The Best Ways to Increase Vacation Rental Bookings
Millions of individuals worldwide are expanding their secondary occupations by renting out their own houses, holiday homes, and other real estate assets.
As any good renter knows, managing your reservations — everything from keeping your clients pleased during their stay to maintaining a consistent flow of new business – is a full-time job.
Airbnb and other platforms have emerged to assist individuals in managing the business side of things as the sharing economy increases. Owners, on the other hand, can handle bookings just well on their own if they’re willing to put in the effort – a route that eliminates middleman fees and sends more revenues their way.
The most difficult challenge for independent rental operators is establishing a consistent stream of direct reservations. Increasing regular reservations is a year-round battle, whether owing to lulls during the low season or an inability to stand out in a sea of rentals.
Here are five strategies for increasing reservations and being successful in the rental game.
1. Encourage visitors to offer feedback.
Conscientious travelers may be surprised to learn that a surprising amount of individuals do not submit evaluations after finishing a trip. Even the most successful landlords estimate that only approximately half of their visitors provide feedback.
That implies you’ll have to be proactive in obtaining reviews if you want to gain the public input you want.
After a visitor has been with you, contact them and request a review within a few days. Personalized requests generally outperform boilerplate communications; some even go so far as to send handwritten notes to keep the rental in the forefront of their minds.
Most essential, perform all of the hard lifts for your visitors. Provide connections to your website’s reviews page and make it as simple as possible for people to click, write, and submit.
Even a poor review might be beneficial. According to TripAdvisor, if someone complains about a less-than-perfect experience, you may reply openly and carefully to address those issues, which can increase your reputation in most readers’ eyes.
2. Create your own gorgeous, optimized platform.
The first guideline for getting an internet booking is to have attractive images of the property you’re looking to rent. No matter which site you choose, professional-looking photographs of your listing will help lure visitors.
However, another advantage of investing in great images is that you may use them to help develop your vacation rental website, where customers can rent directly from you. If your website has the bells and whistles needed to compete with Airbnb and HomeAway, you’ll be able to take a larger percentage of the revenues from your rental.
PRO TIP: Use a channel manager to efficiently manage all your listings in one place.
You’ll need optimized, mobile-friendly web pages if you want your listing to appear high enough in search results to compete with larger platforms (which will look as good to Google as they do to your potential customers). Consider hiring an SEO specialist to assist you in improving your search ranks. However, you may also research top terms for your market/niche and meta description usage.
3. Improve and connect your social media accounts
In this day and age, no company’s online presence would be complete without social media outlets. Of course, Facebook is the gold standard, but other platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, which specialize in showing off large, gorgeous photos of items, are also quite popular.
Spend as much time as you spend on your normal listing equipping your social media sites with great photographs, and look into sponsored marketing and user participation in comment areas to increase your visibility. A fresh lead and a new booking might result from using the proper hashtag at the right moment.
Quality web design platforms will allow you to connect all of your sites, resulting in a strong brand presence throughout the web.
4. Be willing to remain for a short period.
Some owners have rules stating that they would not rent out their property for less than two or three days, arguing that the expense of constant turnover is not worth it.
However, there are certain unspoken (but obvious) advantages to allowing visitors to remain overnight. The largest benefit is that allowing individuals to book brief excursions (particularly at the last minute) would immediately increase the number of passengers and ratings. The more reviews you have, the better your site will rank in search results and third-party platform results.
People often choose the location with the most reviews when choosing between two locations that seem to be equal. Two reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars have much less weight than 20 with the same rating.
Side Tip: Airbnb Rental Arbitrage is becoming more and more popular in 2022 – take advantage of this.
5. Use Hemingway in your descriptions.
To begin with, your listing descriptions should be factual and genuine. Don’t mislead consumers about key factors like your rental’s location, size, and layout. If there are flaws, it’s better to be honest about them and allow people to determine for themselves if they’re a deal breaker than to surprise them afterward. This results in negative feedback.
But keep in mind that you’re selling (or rather, renting) a product. You want to develop a listing description that will encourage people to buy it. With your words (particularly your keywords), strive to paint a picture of your listing and connect with the sorts of guests you wish to attract.
Don’t be hesitant to express yourself poetically. When looking to rent someone’s house, most individuals are just as interested in the tale as they are in the location or amount of bedrooms. Instilling your individuality may make the difference for a tenant on the fence.
There are plenty of additional little ideas, tactics, and hacks you may use to improve your booking brand. Feel free to take advice from experienced real estate agents, whose duty is to advertise listings to a wide range of customers.