One of the easiest and most effective ways to market your vacation rental is by listing your property on a vacation rental listing site such as VRBO/HomeAway, AirBnb, and of course, NewYorkRentalByOwner.com. We here at New York Rental By Owner have been doing this for years, and we are sharing our tips for success!
Most travelers will quickly scan a site for their perfect vacation rentals and will only stop at those listings that are eye-catching to them. You only have seconds to attract the reader. To that point, a great thumbnail photo and headline description grab a reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about your property. While essential for any good listing, they are just the start.
Below are more ideas to help you create a standout listing that generates bookings.
1. Thumb Nail Photo
First impressions count! Your thumbnail photo is the first experience a traveler will have with your listing. Make it count. You have less than a minute to attract the travelers’ attention. It should pique interest and motivate a traveler to click on your property listing. The picture itself must be clear and make a statement on what it is that you’re selling that makes a perfect dream vacation. Is it the home itself, is it a view, is it a room, is it the proximity to a location such as a lake, a mountain, a beach, etc.
As with the thumbnail photo, the headline language is critical to a first impression. An eye-catching headline is your first statement regarding your listing. It should highlight what makes your property unique or special from all the other listings. Keep it simple and accurate.
Here are some examples:
- Private and Cozy Cabin in the Woods!
- Charming & Rustic Adirondacks Cabin with Scenic Views and Luxury Amenities!
- World Class Fishing!
- Three Mountains to Ski On!Mountain Views, Clean and Luxury!
- Newly Renovated, Nautical Cottage by the Beach!
- 10 Bedroom House with stunning Mountain Views!
3. Description of your Vacation Rental
This is where you provide a detailed summary of your property. It should be a thorough yet concise description of your rental property and its amenities. It should also include any particulars about your property that might not be for everyone.
- Describe your residence, i.e. number and type of rooms, cozy fireplace, large family room, large deck, etc.
- Include unique features, i.e. are you located on or near a popular street or attraction such lake, beach, ski mountain, museum, etc.
- Respectfully explain features that might impact certain travelers, i.e. many stairs to climb, does it require guests to have 4WD (especially during winter), etc.
The description is one place to sell your property, BUT it is equally important that you are honest and accurate in your description to manage traveler expectations.
Honesty and accuracy help create a more satisfying experience for the traveler, and that’s what brings them back to your property for repeat business. Repeat business is critical for financial successful.
If you can afford it, investing in professional photos offer an excellent return on investment. Clear, detailed, high-quality photos that are current are very important! Most travelers (or people in general) rather look at pictures than read.
Here at New York Rental By Owner, we allow up to 24 photos per listing, and we don’t filter out owner contact information or watermarks. We highly recommend owners utilize all 24.
We recommend including photos of:
- Main living area
- Kitchen/dining area
- All bedrooms
- All Bathrooms
- Unique features such as a dramatic fireplace
- Amenities including washer and dryer
- Images of the outside of your property and grounds
- Outdoor features including decks, firepits, amazing views, and any other special features
- Supply bikes, kayaks, canoes, fishing poles, or any other specialty items that you provide
- Scenic images of nearby attractions such as beaches, lakes, mountains, etc.
Be sure to add a profile picture! Studies show that accounts with a profile picture receive more clicks than those that don’t have one. Don’t you like to see the person you are buying from?
Reviews add credibility to your listing and the service you offer. They provide potential guests another way to get to know what type of owner you are, and the type of service/experience they can expect.
It’s a great way to display positive and independent feedback from satisfied guests and receive recognition for all your hard work! If for some reason you receive a negative review, you should address it with professionalism, honesty and courtesy by explaining and/or defending a situation, or addressing a void in your residence or service so that its does not happen again. Always thank the traveler for their candid feedback, whether positive or negative/constructive.
Providing current and accurate rates extending for a year or two allows travelers to decide whether your listing is within their budget. Be sure to include the following key information:Minimum night requirements
- Daily, weekly, and monthly rates
- Seasonal or holiday rates
- Any additional charges i.e. state and local tax, cleaning, security deposit, additional guest fees, pet fee, discounts, etc.
- Payment terms i.e. initial deposit, balance due date , etc.
- Payment options i.e. credit card, paypal, check, etc.
Keep your listing up to date with your current policies. This is where you can list your “house rules” for housekeeping items such as check-in/check-out, changeover days and times, pet and/or smoking restrictions, cancellation and refund policies.It’s good business practice to clearly and accurately communicate your policies to guests so that all parties are aware of them and in agreement prior to solidifying a rental agreement.
Clear and upfront agreement helps avoid future discrepancies or confusion over policies that might arise.
In addition to the built-in amenities that your rental has to offer – think jacuzzi, big screen TV, heated bathroom floors, off-grid options – consider furnishing your rental with “extras.” These can be basic but useful amenities such as a coffee maker, hairdryers, bathroom toiletries, beach chairs, board games, etc.
You can also pamper your guests with little luxuries like a bottle of wine or a small gift basket filled with local goodies. Don’t be afraid to mention these amenities in your rental listing because they come across as thoughtful touches that illustrate your kindness and attention to detail, which travelers appreciate.
You should efficiently optimize your marketing exposure. As small business owners, every dollar counts. Listing your property on sites like New York Rental By Owner is one of the most economical ways to gain exposure.
In our many years in the vacation rental industry, we have found that advertising locally is also a very cost effective way to reach travelers. Regional websites are focused on a specific target market of vacationers who are more inclined to generate bookings for you.
Ever get frustrated spending time planning a trip only to find out that the place you thought was available is not? You don’t want to be the source of this frustration for your potential guests. Your calendar must be current and accurate. Additionally, it will help travelers find your home while they are searching for particular dates that align with your own availability. New York Rental By Owner offers owners the ability to sync their calendars with most listing sites. This means you can conveniently manage one calendar rather then multiple!
NewYorkRentalByOwner.com is here to help! We are experienced fellow vacation rental homeowners, happy to answer your questions. We want to help make running your rental business a success! If you have a challenge, chances are we’ve had it before or one of our listing owners had it and we are happy to share answers and solutions. So please, ask away!
Are you ready to get back to basics and manage your vacation rental property your way? Are you looking to claim your freedom from the big box listing sites that have decreased your vacation rental listing exposure and revenue?
To showcase your property and start matching travelers with their perfect vacation rentals, get started today with New York Rental By Owner. Yes, I am ready to list my property and start paving my path to independence!
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