Vacation Rental Home Owner Resources
We've designed our Vacation Rental Marketing page to include great basic tips and helpful hints for you to book your vacation property and keep it filled!
Step One: Set the Stage
De-clutter a vacation home that hasn't been rented and get it ready to rent. The more items available as features for your property the better, but clutter has to go! Belongings and precious items need to be stowed and stored.
New purchases expensed now for the beginning of your vacation rental venture are all part of your start-up process and you can wait to improve or add more items/amenities as you receive some income from rentals.
Step Two: Take Great Photos
Better photos = more leads + higher conversions = more bookings
Step Three: Take Great Video
Video is the new try before you buy. Video increases leads and bookings and shortens the amount of questions you'll answer for each rental lead.
Choosing your Sites
Quality not Quantity?
Do the more expensive website listings bring you more leads? Comparison of website traffic and consumer tastes is a neverending process. Searching the web for vacation rental sites is a good first step.
Companies that are spending large budgets on bringing internet traffic to their sites divide up that cost by charging a subscription fee for your house listing.
Other sites that offer you free listings supplement their web based advertising for their site by selling ads to companies whose services YOU might use.
We have heard many comments to the question we always hear ourselves asking..."What made you choose that house? or How did you hear about that place?"
Invariably an answer seems to be "they were on the MOST sites, or they looked more reputable because they were everywhere on the web."
Growing Your Business
Other Advertising Options
With glossy magazines and tiny classified postings; traditional advertising venues have taken a back seat to the web. With the majority of vacationers doing at least some of their travel planning on the internet nowadays, we have seen web bookings steadily rise as well as response from print advertising slowly rising as well.
Venues to Explore:
Magazine Classified Ads/ Color Ads
Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce Member
Local Charity Auctions
Internet Click Ads and Sponsored Searches
Who can Buy Girl Scout Cookies if they do not knock on your front door?
Well, the fact is, you just can't go door to door selling a vacation on a beautiful tropical island anymore. Ahhh... those were the days!
Now you have to get more savvy! And alas, you must be online to bring curious vacation renters to your property.
Where do I start when renting out my vacation home?
Step One: Place Ads Online and Get Leads
The major places to advertise will always contain the top 3 sites that show up when you search vacation rentals for your area on the major search engines. These top 3 sites are the "must haves" and likely you will get the majority of your leads from them. The costs for the largest of the vacation ads sites are high and going up. But, by the time you factor in piecing together lots of freebie and low cost site, they ad price may be worth it to maintain fwere web properties when it comes time to update photos, change rates, change amenities on your home's listings.
When and for how long?
More Ads = More leads = More bookings
The longer you have advertised on a site, the better. Keeping your ads up all year round seems like a lot of expense at first when you are starting up, but in the long run consistency of vacation searchers seeing your property steadily advertised, booking, and creating credibility for you asa business will outweigh the small expense for your ad budget.
Step Two: Your Own Site
Sure, Why not? With so many of our ISPs giving us free web pages with our normal monthly internet connection packages, it makes sense to use them for your new project. Follow the set-up procedures for your site and you'll be up and running in no time. Just a reminder... make sure you direct all of your email inquiries to your email that you will check very often.
The Pro's and Con's
Managing your website can take up a bit of time on your part to make sure everything is set up correctly. However, once setup is done, except for seldom changes with pictures and rates, your web page in its completed form can be a great link from your advertising sites to you.
Do It Your Self or Have A Site Made For You ?
Creating the page itself is relatively simple. If you are having trouble this is where your kids or more internet savvy friends can step in and help you. Hiring companies to create a website for you can be quite expensive.
Several Home Owners do actively use their own websites to promote their homes and it is quite a mix of self-designed and professional-designed sites. Surf the net they are everywhere... not only from North Captiva, but rental homes all over the world. If you check out other Home Owner sites from the island, please be fair... Be Original!
What is this Property all about?
Step One: Choose Ad Photos and Write Ad Descriptions
Choose your best photos. Photos that make you want to know more about the property. If you can, surf over to other vacation home sites that have rentals and see what grabs your attention.
Describe your property in its best light and feature everything that will bring a full vacation picture together for vacation guests.
New ads should work! Ideally they should work right away to bring in leads. If they don’t, several factors can be off and you need to know they are amiss right away.
Curiosity alone should get you leads and traffic from a site’s regular surfers.
Step Two: Establish Pricing and plan to test/adjust.
Better Pricing = More Leads + Higher Conversions = More Bookings
The better your price in any business, the more customers you can end up with. But the choice will be yours to make...
More Weeks at a Low Price? OR Fewer Weeks at a High Price?
Step Three: Assess Ad Performance
At the end of every year we know where our past guests came from. We know what site brought the most lead and where our advertising dollars were the most rewarded.
Keep track along the way and at the end of one year asssess what 3 ads did the best. The top 3 should be renewed every year until or if they fall to the bottom of your list.
What do you do when you are ready to Respond?
Step One: Respond to Your Leads
Great Responses + More Leads = More Bookings
Step Two: Convert Leads to Bookings
Offer Complete Answers
Provide Competitive Rates
No matter what house it is, if the budget is lower than the price… no booking.
Step Three: Enjoy Your Property
All business and no enjoyment of your vacation rental home is not a good thing. Always remember why you rent your house at all... to pay for your vacations here and defray costs. Leave time here for you, for your friends, for your family.
The happiest owners on the island are the ones who make trips here often enough to reap the real rewards of island ownership - their own place at the Beach!
To find out more about the available properties on North Captiva, visit our Island Homes For Sale Page.
If you are searching for a vacation home that provides some rental income to defray costs such as taxes and insurance and want a property to enjoy during off-peak times, contact us about North Captiva Island Homes and New Construction opportunitites...
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