This article is for owners who have their own website for their vacation rental. If you don’t have your own website, hire someone to build it for you. If you can’t afford to hire someone, then have a friend make a site for you. The point is, in today’s market it’s important to have not only a regular website but also a mobile website.Did you know that mobile web usage is set to overtake desktop usage by the year 2014?
The first thing you have to do as a new vacation rental owner is to have a website built by an experienced webmaster who understands the importance of Social Media, SEO, and placement of Vacation Rentals on all major search engines. I highly recommend that you find a webmaster who has experience with building vacation rental websites and is knowledgeable with this form of business.
These days, with a bad overall economy, it is even more important to keep that revenue coming in even when you are not in your peak season. After having your website built, then you need to get down to the business of marketing your vacation rental website online.
Savvy marketing can be an excellent way to keep your property fully booked. Fortunately, there are lots of options for vacation rental owners to choose from when it comes to selecting an online vacation rental advertising medium.
That can be a good and a bad thing – just because a vacation rental website exists, that does not mean that paying an annual fee to have a listing on that website is going to lead to inquiries and bookings for the owner. As with many things, there are lots of dependencies that will determine success.
The higher the vacation rental website is on that list, the better you are likely going to do by paying them for a listing on their vacation rental website. Check where that particular vacation rental website you are considering advertising on shows up in Google rankings for searches that a renter is likely to enter. For example, if you had a vacation rental for rent in New York City, see which vacation rental website comes up first for a Google search of “new york city vacation rentals“.
After clicking on the link from the Google search results that takes you to a particular vacation rental website, take a look at how many vacation rental properties show up on that page that Google took you to.
In the vacation rental website business, we call that a “city index page”. Many vacation rental websites will charge more to be closer to the top of the page.The closer to the top your property shows up on the city index page, the more page views and leads you are going to get. Many vacation rental websites will charge more to be closer to the top of the page. This will lead to more inquiries and bookings for you, but as a business owner, you have to weigh that against how much more that will cost.
Marketing is another skill that all vacation rental owners will have to build skills in, the business of owning a vacation rental is a lot more complicated than it was 20 years ago, as there’s a lot more competition to deal with. Ongoing education and savvy marketing will put you ahead of your competition.