9 Effective Vacation Rental Marketing Strategies

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As a vacation rental owner, the marketing strategies you employ play a huge role in your profits and the overall success of your business. It’s no secret that the rental market is competitive and it typically takes a great deal of trial and error to determine the best ways to outperform your competitors.

Today, we’re sharing tried and true marketing tips to help you boost bookings for your vacation rental property this year. The rental market is booming and there’s plenty of money to go around—as long as you know what you’re doing. By learning how to attract your target audience and convert them into sales, you can excel in the industry.

Here are 9 effective vacation rental marketing strategies to try in 2023:

1. Use Attractive, High-Quality Photos

Cabin Interior
Photo by Hans Isaacson on Unsplash

The photos you include with your listing are the first impression your vacation rental sends to the world, so make it count. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to share 5-7 high-quality images of every room in your space.

If you don’t have the ability to take great photos on your own, consider hiring someone to do it for you. Your images are a direct reflection of the property, so don’t risk scaring off potential renters with grainy, poorly shot images.

2. Offer Discounts

One of the biggest reasons why people choose vacation rentals over hotels is the likelihood of lower prices. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal? You can help your property stand out above the rest by providing a booking incentive like a discount for longer stays, a discount for returning guests, or some other type of perk.

Additionally, if you’re looking to fill up your calendar with more stays, you can consider offering a special discount for last-minute bookings. As the property owner, it’s entirely up to you how you choose to offer discounts to your guests, so feel free to get creative.

3. Respond To All Reviews

There aren’t many ways to showcase your customer service and professionalism to potential renters before they’ve booked, so responding to reviews is a must. Many rental owners make the mistake of only responding to the positive ones (or not responding at all) which ends up reflecting poorly on them.

Responding to all reviews left by past guests is an essential part of any effective rental marketing plan and speaks directly to your professionalism. Keep your responses polite, personable, and professional. If a guest has constructive feedback for you, take it in stride and show future guests how you handle these types of situations.

4. Utilize Local Listing Sites

Local listing websites that focus on a specific geographical area are often overlooked by property owners. Over the last few years, domestic tourism has skyrocketed in popularity—a shift that has brought significantly more attention to local channels.

You can expand your property’s reach with domestic travelers by reaching out to local listing sites in your area to get listed with them. This is a great way to capture guests who might be planning nearby weekend getaways, work trips, and special occasions.

5. Optimize Your Listings

Photo by NisonCo PR and SEO on Unsplash

If you’re not optimizing your property listings, you’re doing your vacation rental business a major disservice. Using high-quality photos to attract guests is only part of it. You also need to write engaging listing descriptions packed with SEO-friendly keywords, as well as catchy headlines that draw in your target audience.

When crafting your listing description, think about what your ideal guests are looking for and what would appeal to them. Are you hoping to attract business travelers? Market your property as the perfect destination for corporate retreats. Want to bring in families? Mention the kid-friendly aspects of your property and highlight the local attractions.

6. Encourage Referrals

There are several ways to encourage referrals as a vacation rental owner. One easy way to do this is by providing past guests with coupons they can give to their friends and family members for a discount off their first booking. You could even provide further incentive by offering the referrer a future discount if their loved ones book with you.

Another great way to encourage referrals is to establish relationships with local business owners who might be interested in a mutually beneficial partnership. As you build these relationships, you can negotiate special discounts for your guests to improve their experience at your property and support local businesses.

7. Use Social Media Platforms

In 2023, social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools at our disposal. If you’re not already advertising your properties on social media, now is the time to start. With so many platforms to choose from, it may take some trial and error to determine which ones work best for you.

In general, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are all known to perform well for travel-related brands. Using social media for vacation rentals is a valuable way to engage your target audience, drive traffic, and boost bookings.

8. Keep Your Pricing Competitive

The pricing you set for your vacation rental property allows you to set your expectations and determines how competitive you’re going to be in the local rental market. When travelers are searching online for accommodations, pricing is often a deciding factor in whether they book with you.

If your prices are too high or low compared to your competitors, you’ll lose out on bookings. It’s important to research your competitors, account for overhead fees without going overboard, and change your prices with the seasons as needed.

9. Prioritize Hospitality

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Oftentimes, vacation rental owners make the mistake of leaving hospitality out of their marketing plan. You might not even consider hospitality to be a marketing strategy, but the reality is that it’s wildly important in establishing yourself as a reputable host.

Going above and beyond to prioritize hospitality for your guests could be the difference between a lackluster 4-star review and a glowing 5-star review. This includes tactics like leaving your guests a welcome gift, providing a hassle-free check-in process, providing modern amenities, and keeping your property clean and well-maintained.

List Your Vacation Rental Today

Now that you have familiarized yourself with some of the best vacation rental marketing strategies to use in 2023, it’s time to put them to work. You can get started today by listing your vacation rental property with CabinKey, the premier booking solution for savvy rental owners everywhere looking to save time and money.

Take the stress out of property management with simple yet powerful tools that allow you to focus on running your business. Ready to keep your beds full all year long? Contact our team now to learn more about what CabinKey can do for you.

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