You can be renting out the greatest cottage property on the face of the planet, but if you don’t get the word out, having the perfect location and best rates won’t mean a thing. These days, you need to use online marketing to effectively connect with travelers. Marketing is as integral to the rental process as property maintenance, and as travelers increasingly use online resources to book accommodations, property owners need to adapt their marketing strategies.
In the past, publishing a classified ad in the local newspaper may have been considered a viable strategy for marketing to potential renters. But today, renters rely heavily on online resources. If you want to rent out your vacation property, you must secure an online presence. Online advertising will let you connect with a larger audience of travelers, and you’ll also make more effective connections with potential renters by conforming to their search behavior and delivering the precise information they’re looking for.
Pick the right promotional tool
Online marketing doesn’t mean you have to build a custom website for your rental property. Designing, building, maintaining, and hosting a website is both expensive and time consuming. Instead, for a nominal fee, you can list your property on a holiday rental website, such as CottageCountry.com, which not only builds and hosts a custom listing page for your property but also offers a suite of indispensable services and tools to help owners market, manage, and monetize their property. Tools provided by such services include availability calendars, a reservation-management system, a free merchant account for accepting payments, and more.
Make it “search friendly”
Another important aspect of online marketing is search optimization, which is a fancy way of saying “making sure travelers can find your listing” in the vast internet abyss. Search optimization is critical to the success of your online marketing campaign, but executing your own optimization campaign can be will be cumbersome. This is another instance where listing with a holiday rental listing site is extremely advantageous. Firstly, it’s easier for travelers to find your property on a holiday rental website than through a search engine. Second, well-established holiday rental sites carry out optimization efforts on your behalf. For example, CottageCountry.com has digital partnerships and an in-house marketing team that ensure your rental is easily searchable and findable across the internet.
Cast a wide net
Another component of ensuring your listing is “searchable” is understanding which tools potential renters use to search. While the majority of renters might browse a dedicated rental site like CottageCountry.com to find holiday rental properties (or find those pages through a search engine like Google), many will also search local listings on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji. To reach the broadest, most interested audience, be sure to list your rental property on those sites as well.
Keep it up to date
It’s important to regularly revisit your listing to be sure everything is high quality and up to date. If you have renovated your property, if there are seasonal specifications, or if you want to run a last-minute promotion, be sure to update potential renters. When listing on a holiday rental website, you will have a user dashboard from which you can edit your listing whenever you want so you can control your communication with travelers. This content management feature is another advantage of listing with a holiday rental website, as the ability to access and update information and visuals is critical when running your own rental business.
Spread the word
Any seasoned marketer will tell you that no method of promotion is more effective than word of mouth—particularly when the word is coming from a trusted friend or family member. And the widespread use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter makes it easier than ever to share your online rental listing with everyone in your social network. To make your social-sharing efforts even more effective, don’t hesitate to ask Facebook “friends” or Twitter “followers” to share or retweet your listing to their networks as well.