Ingrid Genest is a travel blogger specializing in alternative lodging trends, marketing, and advertising including Vacation Rentals, Inns, B & B's, private rooms, and sublets.
As the HomeAway network of vacation rental websites continues to grow, including well known sites VRBO, VacationRentals.com, GreatRentals.com, and CyberRentals.com, so does the number of vacation rental advertisers questioning value.
Pricing structures for the two major sites, HomeAway and VRBO, include high annual listing fees and expensive pay-for-positioning packages that are not converting to increased rental inquiries and bookings. Further, site-wide updates appear "buggy" and customer support is mediocre at best, leaving vacation rental owners and property managers searching for viable alternatives:
Connecting Rentals Worldwide
6 months free: http://www.connectingrentals.com/free-vacation-rental-listings
While relatively new to the online vacation rental marketplace, the company is no stranger to the vacation rental industry, and promises to deliver big. Backed by Connecting Rentals, Inc., a leading vacation rental agency in Bethel, Maine since 1991, Connecting Rentals Worldwide was developed by expert programmers in conjunction with rental professionals to deliver a secure, affordable, user friendly, full-featured listing alternative.
Connecting Rentals Worldwide welcomes Owners to try the site free with their industry leading 6 month free trial. If you receive no bookings during the trial period, your listing will be extended another 6 months for free. No credit card is required for registration.
Flipkey / TripAdvisor
60 day free trial: http://www.flipkey.com/list/
FlipKey is the exclusive provider of vacation rentals on TripAdvisor -
the largest travel community in the world with more than 35 million
unique monthly visitors. With TripAdvisor's multiple lodging types, you
can attract travelers who may have never considered a vacation rental.
Guest reviews give travelers more comfort in booking, which leads to
better inquiries, higher booking rates, and more guests. FlipKey enables
you to easily collect and manage guest reviews. These reviews can be
seamlessly integrated onto your own website through a variety of tools.
FlipKey provides verification services for both professional property
managers and individual homeowners. This verification process gives
travelers more confidence when booking a property.
Vacation Home Rentals
30 day free trial: http://www.vacationhomerentals.com/sign_up.html
Tired of listing on sites next to 100,000 other properties? Join the
club. They may have bigger marketing budgets, but what does it matter if
nobody can find you? VacationHomeRentals.com gets the most visitors per
listing in the industry
Vacation Home Rentals is an established and respected company - advertising more than
10,000 properties in more than 100 countries around the world. They have five years of successful marketing and are
growing at one of the fastest rates in the industry.
April 2, 2013
March 20, 2013
The global holiday rentals industry is growing annually with more and more guests now choosing individual homes over a hotel to suit their individual requirements. Whether you are new to renting or a long-term manager, it is always important to continually ask yourself what are you doing to get ahead of your competition and receiving a slice of that pie.
Damian Sheridan of NeedMoreRentals.com provides rental home owners and property managers a few ways to stay ahead of the field.
Your Listings on Booking Portals
How will your property stand out from the many others in your area? You realistically have around 2 seconds to impress your prospective guest - it’s all about making sure you get that initial click through to your listing. Think about the lead image thumbnail, title, then description. Images tell a thousand stories and with vacation rentals you can’t underestimate their importance. Don’t think that your fancy I-phone images will suffice – get professional photos done. When expanded on a computer screen they can appear pixelated and fuzzy. It’s well worth the investment. Your lead image should ideally be your stand-out feature, however if, for example, all of your neighbours are parading their pool, try a nice shot of a sun terrace or balcony view. Furthermore consider carefully your property title and description. Which of the following property titles would be more grabbing - “Apartment to rent in Barcelona” or “Spacious 2 Bedroom Beach Apartment, Free Wi-Fi & Welcome Pack”?
When adding your complete and detailed property description put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Try to walk them around your home. Think comfort, think relaxation and think convenience. You have to be passionate about the place. What extras do you provide? What’s within walking distance? Have you included as many great photos as possible? Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes? Is your unique selling point clear?
Your Unique Selling Point
What is the unique selling point of your rental home for your guests? Your wonderful pool? The stunning view? A quirky theme? You have to know what will set your place apart from your local competition. One of our clients in Ireland offers free payment of a motorway toll upon checking in - a great idea! Check out your competitors and see if any of them are offering things like Wi-Fi internet, satellite TV or welcome packs. You could even consider accepting pets. Anything that will differentiate your rental property is imperative to know.
Your Own Website
Do you have your own website? If not, get one! It’s your shop window. Guests will now often expect to see one and a few days hard work will save you considerable time in the long run when answering the same standard questions again and again. Your rental home website is a great place to add property images, videos, guest reviews, your bio or other information. If that’s not enough persuasion, you can even make money off the back of your guests’ travel plans by joining affiliate linking programmes and placing banners on your site.
Need More Rentals is a website and consultancy service dedicated solely to helping rental owners/managers maximise their booking potential and guest occupancy levels. Read our advice and recommendations about marketing, converting enquiries, personal websites, tax, scams, free advertising and much more besides. We also provide bespoke services to help individual vacation rental home owners/managers in setting up websites, marketing and search engine optimisation.