Holiday Rental Marketing in 2014
It's that time of year again where rental owners, listings companies, marketing experts, "gurus" and all and sundry chip in with their predictions for the coming year concerning marketing and the VR industry.
Here at rentmoreweeks.com we are not really any different.
We have read many of this years tips, views, comments and all round opinions regarding this subject and we have to say some ideas seem logical, sensible even, some seem far fetched and some just seem confusing. There does seem to be a tendency to jump on bandwagons or throw around a lot of jargon.
We remember when you advertised with listings companies. Now you advertise through "channels" – Go figure!
We used to promote our rental property. Now we publicize "inventory" – WTF (that was the stuff in the kitchen)
Don't even mention "big data" and how that may affect us.
Well, here's our take on the coming year and how you would best spend your time marketing your property. It doesn't involve any jargon, it doesn't include jumping on any bandwagons and it's not piggybacking other proples ideas. It's just the same advice that we gave last year.
Yep it's exactly the same advice we gave last year. It still applies. We could have reordered the list, but we haven't. It's just the same. So here it is (again)…
6 things that will get you more bookings this year and beyond.
At the beginning of each year I read this and that articles that give various tips, tricks and insights that will lead to more bookings and or industry predictions that could be the next magic bullet for rental owners. Here are rentmoreweeks thoughts of what vacation rental owners need to either do or pay attention to throughout 2014) and beyond <in the style of Buzz Lightyear>
1) Hard work.
You need to work at bookings. They don't just happen – you need to make them happen.Any owner that just posts photos and prices then sits back and waits for bookings will be found dead floating in the water along with thousands of similar minded owners. Those that want to succeed will need to be creative. Think about offering late deals, bonus offers and discounted return bookings. See the monthly marketing plan for more on this matter.
2) Improve your marketing material and presentation.
The cheapest and easiest way to increase bookings.I know that I keep harping on about it but it's the cheapest and easiest way to increase bookings. Year on year more and more properties join this marketplace and more and more owners are employing professional photographers and copywriters in order to raise their advertising bar. Join them or flounder with the masses. Download our marketing makeover guide for more on this.
3) . Free WiFi.
If you don't offer free WiFi already then install it before the end of the week.If you don't offer it they may well choose another property. All guests now bring mobile devices on holiday with them. The "wish you were here" postcard is dead. If guests choose to stay at your holiday home and you don't have WiFi they can't Facebook their friends, Instagram their photos or Tweet their followers about where they are staying and what great things they are doing You are loosing out on instant, free, word of mouth advertising.
4) Advertise in more places on the web.
It's not called a web for nothing – Spin your own.There are a myriad of listings companies out there and more and more springing up, week on week. Many, if not the vast majority of which, are free to advertise on. Here's a great tip – Set aside a little time each week (the same time each week) and join one free listing site (build a spreadsheet to keep track of sites joined, dates joined, URL's, etc). By this time next year potential guests will be able to find your property in over 50 places – See here and here for free listings companies to get you started.
5) Put social media to use.
That's not the same as using social media.Don't put it off. Spread the word – your word. If you do nothing else join Google Plus, it's way more powerful than Facebook and way fewer VR owners are using it. It has massive potential (around 500 million users), is easy to set up and use (Youtube it) and is ideal for micro blogging (advertising). Join circles and post photos of your property and the local area. Tell the world (your circles) what's on now and tell them about upcoming events too.
6) Push service levels through the roof.
Under promise and over deliver. Across the board.The easiest way to get bookings for next year is to get this years guests to rebook. Start with a welcome pack, leave small soaps and shampoos in the bathroom, add fresh flowers to vases on arrival, phone guests from time to time to check that they are happy and offer extra services – a la hotels. Make your guests want to return next year.
Here's the vacation rental review takeaway
vacation rental review takeaway
This weeks (or in this case, years) holiday home owners takeaway is that there is no magic bullet. Sorry – I wish that there was. But at the end of the day it comes down to hard work, better marketing material, freebies, spreading your net, being social and raising your bar. Good luck
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