By Jennifer Billeci
If you are going to spend the time and money to advertise your vacation rental, it is important to have a quality, eye-catching listing that will bring more attention to your property. It is important to note that just because your property is listed does not mean that it will receive more traffic. However, there are simple solutions to make your listing more attractive.
First, and foremost, make sure you include pictures. Listings with pictures are going to generate double the number of visitors than those without. People want to see what the property looks like – what they are getting for their money. Some vacation rental sites will limit the number of photos you can use. WatermarkVacationRentals.com is one site that allows members to post an unlimited number of pictures at no additional cost. Another way to feature more photos is through websites such as shutterfly, Kodak, etc. These sites offer free accounts to store and display your digital photos. You can then insert a link on your listing; you now have a cost-free way to include unlimited pictures.
Second, pay attention to your title and property description. Titles should be unique and inviting. What does your vacation home offer that is different from your neighbor? For example, “ocean front condo” is used repeatedly and search results will yield thousands of possibilities. By simply altering your title, “Ocean Front Condo with Incredible Views - Steps from Private White Sand Beach”, you will make your listing more appealing to the eye and generate fewer search results – which means your listing won’t get lost in the masses. Also, think about what vacationers want, and advertise to those amenities you can offer. Instead of “Cozy Mountain Cabin”, try “Cozy Mountain Cabin – Hot Tub, Skiing, Family-Fun”.
Property descriptions should be more than just a list of amenities. You need to spend a little time and creativity to create a mental picture of your property. This does not mean you need to write a novel, but you should have at minimum one to two paragraphs. Use simple language that is easy to read. If the idea of sitting down to write is difficult for you, first create a list of what is most appealing about your vacation home. When you talk to interested renters on the phone, what do you offer as selling points? What most excited you about the property when you purchased it? Next, take your list and expand it into sentences using as many descriptive words as possible. For example, if you offer a nice kitchen or relaxing bath area expand on them – “Upgraded, fully-loaded kitchen featuring state of the art appliances and granite countertops” or “Relax at the end of your day in a spa-like setting master bath featuring a Whirlpool jet bathtub”. To make these words even stronger, be sure to include pictures of your selling points.
Finally, include an updated availability calendar in your listing. With all of the technology available today, people are used to having information at their fingertips. By providing an updated calendar, potential renters can see when your unit is available. There are many websites that offer this service for free or for more upgraded features you can obtain calendar software for minimal fees.
Once you have created a good listing, there are even more options you can consider to further enhance the listing (such as virtual tours, creating your own web page, etc.). But for now, using these basic tips will ensure more interest in your vacation rental.