As vacation rental owners, you may be looking for ways to increase bookings. Depending on your budget and audience, here are 5 tips to get started.
Marketing Techniques Increase Bookings
Email and Newsletter Marketing
Every time you have a guest inquire about your property, save their email. The same rule applies for guests who rent your properties. Use these contacts to build a relationship. Email these renters about new properties, discounts, holiday greetings, or rewards. Such rewards may include a free nights stay if they get a friend to book your property.
Informational marketing keeps your brand as an active option for renters.
We recommend creating a company/brand email. Using a personal email does not look as professional. Personal emails may be mistaken as spam and deleted.
According to a review of the best email marketing software, the best programs to use are:
- Benchmark email
- “Free for Life” Plan
- Sign up and start emailing for free, no credit card required
- More subscribers require you to upgrade:
- 600 subscribers with unlimited sends/month = $13.99
- 1,000 subscribers with unlimited sends/month= $21.99
- 1,500 subscribers with unlimited sends/month= $27.99
- Create custom emails, email templates, and view real-time reports.
- Note: The only negative is that you cannot upload your contacts. Previous contacts will sign up through Benchmark’s newsletters to receive your emails.
- “Forever Free” Plan
- Designed for clients with less than 2,000 contacts.
- Send 12,000 emails/month for free.
- Spam filters and auto-responders are available for paid plans only.
- MailChimp’s footer will be on the bottom of free plans’ emails. Upgrade plan to remove.
- Free Plan
- Send 4,000 emails/month and store 1,000 contacts
- Unlimited sign up forms and some auto-responder tools
- Free templates or HTML code uploads
- Email Studio by marketingcloud.com
- Drag and drop content creation
- Track and optimize for your audience
If you use Futurestay, you get branded emails sent automatically, so you never have to worry about delivery and manual management!
Local Property Manager Listing Sites
Communicate your goals with your property manager. See if they can increase your bookings for off-seasons. This will increase your income, and provide year-round bookings.
Ask For Vacation Rental Reviews
Vacation rental reviews lead to higher bookings. Reviews make you a reputable vacation rental property. Most guests will not book a property if they do not see a review. This is why it is important to have a variety of feedback.
Ask guests to review your pricing, their experience, and the local area. Positive reviews increase your bookings. Your ability to handle negative reviews can also increase your bookings.
Professional Photographs Increase Bookings
Professional photographs create a polished, staged version of your vacation rental property. They highlight the best features of your property’s character.
Professionals have the skills to capture these features. They know the lighting and angles to produce the best photographs.
Providing quality images influences the renter. They see that you are a reputable brand, and are more likely to book with you. IPhone photos do not do your property justice. Professional photographs give renters the ability to see themselves within your property.
Offer More Amenities to Increase Bookings
“30% of rentals for the year come from repeat bookings.” Which is why your property’s extra features increase bookings. It is important to offer amenities that add value to your renters’ experiences. Some examples include:
- Fast WiFi, TV, and cable
- Pools, Jacuzzi’s, and fireplaces
- Pet-friendly rental options
- “Welcome” baskets with snacks
- Forgotten Items
- Hangers, hair dryers, alarm clocks, extra soaps, and shampoos
- Video game systems, stereo systems, local tickets/events
- Nightlights, basic cleaning supplies, phone chargers, kitchen spices
Accurate Listings Increase Bookings
Accurate listings increase vacation rental bookings. This means keeping your calendars up-to-date and providing a property description.
You want your guests to understand the property. Describe the atmosphere of your property. Is your property quaint and quiet? There is a specific type of renter looking for this type of property.
You do not want to mislead your renter. Accurately describe your property and what it offers.
What Strategies Have You Used for Vacation Rental Bookings?
We have discussed the five ways to increase your vacation rental bookings.
- Provide an honest, professional representation of your property.
- Use professional photography to showcase your rental.
- Offer amenities for repeat bookings.
- Market these items using email and newsletters.
- Use reviews to promote your property.
What tips do you have for increasing your vacation rental bookings? Share your thoughts and experiences below.