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One of the benefits of building a website for your vacation rental is cutting out the middleman and creating a marketing tool that is unique to your property. But it’s not always easy to know where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at five crucial features for your rental’s website that’ll drive traffic and help you consistently book renters.
#1 Beautiful (And Well-Thought-Out) Photos Of Your Rental
It’s probably no surprise to you that you’ll need professional photographs for your website. These images are the first impression potential renters will have of your property, so they need to be high-quality.
You’ll also want to pick photographs that best encapsulate your property’s charm. Imagine what your ideal renter will love about your property and then accentuate that in the photos. If you have a rental in Miami, for example, with an ocean view, make sure that stunning view is the first thing web visitors see. Don’t bury the lede!
Beyond marketing, you’ll also want to include photos that give potential renters (and those who’ve just finished booking) all the information they need. We love this idea from rental owner Melissa Levis via Hostfully: “Inclu[de] floorplans so that prospective renters can see the track layout of the property.”
#2 The Latest Info On Your Rental And The Community
Most renters are operating on limited information and won’t necessarily know which rentals are thriving. Having up-to-date information on your website gives visitors peace of mind that you’re still active and keeping things in perfect shape.
For example, you could update a blog once or twice a month to let vacationers know which seasonal events are coming up. This will also help your website rank higher in Google search results because the search engine will recognize that you’re routinely updating content.
You can also show new reviews of your property on the home page. Include the date you received the positive feedback, so potential renters know just how current this information is. The more recent the review, the more confident renters will be that they’ll have the same great experience.
#3 Attractions Near You
It’s also a good idea to have a page on your website that reminds renters how close your property is to the major tourist destinations. Make a case for why your rental is the perfect place to experience the beach, the city, the nearby hiking trails, whatever makes your area appealing to visitors.
This content will be very low-maintenance, too. Once you finish putting it together, you shouldn’t need to make significant changes.
#4 A Built-In Way To Book Your Rental
As we talked about in our pros and cons of building a website article, one of the key benefits is avoiding the processing fees from marketplaces like Airbnb. Having a booking feature on your website allows visitors to learn about your property and make a reservation all on the same page.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional web designer to get this feature operating. Vacation rental software can help you along the way. For example, if you build your website using Lodgify, they have their own easy-to-use booking engine.
#5 Mobile And Tablet-Friendly Approach
While you update your website on a computer, your visitors may be checking it out on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or all three. According to Google, 94% of vacationers use multiple devices to plan their trips. Many will check your rental out on their phones and then book it on their laptops later in the day.
So what does this mean for you? Every time you update your website, make sure it looks good, not just on your computer but also on your smartphone and other devices. Ask a couple of friends to try it out, too, since there are so many different phones and tablets on the market.