Did you know that more and more people now choose Airbnbs and other vacation rentals over traditional hotels? It’s not surprising because rental homes are relatively cheaper, bigger and with more character. Needless to say, if you’re looking at transforming your home or spare room in the DC area into a rental property, now is the best time to do so. But maybe you’re wondering how to increase vacation rental bookings? Well, we’ve got some sure-fire tips to get you more bookings. Read on below.
Craft an Attractive Property Description
Generic vacation property descriptions are utterly boring and won’t entice any potential renter.
Unleash your creative writing prowess. Essentially, you have to be descriptive and vivid when crafting your description. Doing so will help interested tenants visualize how awesome your rental home is. But be accurate, transparent and honest. Never mislead tenants, as this would backfire and could mean a negative feedback. Don’t forget to include helpful information like nearby attractions and things to do in the area.
Showcase High-Quality Photos
While you can paint a picture with your words and property description, images don’t lie. If you’re serious and wish to increase vacation rental bookings, invest in stunning photos. In fact, according to Airbnb, listings with professional images are likely to earn 40% more, acquire bookings 24% more often, and can even charge a 26% higher price per night. Since not everyone is gifted in capturing beautiful photos, consider hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your rental home. This is an inevitable cost but also an investment to ensure your property attracts more customers. If your description is poor and photos are low-quality, renters would simply move on to the next available vacation rental. Note that quantity matters, too. Feature enough pictures to help would-be guests further understand what your space offers.
Be Extra Responsive
Many homeowners take hours and even days to reply. Travelers, on the other hand, are usually more than eager to book right away. Besides, nothing irks a future guest more than getting a late response. Hence, be prompt in answering inquiries. Of course, extra brownie points for friendly yet professional responses. Really, it’s a no-brainer. The quicker you reply, the higher bookings you are most likely to get. Also, it’s crucial to keep offering immediate replies even after a renter books your property. Your tenants will surely be happy getting prompt replies throughout their stay. Remember, great customer service is king—and a major part of the entire rental experience. And if you’re truly lucky, your responsiveness and patience will be rewarded with more repeat guests!
Most consumers nowadays heavily rely on products and services reviews. And tenants looking for short-term or long-term rental homes are no exception. Many worry that they may book a place that’s not as advertised. This is particularly true when the listing has few high-quality photos. Reading previous feedback somehow alleviates such concerns and it greatly influences a customer’s decision making. That’s why it’s critical to request reviews from your renters and guests. Personalize customer feedback requests and underscore how important reviews are to your property’s betterment and overall success. Ask customers their say on your price, amenities, experience, the location, etc. The more reviews you get, the better. Because reviews make you a reputable landlord, and of course, this can increase vacation rental bookings. And don’t be disheartened by a couple of negative reviews, as they can be an incredible opportunity for you to improve. Just be sure to respond and handle the issue in a timely and courteous manner.
Keep Rates and Calendars Updated
Nothing is more maddening than discovering an awesome rental only to find out that the rates and dates aren’t updated. Invalid, inaccurate and double reservations will give a bad first impression to your potential renters. Some vacation rental listing sites can remove you from search results if you haven’t updated your calendar for some time. Provide at least a year of valid pricing and update your calendar whenever you get a new booking. Go for dynamic pricing to offer the best available rate on any given night. This is also the most competitive price you can give, which is based on a few elements like location, quality of your space, the average rate in the area, holidays and events, length of stay, etc. Another important thing, be upfront with any extra fees if any. Extra person charge? Cleaning charge? While some guests will be discouraged about extra charges, they will be even more mortified about hidden or surprise fees! And such will usually translate to bad reviews!
Provide Extra Amenities
Giving additional amenities here and there can do so much in increasing rental bookings. Guests and or tenants appreciate such attentiveness and thoughtfulness. Of course, the more amenities you have, the higher chances of reaping booking revenue. Some extra comforts you may want to include: WiFi, smart TV, fireplaces, hangers, towels, toiletries, welcome goodies, etc. Nothing is too small, as these complimentary stuff can add up and go a long way towards your renter’s lodging experience.
Update Your Front Door
Oh, the expedience of self-check in! Without keys to forget and worry about, your renters or guests can simply input a passcode to gain entry to your vacation rental. Smart home locks are not only convenient, but it’s also ultra-safe. And by just using your smartphone, you can quickly grant access to your guests.
Create a Marketing Plan to Boost Rental Bookings
You may have the world’s most stunning apartment rental but if prospects can’t find your listing, it’s useless. To increase vacation rental bookings, your rental property needs to be found. Having a marketing plan in place ensures you’re seen and attracting more potential customers. Begin by making social media accounts for your rental like a Facebook and or an Instagram page. Post news regularly about your property like a current promotion, new positive guest reviews, photos of your newly-renovated kitchen, etc. Maybe even invest on a website to further boost rental bookings. Of course, don’t forget to list your property on vacation rental sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, Booking.com and VRBO to reach a wider audience.
Hire a Property Manager
There are so many benefits of hiring a property manager. One of which, is that it can help increase vacation rental bookings. Simply discuss your objectives with an established property management company like Great Dwellings. Depending on your needs and goals, a property manager can pretty much take over your any rental-related duties, including marketing, home cleaning, collecting rent, etc. Since they’re the experts, rest-assured they know what’s best for your home and they’d do their best to help boost your rental earnings.
Your vacation rental won’t magically acquire one booking after the other—especially considering that the competition is tough. But it’s very doable. Just follow our pointers above to increase vacation rental bookings. If you want to further improve your chances of getting higher occupancy rates and ultimately, earn more, feel free to get in touch with us!