While there are plenty of articles telling you what to look for in vacation rental software and web builders, it’s rare to read something about what not to look for.
Yet due to the similarities between these software solutions, it can actually make your decision that bit easier if you have a clear picture of what you should avoid.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 things that frustrate owners the most when selecting their vacation rental website builder!
1. It doesn’t allow for a “Book Now” button
As long as it’s an uncomplicated process (and not to mention, secure), travelers love to book vacation rentals online. That said, it’s absolutely essential your website builder lets you add a call-to-action such as a “Book Now” button to let your viewers know that they can make reservations directly on your site.
Calls-to-action invoke an immediate response in your viewers. So positioning them in tactical places across your website can really help drive direct bookings for your rental.
2. It’s slow
Nowadays, online businesses rely on speed more than ever – and not just from the owner or manager point of view. While it’s highly important for vacation rental owners to be able to access, edit and update their websites quickly and easily whenever they need, it’s also imperative that potential guests can navigate and make their bookings just as rapidly and without any complications.
Given that consumers make up their minds about a webpage during the first three seconds, this should play a fundamental role when you’re deciding which software you prefer.
3. It’s old-fashioned
The internet and its many millions of websites have advanced massively since their beginning. One of the most important of these changes? The development of mobile-friendly sites.
If your software is stuck in the past and doesn’t allow you to create a mobile-friendly website, you need to escape while you still can. Not only is a responsive vacation rental web design essential for modern travelers, but it also forms part of Google’s strict search engine results algorithm. If you use an antiquated website builder that doesn’t comply with new SEO rules then unfortunately, your website will be nowhere to be found.
4. It’s not customizable
For any vacation rental brand trying to pave their way online, customization is key. Your website should reflect something about your business and help persuade users to make a booking.
If you’re not keen on coding your new site yourself and would rather use a ready-made website template, be sure to check that you can personalize whatever aspects you desire. Whether that’s the fonts or colors, background images or sidebar menus – never lose sight of the fact it’s your site, no-one else’s!
5. It’s really expensive
When picking your vacation rental website builder, cost inevitably plays a part. Just like when something seems too good to be true you realize it probably is, the same applies for web builders which seem too pricey. That’s why it’s essential you make a few calculations before committing, in order to check that it’s a viable solution for your business’ needs.
What’s more, you should always dive into the finer details to get the full picture. Are there any additional commissions or added extras that aren’t included in the yearly or monthly subscription? Be sure you know all the facts (and expenses!) before signing on the dotted line.
6. It doesn’t let you collect guest reviews
One of the staple ingredients of an optimized vacation rental website is the ability to showcase testimonials and reviews from your previous guests. So if you’re looking at a website builder which doesn’t support this feature – discard it immediately!
Positive social proof, like great online reviews, has proven time and time again to be one of the top factors in influencing travelers’ decisions when booking accommodation. If you’re really a top host, they might even encourage repeat guests.
7. It lacks support
Deciding to create a website for your vacation rental business can be a big step for many owners and managers, and unsurprisingly, they want to feel supported every step of the way.
If the website builder you’re looking at can’t guarantee that your questions will be answered quickly (i.e. within 24 hours), issues solved efficiently or that there’s a resource center such as a knowledge base available for you to find answers to FAQs yourself, then it looks like you need to keep looking for a better solution.
8. It doesn’t have the right integrations
Since your website will be the basis for your rental marketing efforts, you need to ensure your website builder software is already integrated (or capable of integrating) with all the tools you need to run your business smoothly.
For example, if you can’t take online credit card payments, you could be missing out on a huge chunk of the market. Equally, if it’s not easy to add your social media channels or connect to a dynamic pricing tool, it’s time to look for a website builder that allows you to do this effortlessly.
9. It’s not flexible
Your business circumstances might not always stay the same, so it can be a big risk signing up to a web builder service that isn’t flexible. This is especially true if you’re a property manager who is acquiring new rentals all the time.
Choosing a flexible website builder, one that will allow you to make the changes you need in order to adapt to your evolving business, will be one of the smartest decisions you make about software.
10. It’s not product-centric
There are hundreds – if not thousands – of website builders out there that claim to be perfect for your business. There are only a small handful, however, that are actually designed with vacation rental entrepreneurs in mind.
While choosing a generic builder (like WordPress, Wix etc.) can be fine, vacation rental-specific website builders are a much better option. That’s because they’re built by world-class developers who are constantly improving the product in order to keep your business interests at the forefront of what they do.
Not only that, but they also provide other specific solutions to help with the day-to-day running of your vacation rental. For example, booking engines, reservation systems and channel managers.
Running your vacation rental business should be enjoyable – provided you have the right tools and website builder software at hand.
If you’re looking for a solution that:
- encourages online bookings ✓
- is fast, flexible and modern ✓
- has 100% customizable designs ✓
- is affordable ✓
- has a great support team ✓
- boasts all the relevant industry integrations ✓
- constantly adds new features and functions ✓
– then look no further than Lodgify. Single property plans start from $22 per month and multi-property subscriptions from $49.