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Katie French-White

Katie has been working with boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rental properties, wedding venues and more for over 17 years. She is passionate about the numbers and helping properties succeed.

If you are an independent vacation rental, have a number of properties, or are a property management company, there are many digital marketing and website design strategies you should integrate in order to take your online presence and revenue to a new level.


Make Wise Decisions About Your #1 Asset, Your Website

Vacation rental marketing

There is no greater advice than to own your website. Vacation rental owners and property management companies risk much if they are not in control of and own their websites. Businesses go under, websites can be held hostage, and there is a slew of challenges that can greatly affect revenue without any notice.

Tips:

  • Hire a professional to create a stunning highly converting website.
  • Read the fine print and make sure you do not “rent” the website. It needs to be copyrighted to you.
  • Consider a content management system you can update on your own.
  • Purchase a well-known CMS system like WordPress so you are not stuck relying on a certain company or individual to make needed changes.
  • Make sure your designer also knows SEO and tracking as they are critical components of your online success.

Online Booking Capabilities = More Money in Your Pocket

booking online vacation rental

There is nothing more frustrating as a potential guest than finding the perfect vacation rental and having to wait to see if there is availability. In a time where everyone wants things immediately, having a reservation system or booking engine in place is critical to your peace of mind in not double booking, but also for your online success.

Tips:

  • Don’t manage multiple extranets with other channels. Make sure your booking engine has seamless integration with Airbnb, VRBO, and others.
  • Integrate yield management strategies raising rates on weekends vs. midweek, and also for the most popular dates throughout the year.
  • Consider selling packages during the booking process that can be left in the rentals before they arrive.

Investing in Professional Photography is Money Well Spent

Vacation rental photos of the sea

There is a reason why when you sell a home or business, real estate agents send in professional photographers. As a vacation rental business wanting to sell room nights, it is critical to showcase the top selling points of your property. Great photos can help you not only potentially raise your rates, but they will ultimately close the deal.

Tips:

  • Hire a professional with experience taking photos of vacation rentals and small spaces such as bathrooms.
  • Stage the property wisely.
  • Consider having photos with people and animals if you are pet friendly.
  • Incorporate a diverse group of people as you want to be relatable to as many people as possible.
  • If you are in an area with unique seasons, have the photographer visit during the different seasons and update your marketing materials throughout the year.
  • Do not forget to showcase photos of major attractions or events in the area. Not only are you selling your condo, cabin, villa, cottage, or home rental, but you are selling the area.

Your Top Producer Should Be the Result of Strategic SEO

SEO for Vacation Rentals

There is no greater monetary reward than a well-executed website with proven SEO integrated by a seasoned vacation rental marketing firm. Google organic in particular will bring in more online bookings than any other channel by a significant margin when done correctly.

Tips:

  • Hire a designer that has a marketing team for SEO.
  • Have a clear SEO strategy for the year.
  • Integrate a blog and create new, useful content throughout the year.
  • Link build with reputable sites and don’t forget to network with locals.

Vacation Rental Directories Can Bring a Lot of Business

FL Beachfront Rentals

There is something to be said about directories that have endless marketing budgets. They can bring you guests who would have never found you. However, we oftentimes find many vacation rental owners rely 100% on these directories. You need to consider the following:

  • What happens to your business when that platform sells?
  • What happens to your business when they change their pricing model?

Being solely reliant on others for your business success is short sighted. Vacation rental companies should cast a wide net in regards to marketing.


Local Marketing Is a Piece of the Puzzle

Local Marketing for Vacation Rentals

In analyzing Google Analytics for 1000’s of properties, your location matters. With the current state of the world, many people are taking drivable vacations. Proper marketing in the local channels is critical to a property manager’s success.

  • Many local channels are free but you need to know which ones are useful or local aggregates.
  • Most local channels have reviews which makes your reputation management an additional item to manage.

Email Marketing Should be Used to Reach Your Guests

Man Checking Email about a vacation

The job of every vacation rental manager is to collect emails from all guests and obtain approval to send out email blasts. For every OTA booking, the vacation rental company needs to turn them into lifelong book direct guests. Part of the success of this depends on getting your guests’ emails.

  • Send out monthly blasts and promote specials, packages, activities, and events.

Paid Search Marketing Gets You Immediate Traffic

vacation rental bathroom in florida

Paid search marketing is a wonderful way to get your target market to your website immediately. It is an excellent investment and is a piece of the digital marketing puzzle.

Set up and test:

  • Google Ads
  • Bing Ads
  • TripConnect
  • Google Hotel Ads

Social Media Marketing Is a Great Way to Connect

social media for vacation rentals - mother and son in the snow

Create magical experiences in social media and connect with your loyal followers. Keep in mind this is not as lucrative as some of the other digital marketing platforms.

Set up:

  • Facebook – test unique ads and target markets.
  • Instagram – your Facebook ads can push seamlessly into Instagram.
  • Pinterest – create fun and exciting pins.
  • Twitter – only utilize Twitter if you have a large following.

Sell Your Vacation Rental or Property Management Company

Sell your vacation rental now

When it is time to ride off into the sunset, you should hire a hospitality expert to sell your property. Consider White Stone Brokers to help you get top dollar as you cruise into retirement.