If you’ve chosen to list your vacation home as a vacation rental, chances are you want that property to earn its keep. You’re hoping for bookings to cover some of the expenses or maybe just generate some extra income over the course of the year. If you’re going to list it, however, you should make sure that those listings are working for you and not against you. Here are six tips to help you improve your listings and increase the bookings on your site.
Tip #1: Great pictures tell great stories
It doesn’t take much to take fantastic photos, especially if you have an iPhone these days! To make sure your pictures for your listing pop, shoot one room at a time and stage the room. No clutter, keep it neat and clean. If you need to, stash some of the extras in another room while you’re taking pictures of the room. Be sure to show things like ocean and mountain views or other key amenities that will have prospective guests say WOW!
Tip #2: Spellcheck!
Honestly – nothing is more annoying than reading a poorly written description of a vacation home or one laden with typos. When you go to list your vacation home, some sites (like Evolve) will write your description for you, making this a non-issue. If the site doesn’t, ask someone you know who’s great with words to help you out a bit.
Tip #3: Provide the necessities
If a traveler is deciding between a rental that provides everything from cookware to linens to one that makes them bring everything themselves for the same price, guess which property will usually win? Head to your local store and buy decent quality household items and leave them for guest use. Make sure you state in your property description that these items are provided as well.
Tip #4: Make it easy to pick up the keys
The harder it is for your guests to get the keys, the more disgruntled they will be. You want to encourage a pleasant experience across the board, and key pickup shouldn’t be ignored. Make arrangements with a location that will be available no matter what time your guests decide to arrive and include that information (“convenient/easy key pickup”) in your listing.
Tip #5: Keep an eye on your vacation home
Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. Make sure that your property manager or other coordinator for on-the-ground services keeps an eye on the condition and state of repair for your property. Great pictures that don’t pan out will not only result in a dissatisfied guest, but little to no chance for repeat bookings. Update your listing periodically with a notation that the pictures are current and that the property is regularly inspected to ensure that guests know you’re as concerned about their stay as they are.
Tip #6: Respond quickly to traveler inquiries and have clear answers to their questions. Travelers are looking to understand details about the overall experience of staying in your home, not just bedding configurations. We hear travelers say all the time “I booked this home because you were the first ones to get back to me.” Go ahead and move yourself into the ranks of responsive owners and be a fast responder. Your bookings will show a difference!