effective for marketing your vacation rental property.
- How to properly analyze a potential investment property for profitability.
Related: Mashvisor Names the 10 Best Places for Buying a Vacation Home in 2021
Google Vacation Rentals: Where to Market Your Investment Property
Google never fails to produce a product for virtually everything (no pun intended). After Google Flight and Google Hotel, Google Vacation Rentals is the latest release, initiated in early 2019.
Google has partnered with online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Vrbo, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and key metasearch platforms like HomeToGo to showcase their vacation rental properties on the Google vacation rentals platform.
Google has been the most preferred search engine and one-stop-shop for travelers. Whether looking for the dream vacation destination, online travel booking, or destination reviews, most consumers search for information and travel ideas on Google.
Related: Google’s Downtown West Project Is Coming to the San Jose Real Estate Market
In marketing, we call platforms like Google “bottom of funnel.” If you view your marketing strategy as a funnel with a wide top and a narrow bottom, you can easily picture your ideal tenant’s journey towards booking with you. At the top of the funnel is where they will be educated and gain awareness of what they want. At the bottom of the funnel is where they will be ready to buy. When users conduct Google searches for rental properties in specific locations, they are at the bottom of the funnel because they are ready to book. This is where you want your vacation rental to show up for them.
Google Vacation Rental Search 101
Google has worked with a few software providers to deliver a more customizable search and reservation experience for its clients to book their vacation rentals through Google. The platform has successfully integrated vacation rentals in its hotel search function, meaning Google vacation home rentals inventory will be showcased alongside hotels in Google Maps and search results, unlike vacation rental websites like Airbnb and Vrbo, which only show vacation rentals.
How Google Vacations Works
The Google vacation rentals search function has been added to the hotel search results, enabling integration of short-term rental properties into users’ searches for traditional hotels. This is important for short-term property owners to note, because there’s an increased probability of being noticed. Many travelers might believe they want a hotel until your Google vacation rental shows up next to one in their search as a better alternative.
At the moment, property managers are not granted direct access to guests through Google search and Google maps. Instead, they have to work with one of the preferred Google software partners, including Rentals United.
However, with Google vacation rentals, customers will enjoy an improved experience in their travel booking as all the information, comparison, reviews, and checkout will be available within a single search engine, increasing booking conversion rates. That means your property should theoretically receive more bookings on Google than on other platforms.
How to Get Listed on Google for Your Vacation Rental
Airbnb website rentals are great, but wouldn’t you like your property to appear in the vacation rental search result on Google? Once you’ve invested in a vacation rental property, you need to get found on the right platforms, so top rentals search engines showcase your vacation rental to potential tenants.
To get your vacation rental listed on Google, follow these steps:
- Create a Google My Business profile for each of your rental properties to increase its visibility on Google.
- House your rentals on a website, but make sure each rental has its own unique URL, so Google can identify it as a separate property.
- Make sure your website is SSL certified, or secure. Otherwise, it will be penalized by Google.
- Have your website optimized for SEO, or search engine optimization. This includes using clean URLs and optimizing for keywords your future tenants will be searching for.
- Link your Google My Business listing to your website so customers can look at your property and contact you.
Benefits of Google Vacation Home Rentals
What’s the big deal about listing your vacation rentals on Google?
Google vacation rentals offer a balanced combination of different types of accommodations, resulting in many benefits of listing vacation rentals on Google for rental property investors.
1) Add to Your Online Visibility
By listing your vacation rental on Google Travel, the chances of gaining visibility through Google’s popularity are significantly increased. In addition, if you upload high-quality pictures listed under Google Travel, coupled with an aesthetically pleasing website, you’ll increase your rental business bookings in no time.
2) Gain Customers Trust
Ratings and reviews are some of the most crucial criteria for customers when it comes to booking your Google vacation rentals online. For example, suppose your rental property appears in the top choice for customers on Google Travel. Google is a high-profile platform, and therefore Google reviews are among the best to have. Google will rank vacation rentals with positive Google reviews ahead of properties with other kinds of reviews from third-party websites.
3) Access Commission Free Booking
Currently, Google vacation rentals are offering freedom from charges/fees for listing your vacation rental website on the platform. Also, it is not collecting any commission from the bookings for your vacation rental property. Google might be one of the only platforms not charging its property owners to post listings.
Related: Airbnb Fees Investment Property Owners Should Know About
4) Enjoy International Reach
Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second and is one of the largest and most widely used search engines in the world. If you’re looking to increase your target audience to international travelers, Google Travel is the best.
Guide to Building a Successful Google Vacation Rental Business
Knowing the right platforms to advertise your property is only half the battle. Before buying a vacation home, it is crucial to calculate how much money you can expect from your short-term rental property. To do this, you’ll need to conduct vacation rental market analysis. To analyze your potential investment, you have two options. You can either collect the data and make calculations manually, or you can use a vacation rental income calculator.
Mashvisor’s investment property calculator projects the estimated gross rental profit generated from a Google vacation rental property. Although the rental profit calculated is only an estimate, it can help you decide if it is worth buying and renting out a vacation home before you put your money down. Our calculations are based on reliable Airbnb data and are regularly checked against the performance of Airbnb hosts in each area.
Related: A Glimpse of Mashvisor’s Short Term Rental Data
Our calculator will automatically determine:
- One-time startup up costs
- Recurring monthly expenses
- Rental income
- Occupancy rate
- Cash flow
- Cash on cash return
- Cap rate
Why is a good cap rate for investing in vacation rental homes crucial? The cap rate showcases the rate of return on investment (ROI), or how much income an investment property generates compared to the price the investor must pay for it.
Related: How to Invest in Vacation Rental Property in 2021
The Bottom Line
Before you start searching for Google vacation rentals for sale, make sure you’ve got the tools you need to analyze your investment and make the best possible decision. Our platform allows you to search for properties and analyze them all in one, saving you time in your journey towards building a Google vacation rental property empire.
To start looking for and analyzing the best Google vacation rentals in your city and neighborhood of choice, click here.