You have a great vacation rental right? Why not let vacationers know how nice your vacation home really is, with an interactive floor plan of your vacation rental. If you have an interactive floor plan designed for your vacation rental property you can accurately present your property to would be vacationers.
Pictures alone don’t tell the whole story about your vacation home. A floor plan will give them the information they really want to know. The birds eye view of the property helps travelers to become accustom to your vacation home.
What’s the first thing you do when you have a new welcomed visitor to your home? Tell them to come on in and you show them around. That’s exactly what an interactive floor plan will do for your vacation home website.
If you have an interactive floor plan you can increase the time a renter will engage with your vacation home. Of course, the longer a visitor spends on your website the more investment of time they spend with your vacation rental business. The more time they spend on your vacation rental website the better your chances are, of getting them to invest their money and make a reservation.
After all who takes the time to invest in their vacation rental? Owners who are serious about their rental business, that’s who! This touch of professionalism will also translate to your vacationers and build confidence in your vacation rental’s brand.
Since pictures are the first thing a traveler looks for when they are considering a vacation home, an interactive floor plan is a great way to captivate your customers attention right from the start.
I’ve included an example of a floor plan we’ve developed for an owner in Formosa Gardens Estates. As you can from the example below, a floor plan was designed to represent the layout of the villa. A visitor to this home owner’s websites can click on any area of the floor plan such as the pool area. When the customer clicks on the pool area an image of the pool will appear with a brief description, this description can have a selling feature mentioned.
A renter using this floor plan can get a really good feel of how the vacation home is laid out and where everything is. Vacationers can begin to imagine themselves in the home and even begin discussing sleeping arrangements or better yet imagining themselves walking out to the pool deck. Whenever you can get your vacationers to dream and imagine themselves in your vacation home, you are moving toward a sale.
If you increase positive engagement with you and your business you’ll increase your bookings. The idea here is to capture the attention of your visitors, make them stay longer, learn more and want it even more!
Create your own floor plan designed specifically for your vacation home website and you’ll welcome more vacationers in.
We develop powerful yet affordable vacation rental websites and marketing tools for owners and managers.
Do you own a vacation rental, condo, villa or beach house in Myrtle Beach S.C.? If so you’re in luck! You’ve just found a free vacation rental marketing video that will give your rental marketing an enormous jolt of energy.
Myrtle Beach vacation rentals are a great way to experience all the Myrtle Beach area has to offer. A Myrtle Beach vacation home or condo provides a comfortable place for vacationers to retreat after a jam packed day in the famous Myrtle Beach area.
There is no better way to convey this message to vacationers then by showing them. However, since it isn’t practical to show vacationers around Myrtle Beach every time some one inquires, the next best thing is to show them around with a video tour of Myrtle Beach.
But it cant be just any video, you need an exciting video of Myrtle Beach to entice vacationers to take action. In this vacation rental marketing blog I have included a video of Myrtle Beach that you can use in your own rental marketing free of charge.
That’s right, free! The only thing I ask is if you do use the video, please mention the video was produced by Villa Marketers and link back to our website. This Myrtle Beach video has over 10,000 views at the time of this blog post. The Myrtle Beach Video is becoming increasingly popular with more people commenting and liking the video on YouTube. It makes it much easier for you to get vacationers to engage with your vacation rental, if you use this Myrtle Beach video in your own vacation rental marketing.
All you have to do is copy and past the YouTube code to add it to your own vacation rental website.
I am dedicated to the vacation rental market and my goal is to help vacation rental owners do more with what they’ve got. I hope you enjoy the video and make more bookings with it.
I recently released a blog about branding a vacation rental and how branding is important for your vacation rental marketing. Properly branding your rental property and services includes creating a proper vacation rental logo design to represent your company.
Your vacation rental logo (or lack there of) speaks a lot about your vacation rental business. Now there is no excuse not to have your own professional vacation rental logo. Villa Marketers is offering affordable vacation rental logos starting at only $49.
Our talented team of graphic designers will create and design the perfect logo for your vacation rental business. Our vacation rental logo services offer owners the chance to develop a professional brand for their property for a minimal cost.
We do all of our vacation rental logo and website designs in house, ensuring you always get the quality you deserve. Villa Marketers has been helping owners market and brand their vacation rental properties since 2005.
Our vacation rental logo services are affordable and exceptional. We offer flexible vacation rental logo design packages to help you get the perfect vacation rental logo designed for your property and budget.
Our professional vacation rental consultants will help you deliver a consistent marketing message to your potential vacationers.
For a limited time we are offering our standard vacation rental logo design package for only $49 (normally $129). No matter the look, style design or message you want to convey to your customers, we can make it happen!
Have you been thinking of building a vacation rental website? If so, build a grrrreat one!
If you’ve been considering building a vacation rental website, I’ve listed 6 key benefits rental owners receive when they build a great website for their vacation rental. We are talking great here, not websites that owners get just to feel better about having one.
I am not talking about cheap vacation rental websites, vacation rental website builders or free vacation rental website design services. I’m talking about quality vacation rental websites designed by their owners to succeed and actually bring in the bookings.
1. Vacation Rental Advertising Is Changing, You’ll Need To Keep Up!
Today the internet is changing at a very high rate, with all the new ways we can communicate advertising has also changed. Today vacation rental advertising is changing in a direction called inbound marketing. The term inbound marketing is when you build a vacation rental website and create a funnel of traffic from 3rd party websites. Inbound marketing is based on bringing traffic from other established websites to your own website, in a sense your steering traffic to your own website. Without your own vacation rental website, you can’t take full advantage of inbound marketing. When you build a great vacation rental website you won’t be left behind using old school vacation rental advertising strategies.
Your vacation rental website is now the most powerful weapon you’ll have in your vacation rental advertising arsenal. Now the small vacation rental business owner can get bookings right from Google when they build a great vacation rental website.
According to Google the majority of vacationers search for vacation accommodations on search engines before they visit a single vacation rental website.
What does that mean for owners?
Imagine your vacation rental website being found when a vacationer types in, (your property location)….. vacation rentals.
Smart owners have been reaping the benefits of their websites being found on Google and other search engines by travelers, are you one of them?
Designing, developing and marketing your vacation rental website is without a doubt the best vacation rental advertising you can do, you might ask, why?
2. You get found online first. ,
When you have a professional vacation rental website you can be found in a Google search.
3. The benefit is that you have less competition when vacationers find your private vacation rental website, compared to when they find your property on a congested vacation rental listing website. And we all know that less competition means higher profits.
4. Your vacation rental website is yours and more affordable than listings; you don’t have to pay a monthly advertising subscription to use your website, like you do with a vacation rental listing site or service. Overtime the amount of bookings generated directly from a vacation rental website can be surprisingly high and more than most listing websites will ever provide.
5. The best part of building a vacation rental website is, you can get free traffic from Google.
If your site is search engine friendly and developed correctly. Every marketing dollar you give for a rental listing site is money they use to further build and develop their business.
6. When you have a strong website with a foundation you can build on, every dollar you invest into your vacation rental website is an investment in yourself and your business, not HomeAway, VRBO or money hungry vacation rental advertising services.
The same way you found us online, is the same way we can help you get found on the web with an optimized vacation rental built right from the jump. Your ordinary vacation rental website isn’t going to due this, in order to achieve the success many owners are already experiencing you’ll need to build a GREAT vacation rental website.
Let Us Help You Build A Grrreat Vacation Rental Website, We Make It Easy!
HowVacation Rental Marketers Get Guests To Make Longer Reservations
Vacation Rental Marketers
Reveal Vacation Marketing Secrets That Increase Profits.
If you want to squeeze every ounce of income you can from your vacation rental marketing dollars, then this little tip will help you out. This vacation rental marketing tip can make thousands of dollars in extra bookings over a year.
How do professional vacation rental marketers get vacationers to book extra nights?
It’s Easy! Lets say; a vacationer books your vacation home, if there happens to be a few days available, either in the beginning or toward the end of their travel dates, consider offering a special promotion to encourage vacationers to book more nights in your home.
Are you asking every vacationer to stay longer? If you don’t ask them they wont.
If you’re not practicing this sales technique, you’re leaving money on the table and empty spots on your calendar. Not every guest will say yes but there are many that will take you up on your offer. Vacation rental marketers have been successfully squeezing more income from their clients with this sales tip.
What is the right way to do this?
You can easily get guests to stay longer by following up with your vacationers after there is a confirmed reservation. I will pre-warn you, do not mention this rental discount upfront because it can muddy the waters and work against you, instead of helping you. Once you’ve collected the monies for the initial dates your vacationers would like to book, then you can offer them a reason to stay longer in your vacation rental.
When is the right time to ask vacationers to stay longer?
You can do it at the point of sale after the order has been processed or you can follow up with your renters with a friendly email. You can do both, if they are not interested at the time over the phone, send them an email as a reminder.
What type of discount should I offer my vacation rental guests?
The point is to make the offer alluring and hard to resist. You can try this out a few times on vacationers to see how they react to your special offer. If you want to hear immediate feedback offer them the discount over the phone. I’ve seen this work with a 25% discount but you may want to consider as much as 50%. I can hear some owners saying WOW that’s alot. If you sincerely believe there is a good chance you will book the dates with other vacationers than you can hold your guns. However if its very possible the dates will go unbooked then I would go for it. Try the technique until you get a WOW from your guests, you then know you’ve got a good marketing tool to help you make more money at the end of the year.
Why should you use this sales technique?
You’ve already spent your vacation rental marketing dollars with luring vacation rental ads to get these vacationers to see your property, why not make the most of every booking you get, especially if those days are going to sit empty anyway.
Smart business people understand this concept, you’ve already made a good profit from these guest. You’ve charged them your regular rates for the dates they originally requested but now you have a chance to scrape up a little with what you already have. Its like squeezing that extra little bit out of your toothpaste before you give up on it and toss it away. You’ve paid for the entire tube of toothpaste, why throw away the tube with giving it a squeeze before you do?
Squeeze more profits from your bookings without spending any more on marketing using this vacation rental marketing strategy.
Need Help Filling Up Your Vacation Rental’s Calendar?
Contact Us We’ve Been Helping Owners Market Their Properties For Years.
Branding Vacation Rentals Will Improve Your Marketing
It can be hard to convince vacationers to buy from you when you are offering a similar product to your competition,when you’ve attached a higher price tag. But trying to beat competitors on price alone is a cut – throat business, risky, and attracts the bargain hunters and bottom-fishers always looking for a better deal. Competing on price sends the wrong signals to your customer and is no way to build a brand (unless your brand is aimed at bottom-price seekers).
Few properties are the same, but many are similar. How you decide to position your property is crucial, and it needs careful thought.
Branding comes first.
A brand creates an image in the mind of your visitors. It says something is different about you (and your property), something worth more than business as usual. If you’re seen as a commodity, your customers will choose you solely on the basis of price or getting something for free. If you’ve got a brand, you’re selling a lifestyle – and it’s worth more.
Build a Brand
Building a brand doesn’t mean you need to get to be as well known as Macdonald’s or Apple.
A brand isn’t about a product or a service. Building a brand around a product is a trap, because it limits you to just talking about your product or service, which can, will, and already has been, copied by someone else. Brands built around products or services are destined for obscurity.
Branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, it’s about getting your prospects to see you as someone who provides what they need and what they want (a quote by Robert Frankel).
Branding is about creating an identity and communicating it well.
Small businesses such as a holiday home rental shouldn’t be afraid of branding and think it’s only for big companies. The objectives that a good brand will achieve are as good for a rental owner as they are for MacDonalds.
Branding delivers your message clearly, it confirms your credibility, it connects your target prospects emotionally, it motivates a holidaymaker to buy and it cements loyalty.
When you’re thinking of your brand, some of the following strategies may be useful.
Sell your value, not your product. You’re not bricks and mortar, you’re an experience.
Turn perceived ‘weaknesses’ into strengths. In the same way Apple turned being lower than Microsoft in market share into the strength of being different, turn your small property into something ‘classically compact’ or your rather ugly property into something ‘spatially and visually compelling’ and so on.
Get emotional. Branding is a balance of marketing strategy and human emotion. Connect with your audience’s preferences, and passions.
Tell grand stories. Don’t just communicate what your brand is, create a bigger story in which your brand plays a part, as our brains retain stories. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream are about two hippies who’ve maintained their values (making a high quality product and supporting social causes) but made money at the same time. Yours could be renovating your property, a love affair with a special place, and so on.
Rob Frankel, a branding expert, calls branding the most misunderstood concept in all of marketing, even among professionals. Branding, he says, “is not advertising and it’s not marketing or PR. Branding happens before all of those: First you create the brand, then you raise awareness of it.”
And while many people think successful branding is only about awareness, it’s not, Frankel says. ‘Everyone knows about cancer but how many people actually want it? Branding is about getting your prospects to perceive you as the only solution to their problem. Once you’re perceived as ‘the only,’ there’s no place else to go…which means your customers pay a premium for your brand’.
Your product or service is not your company’s brand and neither is your website or your business card. Your brand is the genuine ‘personality’ of your business.
This ‘identity’ is something you need to handle consistently – everywhere you advertise and communicate your holiday rental, including your own website, Facebook, Twitter, your email responses, telephone conversations with enquirers and guests, and any other communications, written or verbal.
Many will tell you: ‘find your USP (your ‘unique selling point’) but the bad news is that you probably haven’t got one, so stop agonizing over trying to find it. Can you really come up with something that nobody else has, or can’t copy?
The only thing that is truly unique about your business is You. There is no one else like you and if you want to build a brand with a difference, start with you. The best small brands are representations of the people who create them, not some elusive unique selling proposition. That’s how social media marketing works best.
Brands are about a promise and a personality. Make a promise that you can keep, and deliver it with personality. It can’t be about quality or honesty, because people expect that from you as a given.
Then inject some personality into your brand. Start by describing the personality of your rental. (Think adjectives. How would visitors positively describe it? Regal? Cosy? Intimate? Subtley sophisticated? Calm and serene? and so on).
Now combine your promise and your personality. Make your brand promise and stick to it.
Free Vacation Rental Photography Tool To Enhance Your Photos
If you’ve got some decent vacation rental photographs of your property but they just need a little help to look better, I’m going to fill you in on a free photo tool you can use to improve your existing vacation rental photographs and enhance your image online (literally).
The photographs of your vacation rental are extremely important. If you want more vacationers to book your vacation home nothing helps more than a great presentation. Your vacation rental photographs are the most important part of your visual presentation. Pictures are the first thing travelers look for when visiting a vacation rental website.
Your vacation rental photographs will speak a thousand words, so rather than reading all the text on your vacation rental website, travelers will cut to the chase by making a B-line for your photos.
If the photographs of your villa, condo, home or resort look horrible or aren’t flattering to begin with, this photo tool won’t help you. However if your photographs just need a little help with lighting, exposure, contrast etc. this tool may be all your photos need to shine in the online market(need professional vacation rental photography services?).
To start using this free vacation rental photo tool, go to www.fotor.com and upload your photographs. Once you’ve uploaded your photographs you can adjust your pictures until you think they’re just right.
I have included an example of how I quickly touched up some photos for a vacation rental owner below.
One piece of advice; show the altered photographs to someone else and ask them how they look. Before you publish the photos online, give your eyes a rest and then check the images a second time. Sometimes it’s hard to see what you’ve done to the photo if you’ve been staring at the photograph for awhile. Take a break, then come back and see if the adjustments you made to the photograph seem right.
Don’t take chances with your vacation rental photography; your photos are just too important to mess up. If you need a professional photographer, don’t waste time, hire one. For a few hundred bucks you can make thousands more in rentals with brilliant professional photographs.
One neat feature of this free photography tool is you can create free HDR images. HDR makes your photos look better than they do in real life. Some may see it as misleading, others see it as an embellishment of the truth, either way, try it out, it’s free.
Want To Market Your Vacation Home? Push The Easy Button.
If you’re able to talk to your potential vacationer over the phone, its easier –it’s better, faster, more personal and you get to better understand your customers needs and answer all their concerns (and all the evidence points to more bookings by responding by ‘phone). But we can’t always do this, and some vacation home owners feel distinctly uncomfortable about this approach. There’s another factor – the majority of enquiries land on your email system or mobile at night time – its just too late to call. So it’s likely most of your customer communication has to happen online.
Without the verbal cues of a telephone conversation, what you say by email can be misunderstood if not carefully written
Use some simple guidelines to avoid this. DON’T USE CAPS. Customers will wonder WHY YOU’RE YELLING AT THEM. They may be easier to read, but they grab attention for the wrong reasons. CAPITAL LETTERS gives a tone of frustration or condescension that you want to avoid.
Splell chuck. Spiell check. Spell chock. (You get the point?) Here are some examples: We are perfectionists and rarely if if ever forget details. Dear Madman Here’s a grief overview of the facilities Hope to hear from you shorty We welcome about 30 groups anally Best Retards
DO (yes, I’m SHOUTING) use the auto-correction tool in Microsoft Word or Outlook or whatever you use.
Proof read your copy for grammar and punctuation mistakes
It very is difficult for people to read long run-on sentences with no commas or transitions and short fragments that don’t thoroughly answer their questions and just seem to go and on without taking a pause for breath …….. you understand my point. Your MS Word or equivalent can check for you – make it a habit. Your customer will retain more of what they read, then.
Read your email back to yourself – out loud. You’ll develop different ways of writing that sounds more relaxed, professional and confident.
loads of exclamation points about your fabulous views!!!!!! and your SPECIAL off-season discount!!!!! and the colour of your free offer doesn’t make the sentence any more exciting. Stick to the basics and let your words paint the picture.
Add spacing (unlike most listing sites who stop us doing that on their adverts). Write in as little as one or two sentences each time. When sending detailed information to your renters
use bulleted lists
and multiple paragraphs
and white space makes for easier reading
Please don’t use emoticons (I’d show you one if I had them on my pc but I hate them).These are the little smiley faces you see in e-mails and instant messages or are sometimes just displayed using keyboard symbols It does depend on the relationship you have with your potential renters, but remember that you are ultimately conducting a business.
Don’t abuse the ‘high priority’ option on your email system. (Some e-mail services offers the option to send their e-mail as “high priority” so the receiver will be aware of its importance) You’re better off saving “high priority” for any real emergency – and if you need to get in touch with a customer fast, better to call them.
Depending on where you are at in the relationship with your customer you may want to consider using the e-mail trail. In your e-mail system you can choose to delete the message thread or not when responding to a message. If your customer is likely to be receiving many emails from many owners about an enquiry, use it – they will appreciate it, especially if you refer them to the trail. If you’re in a constant string of communications going back and forth via e-mail, it’s even more helpful to have the past conversations for reference – especially if you’re working out price or date details, for example. Make it easy for your customer.
Use recognisable subject lines. This not only avoids the risk of getting your email trashed before its read, your customer may be trying to keep track of which property is which, and a blank e-mail or a generic subject line like “’Rental’ won’t do them much good. I always make the subject line something like: Re your holiday enquiry through (HR, HL, OD or whatever).
Don’t spam. When a prospect sends you an inquiry, you now have a new e-mail address you can mail to in the future. The legal position differs from country to country, but the general rule is you can only e-mail a customer or someone who specifically opts-in to receive messages from you. That means you shouldn’t keep sending emails and newsletters and updates to people who have only enquired . Once is fine, if you clearly give them the opportunity to opt-out with the click of the mouse button.
Be savvy. You may not get the booking, but you may make a great impression, something remembered that makes the holidaymaker think of you next time around.
This is part two of our blog series “Vacation Rental Website Design Secrets”#2. If you follow the logic in these vacation rental website design secrets you’ll end up with a high performing website.
Lets get right into vacation rental website design secret #2. The second web design secret is, its not about designing.
This one may throw you for a loop….vacation rental website design is not about the design?, allow me to explain. There is no question it’s important to create an appealing vacation rental website design. However designing a website for your vacation rental doesn’t mean you should waste your time adding all those design elements or extra fluff. Those extra design elements aren’t needed, in most cases they are counter productive and they’ll cost you in lost inquiries and bookings.
A great vacation rental website is designed to perform, not designed to distract website visitors. You want your website visitor to contact you and be lead to the point of contact on the website or better yet, get them to make a booking. If your vacation rental’s website is filled with decorations you are likely distracting your website visitors bringing attention to your websites design elements. Your vacation rental’s website visitors will quickly become overwhelmed with the website and become mentally fatigue during, their visit to your website. If they can’t easily find what they came to your website for, they will just click away.
Busy backgrounds may look cool to you, but will likely work against the objective your wanting to accomplish with your site. Your vacation rental website should have a nice appeal to it, so it will represent your vacation rental in a professional light. This doesn’t mean, overdose on the design elements of your website, in this case less is more. Below I have included an image of a vacation rental website belonging to a property manager. The website is suffering from several things one of which is vacation rental website design, overkill.
The vacation rental website design is working against the purpose of the whole site. Its clear that the visitors to this website above are being distracted. Their eyes are going straight to the background of the site, instead of the areas the guest can engage with you.
When designing a vacation rental website consider that decoration is not design. If you want to use decoration you should use it very modestly. Any design elements should compliment the website’s goal or purpose. If we changed the color of this websites background to simple color it will focus the attention of the site’s visitors to the website content rather than the design or website decorations.
Decorations are often distractions!
Vacation Rental Website Design Secret #2… Stay Tuned For More
Want to design the perfect vacation rental website?
Contact Villa Marketers! We Make It Easy For YOU!
Welcome to the very first vacation rental website design secret. Every vacation rental website will have several pages, how you use those will determine the success you have in making online bookings.
Each page on your vacation rental’s website is not a page it’s an advertisement!
Every page on your vacation rental website should be designed to do something. Each website page should have a purpose. Below I have included a few examples of common purposes of website pages.
Get visitors to take an action
Assist the visitor in finding information of interest.
If any of your vacation rental’s website visitors leave any of your pages without taking action, the webpage failed.
Change the way you look at website pages call them ads instead. That will put the purpose of vacation rental website pages in perspective.
Once your website pages are optimized to perform a specific task, your vacation rental website visitors will complete the goal you’ve set for that particular page. Countless vacation rental website pages aren’t designed well and as a result, they fail.
When a vacation rental website fails no one wins the visitor leaves your site disappointed and unsatisfied and you’ve lost an opportunity, who wants that? When designing a webpage for your vacation rental consider designing the page around the purpose.
Vacation rental website design secret, takeaway: Sit back and visualize the page before you design it and ask yourself, what is this website page advertising?
Now, design the vacation rental website page to accomplish just that!