In the competitive vacation rental market, it can be tough to make sure your property stands out from the crowd. At Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, we are constantly surrounded by thousands of VR property listings, and there’s no doubt that after a while trends definitely start to emerge.

So what’s our biggest piece of advice?

Invest the required time at the beginning of the listing setup process and this will make all the difference in the world! In particular, try to avoid these three costly blunders when creating your vacation rental listing, and reap the rewards as you gain more exposure for (and engagement with), your property:

1. Poor photos


Photo source: Casa Paloma via

Spend the money to get photos professionally done. Period. One extra booking in your first year will pay for it. Use wide angle lenses and additional lighting when taking photos. Take several views of the interior, exterior and even the neighbourhood, and don’t forget to add detailed photo captions.

Photos are the most powerful factor in increasing your bookings.

Want to go one better? Hire a professional stager. They’ll make the place look brilliant (that’s what they do!).

2. Not enough detail


As they say, “the devil is in the details.” Don’t speed through your listing like it’s a fridge note just to get it up and active. Take the time to provide the additional info that will make it scream, “we’ve got you covered!” Think through a full range of guest perspectives: e.g. international guests, locals, old, young, families, etc.

Don’t forget anyone and what you think they would like to know. Remember, spending the time now will only save you time later.

3. Rates and policies that are out in left field


You need to have competitive rates and policies, so make sure yours are in line with other properties in your area. Research other listings and ensure you compete with the rest of the market for peak, shoulder and off seasons.

If other properties have a five-night minimum stay, then you should be in the same ballpark. If other properties do Saturday to Saturday rentals in the area, consider that as well. The same goes for weekly and monthly rates.

Decide on rates that are competitive and policies that are comparable to other properties in your region. Don’t be a loose cannon making up your own quirky rules!

What to take away

Remember, guests spend a lot of time planning their holidays (in fact, Americans spend more time planning vacations than retirement). It can be a time-consuming process for owners as well to respond to inquiries and figure out the details with each potential guest. Thus, having a detailed listing with correct, up-to-date information saves everybody time and hassle, resulting in more bookings for you.

The benefits of this are especially true on, because we take the time to field each guest inquiry and review their options with them. This means you are not only communicating the awesome benefits of your property to prospective guests, but also to our Guest Success Team who is helping the guest make the ultimate decision! And hey, if you’re not with us already, why don’t you give us a try? It’s free to list your vacation rental property with us! Our team will gladly help you optimize your listings for maximum exposure and interest. 

About the author:

Andrea Lamond Owner DirectAndrea Lamond has 14 years of experience in marketing and is the CMO of, which helps vacation rental owners pair their properties with guests and making sure bookings go smoothly. 

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