You’ve purchased a house, fixed it up, and now it’s ready to rent. But how do you find people to fill it? There are numerous ways of doing this, and below are just a few methods for spreading the word about your vacation rental property.
Advertising online is the easiest way to gain exposure and share easily accessible information about your rental property with potential renters. It’s most likely an online search tool that helped you find the property you are marketing now. Listing your short-term rental on booking channels like VRBO, Airbnb, booking.com, and others is a great way to reach people both in your neighborhood and outside of it.
But don’t stop at the big ones! There are tons of niche booking channels available for just about every type of vacation rental and short-term rental experience. Here’s a great list of niche listing sites for vacation rentals, put together by Rentals United.
Although newspapers or magazines may seem old-fashioned, a well placed advertisement in the classified section or a placement in the right publication still works for getting the word out about your short-term rental. However, be sure that you’re hitting the right audience. In many drive-to markets, say you're managing a home in the Hamptons that relies on tri-state traffic, local publications may be a good source of bookings.
Finally, good old word of mouth is a way of advertising your rental. Ask renters to provide reviews on both the booking site, as well as offering testimonials you can list on your own website. Great experiences for renters, and good follow-through with email correspondence and communication, is a great way to get return rentals as well as family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances of your renters. The more people that know about your property, the increased likelihood of them telling someone who is looking for a nice vacation home to rent.
Create a Social Media Plan
If you don’t already have a social media page for your property, create one today! It’s the best way to reach people, no matter their location, and tell them about your available places to rent. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all good social media platforms to reach people. A quick post on Facebook with pictures and information about your new place will be seen by all of your page’s followers. It also gives renters the opportunity to tag photos they take and posts they write, linking you directly to social word of mouth and boosting awareness.
In addition, you can also pay a fee and advertise select posts to an audience of your choice. This way you can target exactly who you are looking for or perhaps just people located within driving distance of one of your vacation rental homes or perhaps in locations you know often rent your homes. Another paid option is using Google ads that target people who are performing searches on relevant topics, such as “rental available in Seattle” or “places to rent near me.” However, be careful not to compete on keywords that are too generic. Find-out what makes your property unique and what specific keywords people might be searching for related to your area.
Build Your Own Website
As technology continues to become an everyday tool in property management, having your own website is a good resource for your company to utilize. Many modern PMS systems also support integrations with website builders, or have website builders integrated. Updating your listings regularly and keeping the most current information about the property is key. It’s also a good place to share information about your business and what services you offer to clients.
On the rental listing page be sure to mention features that people want to know about. Share how large the space is, the number of rooms available, any recent upgrades, and the price. It’s also important to showcase pictures of the property so people who cannot physically visit it are able to see the layout of the place.
A separate contact page with your information helps people get in touch with you quickly. Whether you list a business email or phone number to reach you, it needs to be a method of communication that you will be checking frequently or makes it easy for people to reach you.
Get an Extra Hand
If you are too busy or overwhelmed to focus on finding new clients for your vacation rental, you can outsource this job to a professional property manager or get extra help from a virtual assistant. Introducing the experience of a professional can oftentimes be exactly what you need to scale your bookings up and get repeat clients.
If you’re determined to manage your property yourself, consider joining online groups or other forums, like ASTRHO, the Association for Short Term Rental Home Owners, as a helpful way to get tips and insights from other owners.
Using any of the tactics mentioned above will help you market your new vacation rental property. While some options might cost more than others, they all will bring in potential clients, and ultimately improve revenue.