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Tips on How to Market Vacation Rental Homes Online

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Vacation Rental Homes marketingHaving a Vacation Rental Home and being able to successfully rent it on short term basis not only can help with bills, but it can also add up to a nice income!

According to United States Travel Association:

Ninety-three million U.S. adults – and counting -- reported using the Internet for travel planning purposes in 2010. And why did they use the Internet? To book travel, yes. But the greatest benefits to online travel planners can be summarized as “evaluation,” “involvement,” and “expectations.” These are only three of the findings presented in the 2010 edition of the Travelers’ Use of the Internet.

In another publication "Impact of Travel on State Economies 2010" U.S Travel Association reports :

In 2009, domestic travelers spent $610.2 billion in the U.S and international visitors spent $94.2 billion”

Vacation Rental is a great alternative to a hotel, because it provides travelers with additional comfort, homey feeling, and in general the cost of renting a Vacation Home is lower or at least comparable to a hotel, ...with no guests in the room next door!  Quite often a vacation rental will feature more amenities and features, such as more space, fully equipped kitchen, DVD library, books, etc.  Not to mention the outside yard or a grill that guests can use.  Since Vacation Rentals can range from budget studio apartments to expensive private villas, the biggest advantage of renting a Vacation Home most likely is that Vacation Rentals offer the advantage of experiencing how life in one's destination is truly like for the locals.

How do you market your Vacation Rental so that travelers actually know about it?
There are few choices that Vacation Rental Owners can pick from when considering marketing their Vacation Home.

1.  You can hire someone to do it for you.  A vacation rental management company will market your property for you.  However, part of your income is lost, since you have to cover their fees. The advantage of vacation rental management company is that if you do your research well and pick the right one, they will handle most of your marketing and dealing with potential guests.

2.  Do it yourself.  We suggest using the web to market your Vacation Rental Home.
Marketing your property online allows potential vacationers to learn about your home and contact you directly if they are interested in renting it for their vacation.  Many travelers prefer direct contact with owners, as it is more on a personal level.  Potential guests feel more confident that their questions are answered accurately, since who can know better about the particular Vacation Home than the owner him/herself?

To start, you can create your own website that will feature your Vacation Rental.  In addition you can list your property on some of the Vacation Rental Directory sites on the web.
Some new and not very large Vacation Rental Directory sites offer an option to add your listing free of charge.  Others will charge somewhere between $99 to $399 per year to list your Vacation Rental Property. The reality is that most of the time, even if you get just one booking from your listing, it will not only pay for your membership fee, but usually leave you with profit.  Let's also not forget that you can write off your advertising fees when filing your Taxes.
The advantage of listing your property on a smaller Vacation Rental Directory site is that it is a lot easier for potential travelers to find your listing once they’re on such site.  Large directories are filled with many listings and it is not always easy to get your property noticed.  On the other hand, larger directory sites get a lot more traffic.
To increase the chances of your property to be seen by travelers online, we recommend listing your Vacation Home on more than one Vacation Rental Directory site.

VR Referrals has both, paid and free options to list your Vacation Rental.  Our paid options start at $59/year.  What makes our site unique is that we also connect our members with other Vacation Rental owners.  You can refer your extra booking requests to them, or fill your empty dates by communicating with other members and getting referrals from them.  This is a great additional tool for you to make extra money with your Vacation Rental Home.  Our Vacation Rental Network is a community that you can use to discuss Vacation Rentals with other owners, share ideas, tips and more.  You can read about our system here.  To learn more about us, click here.
In addition, our members can create their own Blog to market their Vacation Rental Home even more.  Members can use their Blog to write recent news about their Vacation Home, updates and changes, as well as to write about the area that the property is located in, local attractions, upcoming events and more.

In part 2 of this article we will discuss how to create your own website to market your Vacation Home and how to create a good Vacation Rental Listing.

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