Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vacation Rental Bookings Are Up - So Are the Number of Vacation Rentals Available!

Today I am reprinting an article by Jayne Brodie with lots of great tips for vacation rental owners.

There's been a lot of focus in the media recently about summer travel, and ways that travelers can save money and stretch their dollar. Of course that's been great for the vacation rental industry. HomeAway, the leader of Property Rental Advertising, just reported on Fox Business News that their site traffic is up 30% this year. However, they also noted that most vacation rental owners are offering discounts. What they didn't address is how many more vacation rentals are on the market this year as more second property owners need support in covering their mortgages, and renting out their home as a vacation rental helps out tremendously.
So what should property owners be doing to stand out? Discounting is one option, but I don't think that's the answer. I've stayed at 90% occupancy this year by doing the following things:

1) Getting a really thorough understanding of how my renters find me. Yes, that finding out what keywords they type into search engines when they're looking for a vacation rental in my area. Sound daunting? It's not. It's actually really fun once you understand it, because then you'll be able to leverage those keywords in all of the marketing that you do...and you'll be able to reach your renters quickly and at no cost.

2) Creating a video. I've always believed that pictures are worth a thousand words, and that's especially true in the vacation rental industry. People want to know what they're paying for. Video kicks it up a notch and let's you show your renters every nook and cranny of your property. It's a wonderful tool, and it will help you with your keyword rankings as well. When I added video to my site and ad listings, my bookings increased 20% almost immediately.

3) Overhauling your ad listing. When was the last time you did a competitive review of your ad listing, made sure your amenities were up to date, and reviewed your ad to make sure your keywords were incorporated. Have you tested different headlines and thumbnail photographs? There are all kinds of little "tweaks" that will make a big difference in your "curb appeal" to renters.

These are just a few of the components that will help you remain competitive and stand out among the crowd and keep your vacation rental booked solid!
Jayne Brodie is the author of the "Booked Solid Blueprint", a popular guide designed to help vacation rental property owners boost their bookings. To learn more about her book and sign up for FREE simple, quick, and easy ways to Boost Your Vacation Rental Bookings, go to http://www.bookedsolidrentals.com
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