VACATION RENTAL MANAGER BLOG
5 Tips for a New Vacation Rental Property Owner
1. Advertise on the Internet
Advertising on the internet can deliver bang for your buck. You can be an owner and be managing by yourself. Some websites will be very friendly to you, and ‘maintaining’ your web page, such as updating your calendar, changing rates, etc. on the sites, might be easy. You will have to put some time into setting up your listing, writing accurate descriptions, setting rates and making sure you know how to update the calendar, etc.
2. Write Quality Descriptions of Your Property
Advertising your property aggressively may help you book available nights and weeks in your vacation home. You will be one of many thousands of rental properties on the internet, so you must know your property and the surrounding vacation area, and be able to describe them in ‘marketing’ detail on your webpage. Proofread it two or three times to make sure there are no mistakes. Ask several people to read it and give you their feedback. You are the owner, and as the owner, you don’t read the description of your property the same way as a prospective renter. You can also go to the web and read, read, read.
3. List Your Property on Rent-by-Owner Websites
On various owner listing websites, you can create your webpage for your specific property. The properties are now all over the world, including China, Europe, Japan, and sites all over the US including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the famous beaches of the East, Gulf and West coasts. There are many sites - more every day are popping up and the ads are generally less expensive or free on the newer sites. However, you won’t get as many ‘hits’ to your web page as with the more popular sites and won’t get as many rentals, either.
4. Promptly Answer Your Inquiries
Every inquiry you get must be answered. Potential guests will ask for a quote (with a discount) and may want to haggle about the price. You have to answer all the inquiries and then get a small percentage of actual rentals. The more inquiries you answer, the more rentals you may get. It's a numbers game and the competition is fierce.
5. Use Pay Per Click Advertising
The key to the number of hits to your particular webpage is very important. In the vacation rental business, you must play the numbers if you are advertising on the internet. Google and Microsoft Bing both offer a do it yourself advertise service where you can purchase ads to show to people looking for a property to rent. Direct internet advertising can be complicated and expensive if not done well, so go slow and experiment.
3 Ways to Make Your Guests Happy
1. Use Personal Communication
There is no substitute for a friendly voice, or email or even a text! Written communication can go a long way, but customers sometimes want to hear the voice of the person to whom they may be sending hundreds or thousands of dollars. So talking to guests is a real plus!
2. Make Her Life Easier
When your guests have committed to rent your vacation property, continue to make their lives easier. Here’s one example: After they book, send a friendly email telling them to look for an email from you closer to check-in date with some information. This puts their mind at ease about knowing what to do when their check in date is approaching. A friendly email also helps your guest feel important and know that you are helping them have a smooth vacation.
3. Conduct Your Business Professionally
In years gone by, some guests may have been concerned that they have never met you in person. However, this has changed, and most guests trust professional business people. Having a professional face to the guest, and backing it up with accurate and professional documents will cause guests to be calm and confident that you will take care of them if there is a problem.