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What can set your vacation rental home apart?


As vacation rental hosts we all know how difficult it can be to stand out from your local competition, especially if there are hundreds of rental properties in your area. So what can you do to make sure your property stands tall in this often crowded market place? Here are just a few suggestions from our guest blogger Damian at NeedMoreRentals.  (Note: these are also great tips for promoting your home on IVHE too!)

If you use listing sites take some time to look at the lead photo thumbnails used by your local competitors. For example, if the majority of those pictures are all of swimming pools, try something different like a pretty view or areal shot. Also consider using Photoshop to manipulate photo colours – bright red over soft background can catch extra eyeballs. Professional photography is a must in order to attract more enquiries and bookings.

We would also suggest examining the headline descriptions of your neighbours’ properties on listing sites. Many will probably be dull and include ambiguous words like ‘stunning’, ‘fantastic’, ‘charming’ etc. Try to be more descriptive. Think of your one unique selling point (including freebies) and try to get it into your brief headline to encourage more visitors to your page.  
Do you know your target market? If your preferred clients are couples, be sure to add words like ‘romantic’, ‘secluded’ and ‘quiet’ to your website and listing sites property description. Similarly words like ‘safe’ and ‘family sized’ can appeal to groups of families.
Vacation rental guests are become increasingly discerning and want to know they are getting a bargain. 
Can you offer anything for free? 
Free WiFi? Free entry into a local theme park? Free toll road payment? A free welcome pack? There are literally hundreds of creative ways to offer free things to your guest (at little expense to you) which your competitors may not have thought of.
Are you flexible? Flexibility with changeover days, minimum stays, accepting pets can make a huge difference in guests choosing one property over another. Hosts may not be willing to consider non weekend-to-weekend bookings of anything less than a week in peak months however being less regimented (especially in shoulder or off-peak seasons) can work a treat with guests who may want to avail of cheaper flights or who may work at weekends.  - Damian, NeedMoreRentals.com

NeedMoreRentals provides free information and marketing advice for vacation rental home owners and managers.

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