Using Awards Nominations To Increase Rental Bookings

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Reputation is the cornerstone of increased reservations: once your vacation rental builds a good reputation, the domino effect begins and reservations start flowing. To kick start the process, consider using awards nominations to boost the profile and reputation of your accommodation. In most cases, getting nominated is free (or relatively inexpensive) and takes no more than 10 or 15 minutes.

What are awards nominations?

With the exception of a select few, most hospitality awards associations are actually companies themselves charging nomination fees, event tickets, and marketing packages as a means of revenue. In other words, these are memberships that blur the line between unbiased selection and paid inclusion. They often have snazzy websites, illustrious affiliates, and a formal air.

Who can apply to get nominated?

Most hotel nomination groups have very few restrictions for application and this includes allowing vacation rental or villa owners to enter. There are application forms for owners (usually with a price) and nomination forms for suggestions (usually free of charge). Depending on the amount of competition, submitting your own rental can be anywhere from free to $1000. I recommend taking advantage of both opportunities.

Why should you apply?

Being nominated for an award – while it may mean less to you because you paid for it – is tremendous PR in the eyes of future guests. You can brag about the nomination on your website, in press releases, and in your correspondence with guests (there’s nothing quite like a signature stating “Nominated 2011 World’s Top New Vacation Rental” – I know from experience).

How to maximize your nomination?

Once you’re nominated, plaster it on all media outlets. Post it on your Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor accounts: it lends a profound credibility to your establishment and statistically increases bookings. We know because we tested two rentals of equal prominence in Panama: both had occupancy levels between 80% and 90%, both were priced between $100 and $150/night, and both had steller reputations.

We nominated one vacation rental with a travel awards associations (World Travel Awards) to which it was accepted. We then put these badges and titles on just about every piece of literature including their website, email signatures, social media accounts…etc.

What happened? This rental owner saw a jump of 31% — which equated to about 150 new reservations — in the ensuing span of about 90 days. This is remarkable, especially considering total amount spent on this marketing experiment was $100.

Using awards nominations is one of those guerilla tactics that allows small, crafty vacation rental owners to compete with the biggest and the best. Follow these 3 steps and see the kind of results we did…

3 Steps To Success:

1.    Do a Google search and find a handful of travel awards nominations groups that suit the travel experience you offer

2. Submit your property

3. Use nomination badges, titles, and verbiage to promote

About the Author: 

Matt is the author of Boost Vacation Rental Occupancy, free and inexpensive strategies to increase your vacation rental bookings and revenue. 

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