102 Marketing Ideas for Vacation Rental Property Managers

November 11, 2019

Ideas to Increase Bookings & Vacation Rental Inventory

Over one hundred marketing tips are listed to help you increase bookings and inventory.

  1. Customer service should always be #1.
  2. Invest in professional photography for your properties.
  3. Invest in photography for your area and add the appropriate alt tags when you post the photos. People often use Google image search when looking for places to visit.
  4. First impressions are everything with owners and guests. Always be prepared to make a first impression.
  5. Create and post videos about unique things to do and see in your area. Consider using drones to take it up a notch!
  6. Network and create a referral program with local service providers like cleaning companies, painters, etc.
  7. Consider leaving a gift basket in each unit.
  8. Owners with out of town addresses are the best prospects for possible vacation rental homeowners. Market to them.
  9. Be responsive! If a prospect reaches out, respond quickly. The property management company that calls back the fastest is the one that wins new business.
  10. Create lasting, REAL relationships with owners and guests.
  11. Create a referral program with area restaurants.
  12. Create a referral program with real estate professionals that don’t manage vacation rental properties.
  13. Include daily premium complimentary activities with your rentals by partnering with Xplorie.
  14. Don’t forget to run email marketing campaigns.
  15. Mail newsletters to vacation rental homeowner prospects. Include interesting information and don’t solely market your business.
  16. Host fun social events for potential local vacation rental owners.
  17. Reach out to organizers of local events and offer to list their events on your website. (They may return the favor.)
  18. Maintain a professional website which should include your company’s story, why vacation homeowners should choose your company, your listings, and include plenty of local content.
  19. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. If you aren’t sure, check your website on your phone today.
  20. Most vacation rental management software provides an owners’ portal. Be sure to offer your owners this feature and allow them to make maintenance requests using this portal.
  21. Run Google or social media ads to drive traffic to your website.
  22. Track your marketing efforts by building unique landing pages with forms for every campaign. Figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
  23. Include long-tail phrases in your website like, “beach wedding destinations for fall.” (It’s easier to rank for a phrase like this.)
  24. Property management software is a must. Make sure it includes both training and support.
  25. Keep your listings updated! As soon as a property has new furniture or a renovation, update the images and descriptions.
  26. Ask for reviews to build a positive online reputation. Make it easy by emailing homeowners and guests links to your listings.
  27. Invest in yield management software to improve your profitability.
  28. Get involved in local homeowners’ associations and build relationships.
  29. Join the Vacation Rental Management Association, VRMA.
  30. Keep up with industry trends, new software, and learning opportunities by attending conferences like the VRMA.
  31. Get involved with local investor organizations. Individuals in these organizations often own multiple properties.
  32. Trademark your company name, apply and maintain your business licenses, get incorporated.
  33. Offer your guests optional travel insurance.
  34. Create and practice a presentation that you can give to all prospective owners. Include reasons why they should choose your company over the competition.
  35. This presentation should include your tenant screening process, fees, financials, marketing, and all information prospective clients might ask for. Be careful not to bore prospective owners with too much data by including images and stories whenever possible.
  36. Include a guide in each home that explains to guests how to work the electronics and important rules they should be aware of.
  37. Start a blog that includes information for owners and vacationers and separate the content using categories. Vacationers are unlikely to be interested in the same things as your owners.
  38. Follow other vacation rental blogs and look for opportunities to post as a guest writer in exchange for a link back to your website.
  39. Some people like to pay online, split up payments, pay with credit cards, pay via ACH, etc. Provide the options clients ask for.
  40. Analyze the rental prices in your market often. Rent comparison tools can help.
  41. As your business grows, you’ll need more time to manage additional properties. Begin automating processes now to save time so you have time to scale.
  42. Create an FAQ document and section on your website for vacationers and owners.
  43. Provide the option for online signatures for lease agreements.
  44. Keep your owners and guests in the loop and include your phone number and email address in your online and print materials so it’s easy for them to reach you.
  45. Instead of requiring guests to pay a security deposit, consider offering them Damage Protection.
  46. Even if you have a bad day, do your best to always be kind and helpful when interacting with guests and owners. Customer service is everything.
  47. Show your staff some appreciation. Give kudos in person, via email, or leave them a handwritten note. Make sure they know you appreciate the work they do.
  48. Network with local vendors and brainstorm ways you can work together.
  49. Ensure your owners have the liability insurance necessary for their properties.
  50. Be a source of profitable ideas for your owners! Make sure they are aware of the benefits of providing popular amenities like a spa, fire pit, or upgraded kitchen.
  51. If they move forward with one of these ideas, market the new amenities in their listings.
  52. Make sure the value your properties offer is more than the price. Guests will come back year after year.
  53. Those with disabilities need an accessible vacation rental. If a property is accessible, market those aspects in the listing.
  54. Vacation rental furnishings should be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
  55. Offer a memorable guest experience.
  56. Post your rental agreements online to make sure this information is accessible for your guests.
  57. Communicate to your staff the importance of a positive attitude and smile. Guests are always watching.
  58. Toilet paper. Make sure your rentals have plenty of toilet paper.
  59. Provide your staff with a checklist so they remember to the check coffee maker, toilet, air conditioning, lights, etc. Make sure everything is in working order and pristine before guests arrive.
  60. Pay attention to the details. Include plenty of high-quality shampoo, conditioner, soap, cleaning products, and towels. The little things add up to excellent reviews.
  61. Include a basket of complimentary candy or chocolates in your rentals.
  62. If you have a front desk, provide coffee and water when guests check-in.
  63. Keep your property calendars up to date and always display real-time rates.
  64. Don’t underestimate the value of a handwritten note. Consider leaving one in each rental thanking guests for choosing your vacation rentals.
  65. Include a guest book in each property where guests can sign their names and leave a note for future guests.
  66. Call or text guests within a few hours of check-in to make sure they are pleased with the home.
  67. Write enticing descriptions and include details about the unique aspects of each property.
  68. People go on vacation to relax and have fun! Provide guests with an area guide that includes local activities and restaurants as well as coupons and discounts.
  69. Include a video tour of your properties on listings.
  70. Claim and add a description, hours, images and promotions to your Google My Business listing.
  71. Create social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter and post regularly!
  72. If you are not sure you will be able to keep up with social media, don’t activate the accounts.
  73. Fill out social media accounts in their entirety. Add a description of the business, phone number, your website link, and hours of operation where applicable.
  74. Be conversational. When using social media, ask questions, create polls, reply to comments, share other posts, etc. Social media is meant to be social.
  75. Post travel tips and interesting information about the area. 80% of your social media posts should be fun and interesting. Only 20% of your posts should promote your business.
  76. More high-quality photos on your listings equal more bookings.
  77. Always be honest in your listings. Guests will find out the truth once they arrive.
  78. Post guest reviews on your listings.
  79. Optimize your listing’s headlines and descriptions.
  80. Consider using an answering service for after-hours calls.
  81. Provide guests with the option to book online.
  82. Create a professional logo, streamline the colors and fonts you use on all your marketing, and give your brand a personality.
  83. Remember, your website’s purpose should be to increase bookings and find new owners. Don’t get distracted by new technology and lose sight of the goal.
  84. Hire someone who understands search engine optimization (SEO), ideally before you build your website. Not all web developers understand SEO.
  85. Provide clients with e-invoices to be transparent and make it easy to pay.
  86. Be willing to delegate or hire a contractor for any tasks that are outside your expertise.
  87. Assess the major listing sites like Booking.com, HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, and Tripadvisor to find out which ones you prefer to use to list your properties. Considering hiring a channel manager to help.
  88. Offer promotions and discounts during your shoulder season.
  89. Keep an eye on the competition. What are they doing well that you can do too?
  90. Create personas, including demographics and psychographics, for your ideal customers and owners. Speak to each of these personas in your marketing materials.
  91. Get involved in your community and sponsor events at local schools and charities. A little goes a long way.
  92. Provide pet-friendly units, and offer pets treats at check-in. Your guests will love that their pets feel welcome too.
  93. Consider offering concierge services for guests so it’s easy for them to book activities, find a babysitter, hire a personal chef, or find a local grocery delivery service.
  94. Be sure to provide an after-hours number for emergencies.
  95. Consider listing your properties on niche vacation rental websites.
  96. Offer popular travel bloggers a discount if they will stay at your properties and promote your company on their blog and social media accounts. Some of them have a huge, loyal audience who enjoy finding out about great places to stay and visit.
  97. Actively reach out to property managers in other areas, form relationships, and share ideas and best practices.
  98. Consider creating packages to increase bookings. For example, offer a free meal and activities with your rentals.
  99. Reach out to previous guests and let them know about your best offers.
  100. Contact anyone who has reached out to you in the past but did not book. It never hurts to try again.
  101. Ask previous guests to refer a friend and offer both parties discounts in return.
  102. Relax! You’re working with people who are living their best lives on vacation. Take a moment to enjoy life with your guests.