Archives For Marketing

"Travel Swag Bag Contents SXSWi" by Sheila Scarborough on flickr (CC BY 2.0)As a group, the preferences of travelers don’t change much from year to year. But they way they do their research and bookings—and the opportunities you have to connect with them—does.

Following up on a survey conducted last year, Google recently released “The 2013 Traveler“, a report that doesn’t offer shocking revelations but emphasizes that if you’ve held off on taking control of your vacation rental marketing, now is the time to do it. Continue Reading…

"Belles Feuilles - home near Trocadéro" on flickr, by ParisSharing (CC BY 2.0)Whether you’ve hired a professional photographer—one of our top tips!—or prefer to take your own photos, staging your property can have a positive impact on your booking results.

Staging your vacation rental for photos is like staging it for the arrival of your guests: You want your home to make a great first impression.

The description you write and photos you use sell your vacation rental for you. If a traveler isn’t drawn in, you’ll never know—you won’t hear from them.

Some photographers will do some arranging, while others will stage your home for a fee. If you do the prep work yourself, what can you do to set the stage for images that earn inquiries? Here are five DIY tips. Continue Reading…

What are vacation rental owners talking about, and is there any news that might impact your vacation rental? Here’s a look some recent highlights.

Vacation Rental Marketing Blog || Go Big Or Go Home

"Hotel Kursaal & Ausonia ROOM" by Hotel Kursaal & Ausonia on flickr (CC BY 2.0)If you missed this great discussion on the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog last month, it’s worth reviewing.

Referencing a thread on the HomeAway Community Forum, Matt Landau said:

“You either run a business and treat every guest like the most spectacular VIP in the world. Or you participate in a hobby and worry not about your income or revenue.”

The “hotelization” of vacation rentals is something Tyler Gillespie blogged about in a series of posts for MyVR last month, looking at our need to balance the best of vacation rental travel against increased competition from hotels.

The comments on Landau’s post provide an interesting look at the lack of consensus among owners—and food for thought when it comes to how you want to manage your own rental. Continue Reading…

"Travel bag" on flickr, by Monterey Public Library (CC BY 2.0)There’s no question that online marketing matters when promoting your vacation rental; Google’s report, “The Traveler’s Road to Decision,” found that the vast majority of business and leisure travelers plan their trips online using search engines, websites, online agencies and other channels to get information and make reservations.

However, it seems that many travelers still prefer a good printed guidebook.

According to the “World Travel Market 2013 Industry Report,” more than half of UK travelers (59%) referenced a printed guidebook during their travels this summer.

Personal recommendations and other online resources still rank high. However, in the middle of the move to digital, it’s a good reminder not to forget the folks who prefer paper. Continue Reading…

You diligently post to your vacation rental’s Facebook Page on a regular basis, and you know many of your Page’s fans are seeing your posts. So why don’t they do anything?

Facebook Page fans can “like” posts, share them with their friends, or add comments with their own opinions. Getting people to do one of those things is ultimately the goal of every Facebook post: It builds connections, helps keep your vacation rental “top of mind”, and helps ensure these interested folks will continue to see what you post (because only a fraction of your fans will).

However, getting your fans respond is part of the art of using Facebook to promote your property. There is no magic way to succeed – but it’s not as much guesswork as you may think, either. Continue Reading…

You know your website is key to attracting bookings and making money. But how do you keep a website fresh and growing?

The more information you provide, the better prepared your visitors will be and the more potential guests you’ll attract. However, it has to be useful and relevant. What do your guests want to know?

"Security Westec" on flickr, by Derek Bridges (CC BY 2.0)You probably already know a lot of the key questions. However, a survey by CNN Travel this spring also helpfully asked people what mattered most to them when choosing a destination. The top results?

  1. security and safety
  2. price
  3. reputation
  4. knowledge and availability of information
  5. diversity of things to do, amenities

Your website can put this information at their fingertips – not just through an easy-to-share local guide, but also through regular updates.

How do you get the right message across? Here are a few ideas. Continue Reading…

Review Part 1, Part 2  || Guest post by Tyler Gillespie

In a recent post on his blog, Tyler Gillespie of VacationRentalBusiness.net challenged vacation rental owners to “hotelize” their businesses. In this three-part series for MyVR,  he explains why it matters, how to do it, and what you can do to bring your  guest services to the next level.  This is part three of three.Before you can truly focus on service, you need to make sure the business side of things is streamlined and running smoothly.

Once you’ve nailed your basic business processes, however, it’s time to step up your service game. This is where hotels really take the lead, and by following these steps, you can, too.

Concierge Services and Experience:

Your guests’ experience really starts before they even email or call to learn more about your property. In fact, it starts with your brand and how your listings are written.

What vibes is your property giving off? Continue Reading…

Review Part 1 || Guest post by Tyler Gillespie

In a recent post on his blog, Tyler Gillespie of VacationRentalBusiness.net challenged vacation rental owners to “hotelize” their businesses. In this three-part series for MyVR, he explains why it matters, how to do it, and what you can do to bring your guest services to the next level. This is part two of three.Families have started to make the switch from hotels to vacation rentals, and why not? Vacation rentals have a lot going for them!

Unfortunately, we also have one big self-defeating problem: Inconsistency. That’s why I believe that a key part of your focus – this year and in future – should be on streamlining operations to become more professional. Much like a hotel.

Whether you manage your rental business on a part or full-time basis, here is my advice to kickstart the “hotelization” of your vacation rental property by zeroing in on the things that will keep your business running smoothly. Continue Reading…

"Links by clips" by Keith Ramsey (CC BY-SA 2.0)If you’ve researched how to market your vacation rental online, you’ll be familiar with search-engine optimization (SEO) — the process of influencing the many factors that can impact where your website will show up in search results.

Some of this must happen on your actual website, something called on-page SEO. But SEO also considers how other websites connect to your page, called off-page SEO. One important part of off-page SEO is called link building.

What is link building?

Link building is the progression of having more websites to link back to your page.

“The web was built on links. Links drive traffic and they boost rankings. They are how we tell a story,” Julie Joyce explained on Search Engine Watch. “They are how we point people to things we want them to see and how we navigate through the endlessness of the Internet.”

Getting more websites to point back to your site matters; each link helps signal what your page is about and whether or not it’s credible.

Search engines use complex algorithms to decide which web pages are relevant to which topics. The more credible websites that point back to your property’s website, the higher the potential for your website to rank higher in relevant search results and the more likely that potential guests will visit your site over a competitors. Continue Reading…

"iPad and iPhone" by Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)If you caught MyVR’s presentation at the HomeAway Summit earlier this year, you’ll know I’m a fan of video; we included it on our list of minimal-effort activities that can have a medium-to-high impact on your marketing efforts.

I believe video can be quick, engaging and memorable. While professional video can be well worth the investment, even brief “home videos” can inspire wistful desire in would-be guests.

More than half of Americans own smartphones and chances are good that you have a video camera nearby — if not on your phone, then a digital camera with video capability.

Devices and tablets make working with digital video much more accessible than it has been in the past, from complex tools to basic apps that all but walk you through the process from start to finish. Here are a few of the more popular options. Continue Reading…