There are more than 23,000 vacation rental companies in the United States. Because of crowd sharing sites like Airbnb and VRBO, the market is becoming extremely saturated.
Small towns and cities are cracking down on crowd shared rental houses and imposing silly regulations. And if you aren’t careful, you could wind up on the bad side of your local city council.
The market is competitive and any mistake you make could sink you. Here are a few things you shouldn’t do if you want to succeed with your vacation rental website.
1. Neglect Your Regional Expertise Section
Even if you won property where you rarely visit, people want to stay in the homes of people with local expertise. Local information is valuable to any tourist and even if your information is second hand, you should have something to offer.
Local restaurant gems, oft-missed side attractions, and really anything the tourists might miss if they only did cursory research of the area.
Pick a favorite pizza place, breakfast place, cafe, etc. What’s great for families to do, what’s great for couples, and where can singles go to mingle. Learn to be an expert even if you aren’t.
2. This Picture is Too Small, This Picture is Too Blurry, This Picture is Just Right
I tend to pick my rental hoes by features and reviews rather than by photos. Photos are easy to doctor.
You can make a place look bigger than it really is by simply getting into a corner and taking a wide angle shot of a room from near the floor.
But most customers will use the photos in on a rental web page to judge the rental. If they can’t tell what it actually looks like inside and out by the photos, they’ll likely skip over your rental.
3. Neglect On-Page Content
It may not seem like content would be important for a vacation rental website, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to stand out from the rest on Google. The most basic tenant of search engine optimization is that content is king. And if you don’t have a blog on your vacation rental website, you’re not going to rank above your competition.
Search engine optimization for vacation rental websites could be as easy as building a blog and sharing important local information. The more your content gets shared, the more valuable your site becomes to Google.
4. Wait…You’re Just on Facebook?
This is the most atrocious mistake you could make as a rental company. Even if you only have one house or apartment, you need a website.
Facebook is becoming a quickly outdated mode for businesses to advertise. The internet will persist beyond Facebook and once FB disappears, you’ll have to create a website anyway.
And the upcoming generation isn’t even using Facebook anyway. Get a website, plug into Airbnb and VRBO and stay ahead of the curve.
5. Forget to Personalize With a Bio
People want to know who they’re staying with even if nobody will be there. With an influx of accusations of privacy violations and weird schemes in the rental sphere, it’s even more important you seem personable and good-natured.
Include a bio and a realistic picture of yourself.