Vacation rentals can be a steady source of income, with renters tending to find a place they enjoy and returning year after year with little encouragement. However, “steady” does not mean “automatic”. Every property, from the smallest single lakefront cottage on up, needs a manager on top of the market who is willing to make the necessary vacation upgrades to keep the customer satisfied.
Marketing the Rental Property Visually
Jen O’Neal of Tripping.com says that “Vacation rentals are becoming an increasingly popular option among travelers.” The key to attracting these vacationers is to demonstrate what makes your rental a unique option. This means making the necessary vacation upgrades. After all, travelers know what to expect from hotel accommodations at various price points. Vacation rental managers need to be sure potential guests know what to expect from their rental property.
This needs to be communicated in pictures, rather than words. Digital media has shortened our attention span to about 8 seconds. This is not long enough to read a description of the rental property, no matter how well written. Professional photographers can be engaged through a variety of online freelance platforms to produce quality images of the rental.
Savvy managers also test different images in online ads to gauge their effectiveness. Using the same text with two pictures is classic A/B testing. It lets a manager know exactly which image connects with potential renters. However, just moving to pictures instead of text might not be enough.
Youtube is now the second largest search engine on the internet, processing more than 3 billion searches a month. A vacation rental without a video presence is going to be at a disadvantage, particularly among Millennial vacationers who are accustomed to finding links to video on websites. Moving to video is in keeping with the trend toward searching the internet on mobile devices rather than desktop computers.
Interior Vacation Upgrades to Attract Renters
Tripping.com reports that after inaccurate pictures, dingy furniture is the biggest complaint vacation renters have about their experience. Vacation rentals, even a cottage on the lake, cannot be furnished at a second hand store if the manager wants to attract repeat customers.
Tripping.com also reported that 64% of renters choose not to stay in a hotel so that they could cook their own meals. A kitchen overhaul and remodel may not be a necessary vacation upgrade, but having a full set of matching cookware and serving dishes can greatly enhance the renting experience. Renters appreciate a dishwasher, but be sure to at least furnish a corkscrew!
Pay attention to amenities in the bedrooms as well. Vacationers, after all, want to relax. For many, that means sleeping in. Providing quality pillows and linens is a simple vacation upgrade that will be appreciated every night during the stay. Keeping the colors and patterns of the linens current will also make the rental appear more attractive in photos.
The same is true for fresh paint and colorful accessories everywhere else in the house, both inside and outside. Thinking like a seller is a fast way for a rental owner to determine if their property is going to be attractive to the renter. Curb appeal and neutral colors with appropriate accents are important touches in any vacation rental.