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Background

For a long time, the owners of El Jaralejo have barely used their old house in the family village. On one of the occasions they went to visit it, suddenly, they saw it clearly: it was the perfect property to rent as a rural house. Its large spaces were multipurpose, and the exteriors could even be improved by building a pool, a barbecue and a space to eat.

After imagining it, they decided to make that vision reality and start their adventure in a completely unknown world. With a lot of enthusiasm, they got to work and refurbished the property, turning it into the wonder that it is today.

Challenge

Since the beginning, the owners of El Jaralejo understood that being present on the internet was crucial for this kind of business, so they decided to learn how the vacation rental sector works in this sense.

“If you are not on the internet, you do not exist.”

For this reason, they decided to create the first version of their website with Lodgify, to test the waters for their new vacation rental business.

Solution

Their first decision was to create their own website, in order to have the possibility of accepting reservations without depending on third parties, and to be able to grow the business at their own pace. The second step was to advertise the property on other specific channels: they tried several sites and opted to only maintain those that worked best.

“Each business must try what the market offers and stick to what best suits their specific needs.”

What they liked most about Lodgify

Being newbies in the industry, the intuitive character of the platform has been a very significative element. The templates’ design and personalized tools were further reasons why Lodgify caught the attention of El Jaralejo’s owners. Also, the freedom they felt when personalizing their website as much as they wanted. However, besides the professional image that Lodgify gave to their website and business, they kept using the software for its huge push in helping to position the property on search engines, without requiring any technical knowledge.

“Behind this project, there is a big work of programming and SEO, that is noticeable when positioning yourself on Google. This is a great help for those of us who have limited knowledge of that field.”

How they found the process of creating their own website with Lodgify

For the owners of El Jaralejo, creating and personalizing their own website was easy to do. Although they consider it a positive move to learn a bit about web programming to obtain the best results, they assure other owners in their position that it is not essential or necessary – especially when able to count on the help of Lodgify.

“Technical support helps you with any questions or problems which may arise.”

How they got their first bookings

Since their property was a rural house, they could promote it on specific portals for country homes. And, thanks to the visibility they got, the first visits to their website soon started to come.

In this way, the first bookings they received did not involve any commission payments to third parties, since they were made through their vacation rental website. Isn’t this the dream of every owner?

Other channels that generate traffic and bookings

The owners of El Jaralejo are not very keen on instant booking pages, as they like to get to know their potential guest a little bit, before confirming the reservation: they prefer to talk to the guest and find out more about what kind of traveler they are in order to tailor the experience to suit their needs.

“We offer personalized stays because each guest has specific and different needs. There are people traveling with children, or with pets, others with friends…We like to prepare the house for each one of them.”

The only channels that allowed them to do this – in addition to their own website – were some specific websites for rural houses. They actually ended up working very well, giving them the possibility to create that unique experience and the close relationship they wanted to provide to each incoming guest.

Results

How Lodgify helped them grow their vacation rental business

The key to El Jaralejo’s success lies in its brand identity, and how well they managed to define their image so that it is easily recognizable to any guest or visitor to the website.

“Our website is the face of our business, and Lodgify contributed a lot to this.”

They are also conscious of the visibility that their website gave to their business and property, with the increase in visits and reservations that come with it. El Jaralejos’ owners say they could not compare Lodgify with any other platform, since, from the moment they created the first version of their website with this solution, they did not have the need to look for something else.

Currently, after already two years counting on Lodgify’s support, they remain completely delighted with the good reception that their website receives.

Recommendations

For anyone looking not only to gain a foothold in the vacation rental sector but also to achieve success, their advice is to build a detailed business plan which includes market research, opportunity cost and economic viability.

To undertake this adventure with a determined step, owners must be confident that it can be done and, once the decision is made, work hard to make it happen.

“Set your goal and work hard for it!”

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