Short-term rental marketing

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Top Tips to Attract Direct Vacation Rental Bookings

You might rent out your spare bedroom on Airbnb or you might operate 10 vacation rentals in Florida. Independent of how many short-term rentals you have, you should look into increasing your direct bookings. Exclusively accepting bookings through the popular platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com will give you some securities. For example, Airbnb provides 1 million liability insurance if a guest gets hurt on your property. However, as a good host you should have additional protection anyway (Read: Understanding Liability Insurance for Your Short-term Rental) as well as set procedures of how to deal with rowdy guests and cancellations. So with a clear strategy in place for what happens if something goes wrong, you do not need to entirely rely on the big online travel agents to bring in bookings. Being present on as many platforms as possible is a good strategy to maximise your reach for a full occupancy. However, this comes at a price – usually taking the shape of commission or a service fee. Therefore, it will be of interest to also draw in direct bookings. Read on below for our top tips. Establish How Guests Can Book Direct Make sure to establish a working system of how you will accept direct bookings. Are you renting out a converted garage and are happy to manage direct bookings via email and a spreadsheet? Or maybe you operate multiple holiday homes and are considering an online booking engine which integrates into a channel manager? You might even have a designated website for vacation home. Whatever you decide, define a clear process for managing bookings and stick to it. Get Those Return Visitors You have done a great job hosting your guests, they left

6 Vacation Rental Instagram Accounts to Watch

Today we are looking at operators who are attracting attention on Instagram. A well-thought-out and nicely-curated Instagram account that is getting noticed can bring in actual bookings and revenue. We have discussed this in-depth in a previous blog post - Social Media for Short-term Rentals. But what does a 'noticeable' Instagram account look like? Stay tuned for the 6 short-term rental Instagram accounts we are loving right now and what you can learn from them. @hideoutbali With over 145,000 followers, we are certainly are not the only ones who think this Instagram account is excellent. This vacation rental benefits from a great location and unusual tree-house like accommodation. However, going through their feed, you might notice that many stunning shots are reposts of previous guests who have huge followings of their own. Takeaway lesson: If you don't have the means yourself to create outstanding shots for your Instagram, working with influencers can provide you with great content and exposure. @bentapplefarm This Vermont cabin is self-proclaimedly ‘very Vermont’ and its Instagram accounts reflects that well. It gives an insight into what life on the property is like and what activities guests can engage in with the hosts. At the same time, warm-toned interior shots show what comforts await guests. @travelershomebnb It is obvious that this stylish Lisbon citypad is travel-themed and the feed’s fun, bright colors immediately draw in your attention. Dário, the Airbnb host, gives the account a real authentic touch by speaking in first person to his audience and sharing his local tips and tricks to enjoy in Portugal’s capital. @shimanto_riverside_hideaway The tranquillity of this Japanese get-away comes across perfectly in its feed. We love the minimalist but cozy shots of the property and

5 Ways to Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out

Get your short-term rental noticed on listing sites! As a short-term rental host, you are probably facing some competition. There are exceptions, of course. Maybe you are in a very special location or catering for a specific niche with a highly unique listing. However, the average location rental is a small mackerel in the big sea of fish of other offerings. So how do you get yours noticed? How do you make it the rainbow fish of vacation rentals with 100% occupancy and plenty of booking requests? Here are 5 easy-to-implement tips to make your vacation rental stand out on listing sites like Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO. Get Picture Ready To get good pictures taken for your STR must be the most common advice to give hosts who want to improve their listing. However, I still see a lot of listings especially in the lower price segment with blurry, dark pictures. Photographs like that give me the impression that the accommodation is more likely to be a comfortable home for some supernatural beings than my family on holiday. Most smartphones are equipped with cameras fully capable to take good shots of your vacation rental. Make sure the bed sheets are crease-free, add some colourful touches (like bright cushions or a vase with flowers) and take the pictures during the day with as much natural light as possible. Professional pictures are of course preferable but can be costly. One tip would be work with local influencers on Instagram. This can be two-fold. As the first option, the influencer gets free accommodation for one or two nights in return for talking about the STR on his or her social channels (usually with images). As a second option, you

Social Media for Short-term Rentals – Facebook & Twitter

"You've got to use all social media for short-term rentals. The more the better, right?" In a perfect world this would be true. With unlimited resources, a full-time social media manager and a lot of cash to spend on paid advertising there is certainly no limit. But not everyone is so lucky and with limited budget and time, you might have to choose what platforms to be active on. And then those channels will have to be the ones you really put your heart and soul in. Because nothing looks worse than a deserted Facebook or Twitter page. Last post 12th July 2015? Customers might think you are no longer operating. However, you want to be everywhere your potential guests are. And obviously the more guests (and bookings), the better. Direct bookings avoid those pesky commisions and you are in the driver's seat and not some third-party site. Still, that doesn't mean all social media platforms are for you and provide the same return on investment - specifically from investment in terms of time commitment. Well, fret not. We've compiled a guide to social media for short-term rentals and today we will talk about Facebook and Twitter specifically. Read on to find out more! Facebook First and foremost, we have got to talk about the most popular social media for short-term rentals, Facebook. With over 2 billion registered users, Facebook is the go-to platform for marketers as well as short-term rental operators aiming to promote their business. Thus, your potential customers will be definitely be on it, but your competitors most likely, too. A Facebook page can in some instances even replace a website and is a useful communication channel for people interested in your