Running a vacation home can be overwhelming. So we have created and compiled a list of 8 ways for your to boost your vacation rental business and make more money with your VR.
- Create an FAQ list.
Assuming you have set up your VR website, create a page just for frequently asked questions. List out any questions you think your renters may have and continue to add to the list as you receive questions from renters or potential guests. Before long, you will have created a comprehensive guide to the operation, management, rules of your home.
- Create a Welcome Guide to your home.
A Welcome Guide gives you the chance to connect with your renters again once they have entered your home. It is a good opportunity to re-establish the rules of the house, list emergency contact info, list local activities and businesses, and list any operation guides for any electronics or amenities like hot tubs, pools, or saunas, among other things. Print your Welcome guide out to leave on the dining or coffee table to be easily found by your renters. If you need some help creating a Welcome Guide or ideas of what to include, checkout this template from Modernhome.net.
To take this welcome guide one step further, create operation guide videos to include on your youtube channel and website. Physically demonstrate how to operate your amenities to reduce any user error. Include links to these videos in your printed Welcome Guide so they can be easily found by your renters.
- Create a blog and post to it regularly.
Blogs are important for creating value around your VR. The goal is to be creating content that people want to share and save, in return this brings you more website traffic, boosts SEO, which creates more opportunities to connect with potential renters.
Posting “regularly” does not mean everyday or even every week. Being regular just means consistent. You want your readers to know when to expect a new post so they don’t miss any valuable information you may be providing. “Regularly” could mean, bi-weekly or even bi-monthly, so whatever is best for you0 and your VR business.
If you have no idea how to start your VR blog or just need ideas of what to write about, check out this list of topics made just for VROs.
- Get professional pictures of your VR.
Professional pictures are so important! Pictures are worth a 1000 words and first impressions are everything. Photos are not only important for listing your home, but they can be used in social media posts, blog posts, VR forums, flyers, pamphlets, etc.
We all know how the right lighting and angles can change a photo, so so you and your VR business a favor and find someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to photography. This is an investment that you will see returned over and over again.
- Social Media Accounts
Now that you have some professional photos of your VR, create a social media plan.
Use scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to set up automatic posts on your social media accounts to save time and set-up posting at peak hours no matter how busy you may be. Take photos when ever you can and stockpile them for future posts.
Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest are image dominated outlets and are going to be your VR’s biggest resource – create a community, a tribe, a brand, and create and share valuable content. Do not feel like you have to create all the content you post. If you find a blog post you think your followers would like, share it! You want to create a network between you, your renters, and other VR industry leaders. [If you’re really feeling adventurous, create a hashtag just for your VR and promote it to your renters, or create a contest and have a drawing for one lucky person to win a night at your VR away for free.]
If you need a little social media inspiration check out these top-notch social media accounts:
Instagram: Highlands Honeymoon Cottage
Facebook: Disney World House Rental
- Create your VR team
Managers, cleaners, maintenance, photographers, bookkeepers, security, copy writers, oh my…
Everyone needs a different kind of team. Consider what kind of help you’re going to need; what are the things you’re good at vs. the things you may need some help with. Maybe you’re great with the numbers and marketing but you need help in the cleaning department, or visa versa. There are many resources out there to help you find and build your team. Check out these 3 awesome directories at handy.com, partners.homeaway.com, and angieslist.com to help you find and build your VR team.
- Create an email list.
Business to consumer email marketing has proven to be a great resource for gaining new leads and retaining old customers. 77% of people would rather get a permission based promotional email than a text message, phone, snail mail, or social media. According to QuickSprout, email subscribers are also 3x more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel. Email lists can seem overwhelming – but they are a must. An email list will come in handy not only for promotional offers but also for content on your blog. Don’t feel like your need to send out an email everyday, or even every week (your followers would probably prefer that you didn’t) but check in at least once a month. Offer something of value, whether it be a discount or information your customers would find useful, and keep yourself relevant.
To capture emails, make sure to create a call to action (“pop-up”) on your website’s front page so when visitors come to your site they are prompted to enter their email – Again, offer something of value to capture even more emails (e.g. “20% off your first nights stay when you sign up for our email list”, or “Free pdf vacation checklist when you sign up for our monthly emails”).
We suggest using an application like mailchimp or privy for capturing emails and creating a pop-up for your website’s landing page. They both provide free and paid for service, perfect for any size business.
- Create a monthly website maintenance plan.
Keep in mind what holidays are coming up, any promotions or special offers that may be starting or ending, any images that need to be switched up, any calendar changes or big events happening in your area, etc. Keeping your website up to date and continuously improved it is not only good for customers and potential customers, but also for search relevance. Take time to navigate through your website like a customer would any time you make any changes to make sure everything is running smoothly and all your links are missing. You don’t want to lose any potential customers because your website is difficult to navigate through or the links are broken.
There you have it! 8 sure-fire tips for making for boosting your vacation rental business.
Stay tuned for more great tips and tricks to make more money with your vacation rental posted here every Tuesday.