No matter the season or weather, there are more and more people seeking a perfect getaway from their mundane and tedious routines. If you own a property or a vacation home that is meticulously equipped for rental, you need to enlist it adequately so you can increase the bookings and have lucrative outcomes. This might be harder than it sounds, but not impossible since it requires a lot of digging into what makes people more attracted to a certain place and how to attract them to your vacation home.
If you strive to increase your bookings, you need to keep up with the contemporary and up-to-day amenities, offerings, and visual experiences that many guests will look forward to. Due to the booming advancement of travel trends, you must follow up with new and exciting ways that will increase your bookings. Here is a list of the seven most vital ways to get the most of your vacation rental offerings.
1. Incorporate genuine and updated photos and description
Your guests need to be aware of what you have installed for them. To increase the vacation rental booking of your property, you need to give your future guest a clear visualization of the house or flat. First of all, don’t take pictures from a distance, and always make sure that you take pictures from every single angle possible. Strive to upload quality photos on the profile since they will look more appealing to travelers. Pictures of homes taken by professional equipment will stand out from all others. Use a high-resolution camera to show off clear light and take beautiful pictures of the interior and exterior. Think about the layout, the angle, and how the photos will be assembled on the website. You want to lead your potential guest through your home diligently and accurately. If you have done some renovations or improvements to the rental property, make sure that you update the profile and show the potential guests what changes you have made.
When it comes to the description, always update regularly and be concise and truthful. By having detailed descriptions of the vacation home and the sights and building around it, your guest can have a clear visualization of what they can expect. From a newly open bar to a top-notch restaurant, everything matters.
2. Advertise effectively
One of the best and easiest ways to skyrocket your vacation rental bookings is to increase the number of Internet vacation rental sites and web pages on which you want your listing to be seen. People need to know where you are and what you have to offer; therefore, it is crucial to be out there.
First, you should head to the most popular websites. Airbnb is extremely popular nowadays, and it offers a 3% fee per booking with a free listing policy for all rentals. This a small investment compared to what you can gain with it. Next, you must go to the biggest vacation rental site, HomeAway. They offer a free-to-list option but with a higher booking fee of 10%. Not such a high percentage, because they will surely help you attract more visitors.
In the end, you can always resort to social media. Setting up a specifically designated Facebook account for your rental services is the cheapest way to increase your vacation rental bookings. To attract more followers, offer great deals, discounts, bargains, and post riveting photos of your rental home.
3. Invest in interior updates
If you happen to own a vacation home in a mesmerizing location, near some renowned monument, on a strenuous mountain, or anywhere touristy for that matter, people will click on your ad just because of the location and their needs. However, they need to be wowed by your interior rather than exterior since many people seek comfortability, efficient amenities, and enticing décor.
The kitchen is the place where many families spend their time. Invest in quality appliances with a long lifespan. A good stove and a fridge are a must. Plus, many enjoy drinking good coffee in the morning because coffee can fight off depression and uplift our spirits. So having a Blue Pod Coffee machine, for example, is another must-have appliance. Having a quality coffee machine will attract more tourists who enjoy freshly brewed coffee. You want to make the kitchen an inviting space, so if necessary, replace the dated kitchen cabinets with new and enticing ones, change the doorknobs, and update the tiles.
Remodel your interior by adding cutting edge appliances, repainting the walls with fresh and inviting colors, and getting refined and sophisticated furniture. Always seek to be original and innovative. Search for some alluring décor. Go for a rustic chandelier instead of plain plastic ones, or get ornamental rugs or funky floor cushions for the living area. If you contribute to the long-term value of your vacation home and highlight the unique characteristics, you will have a bigger increase in listing appeal.
4. A good word of mouth
Reviews can make or break your vacation rental. By treating your guests with respect, immaculate care, and trust, not only will they come back, but they might even recommend your vacation home to numerous other people. If you have satisfied guests, they can serve as a good advertising tool. If you put enough focus on the guest experience, you can easily generate positive feedback that leads to more bookings, and automatically to higher occupancy rates. A good word of mouth can go distances, so ask all your satisfied visitors to make and post a comment on listing websites. Encourage them to write about their full experience and stay, even if they might have had some negative issues.
What is more, you need to regularly check and respond to your home’s reviews, no matter whether they are good or bad. Of course, positive reviews can only serve you well. And when it comes to negative ones, try to address them with care and specify that you would improve the issue for next time.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘thank you’, a friendly smile, and ‘I hope you have a good stay’ to make guests recommend your vacation home. Do your best to remain professional and friendly when you are communicating with your guests, and do whatever is in your power to make them feel welcomed and safe. Nobody would like to come back to a vacation home where the owner was grumpy and unprofessional. So, put a smile on your face and stay open-minded.
5. Implement smart bargains
Trying to top up the competition can a challenging task. Another way that you can increase your rental bookings is striving to do your best to beat the competition but staying consistent with your offers. You can easily achieve that by identifying the cheapest home in your neighborhood and undercutting its price. Just bear in mind not to make your vacation home the cheapest around, since many potential visitors might start wondering why that is so. Boost your vacation rental bookings by never being static and constantly offer interesting and smart bargains. Besides being amongst the cheapest around, you can attract more tourists by lowering your nightly rate.
With every new season, try to alter the price and offer different discounts. For instance, you can offer a 50% discount for kids under the age of 14 in the peak season, and free of charge during the offseason. Furthermore, offer great bargains on specific events around the area, and always keep in mind the average price around. Another quite lucrative deal that would increase your vacation rental is giving discounts according to the length of the guest’s stay.
6. Keep all the premises in order
If you have already adjusted the pricing to be more enticing for the guests, you need to give them all the things that you have shown and said. This refers to keeping the entire area in meticulous order. It’s one thing to buy and install a fancy hot tub in the backyard and another thing completely to keep it maintained. If you have a swimming pool in the back yard or a hot tub, you must find proper caretakers who would keep them clean for the following guests after the previous ones have left. When you keep regular maintenance of the outdoor living space, you create a welcoming atmosphere for the new guest. That is undoubtedly a recipe for long-term rental success.
Moreover, your visitors will be approaching from the front side of the rental property, and the first impression always counts the most. Make sure that you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and bushes, and regularly rake and clear out the clutter. Don’t have leaves, trims, branches or any other debris lying around on the front porch, deck, or patio. Every guest will be stunned once they arrive at a house that looks unattained and dilapidated. Also, keep the windows crystal clear and try not to leave oil smudges and streaks. If they are not in use, wash and later store all your outdoor furniture.
7. Set clear goals
The best advice is to keep track of all your present and past doings. Every week, try to find time to study your home’s performances. Take a notepad and start writing down the numbers. Keep track of how many guests you have had, whether you are ahead or behind your booking this week in contrast to the previous one, and how many people have signed up solely due to new bargains that you have implemented. In this way, you will have a clear monthly insight into your future earnings, hence you can alter the wrongdoing and establish helpful goals that will keep you going.
Always remind yourself of the reasons why you started to rent out your vacation home. Profit as the major reason is a normal aspect, but for that reason, you need to remain persistent in your goals. Keep a clear record of your actions, make sure that nothing slips out of your fingers and gets forgotten. That is why by keeping your online calendar in order so that your potential guest can track your availability and by always staying on the top of the market trends, you will fulfill all your goals and increase your vacation rental bookings.
It might take time and effort to implement the above tips and get desirable results. There is a lot of things you need to do when you wish to increase your vacation rental booking, so start now and start diligently.
This article has been contributed by Stella Ryne.