You will find few industries quite as competitive as the one which encompasses vacation rentals, and that competition touches every aspect of a vacation rental business. Whether you are talking about the rentals themselves, access to them, or the marketing strategies that are required for success, you are going to be faced with a long list of challenges brought directly to your door by stronger forces within the industry.
To put things in perspective, many new vacation rental owners plan to let one, two, five, or even ten properties. While even owning and operating one property can often seem monumental in terms of financial responsibilities and management tasks, there are thousands of organizations out there that operate enough vacation rental properties to house a small city. In a nutshell, that means most vacation rental owners will likely never be able to compete on the same level as their competition. Getting into such an industry may seem a bit off-putting at first, but fortunately, there are a few ways in. Let’s first take a look at what not to do, and then what you should do.
Don’t Take On the World by Yourself
Our best advice has to come with a few warnings first. The first is that following traditional practices to get your website noticed (or found at all) is not likely to be as successful as some campaign managers may promise.
A strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) approach, for example, is one of the best ways to get your brand to show up in search results. The problem? A strong SEO strategy takes a lot of careful planning, and a considerable amount of time to get right. From making sure all the most common search terms are embedded onto the pages of your site to building a network of pages that facilitate outbound and inbound links, to the all-powerful social media connection, and much more, not everyone has the know-how to get it right.
Even for those who do know how to build a proper SEO campaign, they will never put the same amount of resources into perfecting it as the big names within the industry are able to do. In short, when it comes to SEO campaigns, more money equals more time, and more time equals better results in searches.
Another example of a ‘best practices’ approach that helps many online businesses is the paid advertisement approach. There are many avenues one can take to get their business seen at the top of searches that have nothing to do with SEO. Google AdWords is one service that is common because businesses can pay to be featured at the top of the page. The main problem with this approach in a saturated market like that of vacation rentals is that the better-established businesses have more (often millions more) money to spend on the same ad space. Most just cannot compete.
Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
You’ll have to forgive the cliche but it fits so well here. The absolute best way to get your vacation rental seen in internet searches and get your foot into this competitive industry is to list your property with a well-established rental platform. There are several options available. The best names in the business are Lodgify, Airbnb, Booking.com, and HomeAway. These platforms help in a large number of ways and guarantee views of your vacation rental.
Some of the benefits include market-leading SEO which is baked right into the available site builders, social media integration with reviews and ratings to show off your happy customers, as well as fully-functional payment systems to keep track of every transaction connected to the listing. Another useful attribute is that since there are no requirements to sign a loyalty agreement with a vacation listing service, it is possible to list your property across several platforms at once. Viewing, and rentals, as a result, are pretty much guaranteed.