As a property owner, marketing your vacation rental plays an important role in the success of your business. But finding the most effective way to gain free exposure to thousands of users is no small feat.
We've taken a deep dive into the best online and offline tactics that will help you get the good word out when it comes to attracting more guests to your short-term rental.
Online tactics to market your vacation rental property
Your property listing
Badly written descriptions, poorly formatted posts and tired or blurry photos all indicate an uninspiring approach to your vacation rental marketing that won’t attract your potential future guests. As you are designing your listing, remember to focus on these elements:
- Professional looking, high quality, well-lit photos
- Accurate rental descriptions with descriptive titles
- A comprehensive personal profile with Airbnb’s recommended information about the host
- Build trust with positive reviews
- Offer discounts to raise your listings profile and attract more guests
Ah, the platforms we love to hate. While social media is not for everyone, it does have merit when it comes to marketing your short-term rental for free and to a wide audience.
Facebook - the most widely used social media platform - attracts diverse demographics, which increases your chances of reaching a broader target market. We suggest creating a business page on Facebook to promote your brand. In addition to being user-friendly and business-oriented, Facebook also connects directly to other social media sites like Instagram, which allows you to share your rental news and images across platforms - at the same time.
Instagram is a visual platform that makes imagery the centre of attention while underplaying text. This is perfect for showing off the beautiful décor in your rental and displaying your property’s unique attributes. Most of Instagram's users are a younger demographic and are also more likely to decide on vacation and travel based on what is popular online.
Vacation Rental Forums
Joining forums is a great way to both seek and offer advice and support to potential guests. Not only will this highlight your skills as a host, but it also provides you with a (now invested) audience that could become your guests in future.
While you may want to post on your own blog, guest posting on other sites is a great way to increase your reach, without the added costs. We recommend searching for travel and leisure blogs on Google that are related to property and tourism. The next step? Reach out and ask if they are looking for a guest post on a topic you know well (that links to your property) and provide them with this information, for free. It’s a win-win situation.
Contributing to podcasts is a great way to get free advertising while giving value to someone else. If you have vast industry experience and insights to share during interviews you’ll reach your audience whilst building further credibility as a leader in the rental space.
Connect with journalists on Google or podcast channels who are looking for industry experts to contribute to their series. With some persistence, you can attract a whole host of new guests to your short-term property.
Having a clean and modern website that showcases your properties is a great way to connect with new potential guests. You should have a website that lists your vacation rental home and also gives a brief view of your rental property. It is also a good idea to list your social media channels on your website so people have access to all your marketing channels and will be more likely to rent from you.
There are plenty of different outlets that you can use when creating your vacation rental marketing strategy — email marketing is one of them. Email marketing uses email to promote your business's services while developing relationships with potential guests. First, start by building a list of targeted leads (potential customers) and design your emails to be personable and engaging. Remember to always allow people to opt-in or out so as to follow privacy principles.
Word of mouth
Word-of-mouth marketing happens when you talk about your company's product or service to your friends, family, and others with whom you have close relationships. So the next time you are at a relative’s birthday or wedding, don't be afraid to share your Airbnb short-term rental news - you never know who will be needing a vacation in the near future!
Great reviews are another way of marketing your property. When guests have a great experience, they’re more likely to tell their friends and family about it. It won’t be long until you receive bookings from happy guests referring others.
A lot of short-term rentals attract the same people year after year. This happens when you provide a guest with a memorable hosting experience (memorable for the right reasons, that is), as they are more likely to return to you for more down the line. Things like excellent customer service, taking feedback and doing something about it and personalising whenever possible are all ways to retain past guests. This is always a great way to get referrals as you have guests who can verify an excellent hosting experience - another form of offline marketing.
Connecting with professionals in your industry at networking events is a great way to expose yourself to the latest news and trends in short-term property management. A site like Eventbrite is a great online channel to browse in order to get a feel for the range of events available in your area. Not only can this form of marketing lead to new business, but you will likely make fun memories and strong connections along the way.