Do you count on your vacation rentals for a consistent income? If so, vacancies can create a gaping hole in your budget. You need to make sure that your properties stay booked, no matter what the season. Here’s how to keep your rental buzzing with activity.
1. Understand the Market
If you’re new to the vacation rental market, you need to develop marketing expertise quickly. You need to know what people are looking for in a vacation rental and develop buyer personas that help you easily pinpoint a potential renter’s needs. Every rental has its strengths and weaknesses, and you need to be able to play up your strengths and show how they connect to your prospective renters’ needs.
2. Find and Target Potential Guests
You have your buyer personas. Now you need to draw them in. Use SEO to connect with potential renters through search, and talk with them on social media as well. Develop a clear sales funnel from the initial interaction to the conclusion of the rental. Make sure that your website has plenty of opt-in opportunities that allow renters to sign up for more information about seasonal deals and packages, and create custom content for different buyer personas.
3. Make Bookings Simple
Now that you’ve intrigued prospective renters, you need to make it easy for them to book. You need a website with a clear booking process and a clean design. You can add incentives such as shoulder season sales or package deals, but remember that your site’s main goal is to get people to make a commitment to enjoy your vacation rental.
4. Follow Through
Do your leads flee before they become your guests? To keep your vacation rental booked, you need to follow up on abandoned shopping carts. The secondary focus of your site should be to capture information about your prospective guests so that you can connect with them even if they don’t book with you. Offer them an extra-sweet incentive or send them a caring note if you notice that they’ve left your site without booking.
5. Connect With Your Guests
If you’re responsive, your guests respond in kind. Strong communication is one of the ways to keep your rentals booked throughout the year. Use bots, FAQs, or a management company that can keep answering questions even when you’re busy. Connect with your guests using multiple channels, such as text, social media, and email communication. If a lead has a question, you need to answer it to ensure that lead books your vacation rental.
6. Solidify Your Reputation
According to VRM Intel, “users seek out independent reviews before making a reservation, with 95 percent claiming to read reviews before booking.” To keep your vacation rental booked, solicit feedback from past guests. Ask them to submit testimonials for your site, but connect with them on social media as well. Encourage your guests to give you their negative feedback so that you can make improvements. Also, ask them to share the positives on independent review sites.
To solidify your reputation, consider partnering with a property manager who can manage your property in a consistent and professional manner. This not only gives you a reputation for consistency, it gives your guests peace of mind. You may be an excellent rental coordinator for your property, but according to VRM Intel, “nearly 70% of travelers who have tried renting from a professional manager over renting directly from an owner prefer the peace of mind that comes with renting from a professional manager.”
Are you struggling to keep up with vacation rentals or to fill vacancies? Working with a rental specialist can help you keep your investment properties working for you. Leave your vacation rental management to the experts at Lori Gill & Associates and Windermere Vacation Rentals Lake Chelan. Connect with us today.