“What am I doing wrong?” is a question that bugs a lot of unsuccessful vacation rental investors.
You are probably thinking:
My vacation rental website looks good.
I get a decent amount of incoming traffic every day.
But still, I can’t seem to convert my site’s visitors into credible leads or clients.
If you’re a vacation rental owner, bed and breakfast owner, or professional vacation rental property manager looking for tips on how to increase your leads, you’ve come to the right place to jumpstart your business.
With short-term rentals gaining popularity, more and more people are investing in them.
And who’s really surprised?
It is a very lucrative venture after all. Thanks to peak seasons, a short-term rental can make much more money than a long-term rental does in a year.
With help from companies like Airbnb and VRBO, finding short-term guests can be pretty easy. But, relying on listing sites may not be a viable strategy for the long-term. To truly make a killing in this industry, rental property owners and managers need a well-designed vacation rental website. Though, some may experience trouble attracting guests through their website in the beginning.
Luckily for you, this post covers what you can do to fix this and boost your vacation rental website leads today! Check out these nine tips which can help increase bookings from your website.
1. Provide professional pictures of your vacation property
Before anything, most of your site’s visitors will look for pictures of the rentals in order to judge whether they would be interested in staying.
That’s why you have to make sure that the pictures you use on your website offer an attractive – yet realistic – representation of your property.
Note that the level of the potential renters’ interest will depend on the quality of these pictures. Professional looking pictures will offer a more polished and desirable display of what you have to offer.
A professional photographer will know where and how to highlight the best features of the property; making it easy for you to convince a visitor to book a trip.
2. Highlight amenities that add value to the guest experience
The best way to get potential guests to rent your property, and to come again, is to offer them perks they can’t find in most vacation rentals.
That’s why you need to make sure that you clearly outline any special features and amenities on your website.
Generally, these amenities include things like:
- High-speed internet and TV
- Pet-friendly rent terms
- Welcome gift baskets
- Washers and dryers
- Thoughtful items they often forget to carry e.g. alarm clocks, toothpaste, soap, shampoos, hangers, hair dryers, and so on
- A swimming pool, jacuzzi, or a fireplace
These amenities not only make your guests’ experience extra special, but they also give your vacation rental an added edge over your competition.
3. Include a live chat feature on your website
What happens when the potential guest has a quick question to ask before making their decision?
How can they get answers fast?
Well, that’s where a live chat feature comes in. It has become an effective, must-have for vacation rental websites since it allows visitors to access more information instantly.
A huge percentage of travelers want to know everything about a property before making a decision – that’s why having a live chat feature can help. It allows your website visitors to comfortably ask their questions quickly and with ease.
4. Keep your contact information visible
Making sure that your visitors know how to contact you as soon as they land on your website is key to encouraging conversation.
Especially if live chat isn’t an option for you, you have to make it super convenient for your website visitors to find your contact information – no matter which page of your site they are on.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep contact information in the footer of your website. Not only does this mean the guests can find your phone number easily, but it also helps in terms of local SEO and pushes your business up the search rankings for your local area.
In addition, having visible contact information minimizes the chances of guests having any second thoughts or searching somewhere else.
5. Take full advantage of reviews and video testimonials
Regardless of how much praise you give to your own rentals, it won’t be half as effective as an actual guest review or a video testimonial.
Reviews and testimonials provide positive social proof for your website and are seen to improve the trustworthiness and credibility of your vacation rental business. That’s why reviews can greatly influence your conversion rate!
Make it a habit to ask each and every guest for a review or video testimonial at the end of their stay, then, you can reuse this content across your website and social media to show off your happy guests.
6. Market your short-term rentals using newsletters
Sending email newsletters is yet another effective way to increase leads from your vacation rental property website.
To grow your email list, whenever a visitor contacts you about your properties, ask them if you can send them regular and information-rich newsletters to keep them up-to-date. Besides this, you can add a newsletter opt-in form on your homepage.
Newsletters will help potential guests to keep your property in mind as a possibility for their next trip. Plus, it’s an awesome and convenient way to spread the word out about any discounts, promotions, rewards or improvements on your rental property.
Always try to use a company-branded email. It looks more professional, guests will be able to identify your brand immediately and it lessens the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
7. Use the Facebook Messenger bot
Just like email marketing, the Facebook Messenger bot makes it easy for you to automate your campaigns – that’s part of the reasons why it has been gaining popularity recently!
All you need to do is to come up with a compelling marketing campaign. Once that’s done, you can integrate it into your Facebook Messenger auto-reply or mass-messaging features.
To grow your followers on Facebook, be sure to link to your social media channels in the footer of your website. This will show guests where to go to find the latest news and updates about your vacation rentals.
8. Create worthwhile, SEO-friendly content for travelers
An effective strategy to improve traffic to your website is to start a vacation rental blog and target topics that your potential guests could be searching for.
These articles might be area-related, activity-themed or even guides on the best watering holes in your city – this kind of information is a gold mine for new visitors to a destination!
There are plenty of content ideas out there to help you get started.
9. Provide valuable information downloads to attract leads
Another great way to build your brand’s reputation is by offering your web visitors with valuable and information-rich downloads.
When your brand begins to receive recognition for providing valuable content, your lead conversion rate will go up.
Producing downloadable content also gives you the opportunity to ask for your visitors’ email address or contact information. As a result, you’ll be able to grow your email list and be able to follow up with newsletters and other marketing campaigns in the future.
Whether it’s an eBook, checklist or a simple guide on the most exciting things to do while on vacation in your city, this tool can work to your advantage to improve conversion from lookers into bookers.
Next steps to increase leads from your vacation rental website
Ask yourself, where does your vacation rental website currently fall short?
Follow these tips to help you to identify a few possible ways you can work to improve your lead conversion rate.
If there’s something you feel you can’t do on your own, consider hiring a professional to lend a hand because in the end, your online presence matters to your business’ bottom line.
About the Author
Stephen Fox is the co-founder of Upkeep Media. Upkeep Media is a property management marketing company with a mission to fix the broken, ineffective and outdated marketing strategies traditionally offered to property management companies throughout the globe.