Owners of Florida vacation rentals are always looking for ways to advertise their properties in the most economical way and targeting sites that get them the biggest bang for their bucks. Following are a few tips that might help you determine where to spend your hard earned money to market your Vacation Rental on the Internet:
Advertising in the local news paper is very expensive, has a limited range for reaching potential renters and does not use the current method used by most folks researching the best deals. The Internet is where most people do their research, shopping & buying. In the book “How to Rent Vacation Properties By Owner”, author Christine Karpinski recommends that owners look for the following when selecting a website to advertise their properties:
A. Basic features that all Vacation Rental websites should have: The ability to easily create the listing in a comprehensive way. The ability to update and change your rates, photos and other listing info on a regular basis. The website should be listed within the Top 10 for search engines in your category.
B. Advanced features that are nice to have but not always available: Property availability calendars and reservation request forms. Foreign language and currency conversion to expand potential renter audience. Map features and links to your Property Website & Virtual Tour. Easy search functions that allow a potential renter to easily search for and find your property.
Vacation Rental websites typically charge a “Membership Fee” ranging between $99 and $300 per year. There are also many websites out there that are offering free listings.
Your objective should be to get as much visibility as you can for your properties by selecting vacation rental websites that place consistently on the 1st Page results on the major Search Engines Google, Yahoo, & MSN for Keywords related to your property and its location.
An example of a common search for properties located in Daytona Beach would be: Daytona Beach vacation rentals or vacation rental homes in Daytona Beach. There are any numbers of Keyword combinations to use when doing your search…just try to keep track of which Vacation Rental websites continue to show up during your search.
I usually make a list of the top 10 vacation rental portals when doing a search for vacation rentals in my city and then start paring it down by reviewing the number of rentals in my city and the quality of the site. Usually those two things go hand and handbut not always. I am often times amazed at the quality, or lack of, when referring to some of the most popular and effective vacation rental portals. Its nice to see that now some of the older sites are getting a face lift and making the whole experience more users friendly and appealing.
The bottom line is that, in order to receive inquiries and make bookings, your vacation home needs to be found when your potential renter is searching in your city. Each vacation rental portal offers something different in the way they allow you to make your Listing stand out. Do your homework and choose wiselyyour success in the “business” depends on it.