If you own a vacation rental in the Wildwood or Cape May area and are on the lookout for more renters there are several things an owner can do to help increase rental income.
Build a Website for your Rental
One of the most important items on any vacation rental owners checklist must be a website. Any owner who wants to effectively market their rental will need a fully bookable website. Renters who visit your website are more likely to book if your rental can be reserved online. A static website provides basic information about your rental with contact information whereas a bookable site can capture rentals with the ease of being able to book online immediately. Owners often have only one chance to impress a potential renter and close the sale (rent your property) and that is when a renter is on your website. One company that offers pre-built websites and an online booking solution for owners is VacationRentalDesk.com
Keep your availability calendar updated
Renters who find your website or listing will immedialty go to your calendar to look for availability. Owners are more likely to get an inquiry or booking if they have up to date info on availability. Today’s shopper is often pressed for time and wants correct information. If they cant find it they move on.
Use High Quality Images
Whatever means you use to market your vacation rental owners need to display high resolution photos of their rental. The better the photos the more likely a potential renter will take the time to look at the details of your property. Photos should highlight the most important features of your rental like ocean views, porches, roof decks, large living areas, game rooms, bedrooms and more. Your photos are the most important part of your listing. Put up bad photos and a renter will move on to the next listing. Use proper lighting when taking the photos. Stage your photos. A simple staging technique is to use wine glasses and put fresh flowers on tables. Let your guests picture how they will enjoy your vacation rental.
Market your Rental
All owners who rent need to get the word out about their vacation rental. There are many ways to market a vacation rental. Some owners choose big listing sites like VRBO.com or Homeaway.com. Recently these sites have undergone major changes in the way owners can list their rentals. Gone is the traditional way of listing a rental that would show owner contact information. Contact information is now blocked. Now owners can no longer communicate directly with renters until a property is booked using the “Instant Book ” feature. It now appears the big listing sites are moving towards a business model similar to Hotels. In addition, service fees are now charged to guests that book a rental. This added cost has renters looking elsewhere to avoid the service fee which can be hundreds of dollars for a weekly rental.
Local vacation rental listing sites are now offering an alternative to the big listing sites. It turns out local listing sites have an inherent advantage when it comes to search engines. Local listing sites do not have to pay to place on Major search engines. Local listing sites are recognized as being “relevant” to search engines due to the location. Google, Bing and Yahoo reward local listing sites with search prominence over big listing sites due to to this “relevancy” in the local market. The big listing sites must pay to be found in local markets. Look at any result for a vacation rental search and you will see paid results at the top. Below the paid results are the organic or free results. These are the local relevant sites. Many searchers avoid the paid links and look locally for a rental. CapeMayVacationRentals.com is a local listing service offering traditional listings without service fees. CapeMayVacationRentals.com also allows open communication between renter and owner. Another very important feature about local listing sites. Many will allow owners to put a link to their rentals website. The big listing sites do not.
These are just a few tips to help vacation rental owners in Wildwood and Cape May area effectively market their rentals. Happy Renting!