Today’s global short-term rental market is worth $100 billion in revenue and is projected to reach $170 billion by the end of 2019. Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly popular, with former short-term renters now half as likely to choose a traditional hotel in the future.
Although the vacation rental industry is booming, landlords can have difficulty reducing vacancy rates while remaining competitively priced. If you’re interested in quick and easy ways to market your vacation rental and increase bookings, read on.
Keep an updated and straightforward description
Prospective short-term renters value transparency in listings, so it’s important to find methods to communicate all aspects of your rental property and the nearby attractions in a helpful manner. If you fail to communicate a certain aspect, such as noisy construction across the street, this can significantly influence the reviews left by renters.
In addition, you should make an active effort to regularly update the descriptions of your listings. Make sure to revise each listing after making improvements to the unit, when the seasons change, and when new attractions open in the area.
Updating your descriptions when making improvements, like adding amenities or updating the home’s interior, will enable you to charge more for rent. Meanwhile, changing the description to match the seasons will attract more renters. For instance, you might recommend that guests go parasailing in West Palm Beach during the summer, or that they visit the Norton Museum of Art during the winter.
Along with a detailed overview of your unit, your listing’s description should also include your contact information. Interested renters may contact you to ask further questions about the property, availability, or how to start the rental application process.
Learn how to take photos
Photos have a major influence over a renter’s decision to choose your property. As a result, learning how to capture enticing photos of your rental unit can drive business and help you better market your property.
To start taking better photos, conduct research on how to use composite lighting techniques to your advantage. Composite lighting techniques help landlords take pictures that show off a unit’s interior while avoiding washed out colors or overexposure. In addition, pay attention to how each room is connected when constructing a slideshow, and make sure to include a photo of the floor plan in the listing.
Studies on rental listings have shown that guests are 80 percent more likely to learn more about a rental unit when there are more than 20 photos. Using 20 photos can help maximize visibility, attract more guests, and properly showcase your rental.
Don’t hesitate to ask for reviews
Because vacation rental reviews tend to boost bookings, it’s essential to remind guests to leave a review at the end of their stay. In fact, according to a 2016 study, 82 percent of Americans search for reviews before making a purchase. Reviews from previous guests show prospective renters that you’re a trustworthy and reputable landlord, while a lack of reviews tends to steer away potential business.
At the end of each stay, ask guests to review their experience at your rental unit. While positive reviews help boost bookings, your responses to negative reviews can also benefit your business. Make sure to offer sympathetic responses to negative reviews and work to fix any issues.
With the exponential growth of the vacation rental industry, now is a better time than ever to join the short-term rental business. Landlords struggling to reduce vacancy rates and boost bookings should ultimately focus on keeping an updated description, taking professional photos, and asking previous guests for reviews.