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Marketing Your Property: Steps to Success for Vacation Rental Owners

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By now, you’ve acquired a fantastic rental property and built up a helpful support system. It’s finally time to let vacationers and other renters know you’re open for business! 

How you market your vacation rental property will leave an important first impression on potential tenants. And with as much competition as there is at most vacation destinations, you may not get a second chance to impress.

Whether you’re listing your property on platforms like Airbnb or building your own website, we’ll break down our top tips to spread the word about your awesome rental.

We sometimes use affiliate links in our content. It won’t cost you anything but it helps us offset the costs of paying our writing team. All of our opinions remain our own.

Creating a Website for Your Rental

Making an entire website for a vacation rental property will not be right for every owner. But if you don’t want to deal with service fees from platforms like Airbnb, then a website could be a great fit. Plus, you have the chance to appear highly in Google search results.

WordPress is a solid website builder for rental owners because it gives you many ways to customize. That includes the option to add your own built-in booking system. While competitors like Squarespace are easier to use, you can’t tweak them to fit your needs. 

Luckily, you’re not the first vacation rental owner who ever wanted to create a website, so there are services to help you along the way. Lodgify, for example, offers custom website templates for vacation rental owners. They even have options specifically for cabin rentals, apartments, and villas, among others. Hostfully is another good option for vacation rental owners who want to manage direct bookings at scale. 

Using Online Marketplaces

There’s no shame in focusing on a marketplace like Vrbo or Airbnb. For some vacation rental owners, that’s all they’ll ever need. We recently spoke with owners Evan & Aneesa, who have used Vrbo since day one and never looked back. 

You might’ve heard Vrbo and Airbnb discussed almost interchangeably. But it’s important to realize that there are differences which you should take into account. For example, you’ll pay a 3-15% service fee with Airbnb per booking, according to iGMS. Meanwhile, with Vrbo, you could pay a similar service fee or just a lump sum of $499 each year.

Once you’ve found the right marketplace for you, you’ll want to make sure your listing stands out. Think about your ideal renter and what features they’ll love most about your property. Then, prioritize photos that show off those wonderful qualities.

Take a look at how this owner listed their property on HighFlyRE, for example. The first thing you see is an aerial view of the beautiful local vista, followed by the balcony where vacationers can sit to take it all in. There’s no question what the appeal of this property is.

Setting the Rates on Your Rental

At first, the per-night rate of your property may seem unrelated to marketing. But really, where your rate fits in compared to the local competition will decide how you market your rental. 

Take a look at vacation rentals near your property listed on Vrbo and Airbnb. Pay particularly close attention to those that are similar in size to your own. This should give you a good idea of the acceptable range of per-night fees. You can also use tools like Vrbo’s MarketMaker. 

From there, you can decide to place your per-night rate smack dab in the middle of that range. Or, if you think your property has exceptional amenities, you can choose a higher rate. Just make sure that the stand-out qualities of your rental are very clear in the marketing.

Next Steps

Now, you’ve set your rates wisely and picked the ideal platform to market your property. We’ll be adding a more in-depth look at some of these subjects soon, including five must-have features for your property’s website. Keep an eye on HighFlyRE’s blog for more!

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