No matter how beautiful the property looks or how wonderful the location is, guests have to be able to find it on holiday rental listing sites to book it!
There is an ever-increasing amount of competition for holidaymakers’ money out there. You need to ensure you provide relevant information so guests can make an informed decision about which property will suit them the best, and why.
Here’s our advice on how to stand out from the crowd…
Creating an attractive ‘shop window’ on holiday rental listing sites…
Make your “shop window” (i.e. online listing, Facebook page/ website/ blog/ adverts) as attractive, informative and relevant as you can.
Remember that you are a consumer yourself, so try to think about how and where you have discovered great property rental information in the past. Consider what it was that made you want to book that holiday.
One very important thing to consider is honesty and transparency. Every property might have a ‘quirk’ or a slight pain point – you can’t please everybody! But, there’s no point trying to hide this.
Raising guests’ expectations only for them to be disappointed on arrival will never end well for either party. Make sure your ‘shop window’ highlights all the great things about your property, but be honest about things that might not suit some guests’ preferences.
Different guests relate to information in different ways. So, our advice is to include as many sources of information as you can. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can inform guests about your property…
Photography is the most important element in securing a booking. Investing in the right photography will have a major impact on your revenue and your reputation.
70% of website visitors want to view photography and/or video before they decide to book and 90% say photo quality is the most important factor in an online sale.
Again, honesty and transparency are key with photographs too. It’s fine to stage your home to make it look attractive (we’re talking laying the table or putting a bottle of Champagne out as a prop to make the property come to life). But, never abuse photo manipulation to create a false reality.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s not available or realistic for guests to access on arrival, it shouldn’t be in the picture. For example, there’s no point in photographing your living room with a large plasma screen TV in the corner, if it won’t be there to use when your guests arrive.
People buy with their eyes, and they’ll be forming a very quick first impression of your holiday rental property. With so much competition out there, you need to be able to meet professional photography standards to secure and maximise your bookings.
2. Website Copy
This is another big one, and the key to writing great copy is to know your property inside-out. Writing compelling website copy for your holiday rental property means:
- Depicting your property both in brief and in detail, what kind of holiday can guests expect when they stay there?
- Pointing out the basics. What’s the capacity? How many bedrooms and bathrooms are there? How big is the garden and is it secure? What basic equipment and facilities do you provide?
- Outlining all of the features that make your property stand out such as a hot tub, games room or great views. Remember to highlight whether some of your facilities are affected seasonally, eg is the pool only open in summer?
- Describing the property’s location in detail. How close is the nearest shop? How far is the bus stop? Guests need to know how their holiday will work logistically. As well as this, some owners also offer information about local activities.
- Detailing your policies. What time is check-in? How does your cancellation policy work? Do you allow pets? Neither you nor the guests want any nasty surprises because things weren’t made clear at the time of booking.
Find out your core market’s nationality and if necessary and where possible, offer your website copy in multiple languages. At OVO Network, all of our content is created in both English and French to appeal to both the French market (where we are based) and the international market.
Take a look at one of our property listings to get an idea of the detail we provide to guests at the time of booking.
3. Guest Reviews
Guest reviews make your listing more reliable and trustworthy and provides guests with an unbiased opinion. Keep reviews up-to-date so that guests can see that the information is still relevant.
If all your reviews are made public, make sure to reply to each one, including the ones that may not be perfect. Negative reviews are an opportunity to improve your business for future guests.
In a saturated market, standing out amongst the crowd requires commitment, expertise and an adaptable attitude. There are thousands of second homeowners striving to stand out on holiday rental listing sites, but if you’re not in the position to take this on yourself, you may be looking for a reputable solution for your business.
OVO Network’s complete solution is for chalet owners in the French Alps who want to own a successful holiday rental business without it taking over their life. Find out more here, or try our rental yield calculator to see how much you could earn by working with us.