How to Promote Your Vacation Home on a Rental Website

Posted by Team Donovan on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 12:35pm.

Buying a vacation home near Disney gives owners an opportunity to generate rental income, since millions of vacationers from all over the world flock to this area each year. Savvy travelers are no longer satisfied with hotel stays. They prefer the comfort and convenience that comes from staying in a private home. That also means competition among rental properties can be fierce. According to TripAdvisor, recent surveys show over 80% of travelers would prefer to book online. Here are a few ways to make your listing stand out on a vacation rental website. 

1. Display plenty of great photos – Vacation rental home website FlipKey says on average, listings with over 20 photos receive more interest and bookings than listings with fewer photos. But don’t focus so much on quantity that you forget about quality. Nothing turns off potential guests faster than blurry images of messy living spaces. For best results, consider hiring a professional photographer who can show off your Orlando vacation home in its best light – both inside and outside. Bonus Tip: Include photos of nearby attractions like Disney or Universal Studios to emphasize how convenient your property is for holiday travelers. 

2. Write captivating property descriptions – Take time to write a compelling description of your property that will attract your ideal guests. Highlight the main selling points of your home in the introduction, such as the location, architecture, luxury interior. Mention important local attractions, and list all of your home’s amenities such as a private patio, whirlpool tub, etc. 

3. Respond immediately – InstaManager has found that travelers are 22 times more likely to make a reservation when home owners responded to an inquiry within 5 minutes. Holiday visitors are often ready to confirm a reservation immediately. But most owners take hours, if not days to respond. When you respond quickly with a personalized comment, you have the advantage of enticing guests to commit to their booking before they hear from other property owners. Remember to always be professional and polite! 

In addition, the quicker you are to respond to requests, the better your response rate percentage. And according to FlipKey, that quicker response rate will help boost your priority in the listing search. Sites like FlipKey have mobile applications for iPhone and Android users which can help you make timely responses to inquiries, wherever you are! 

4.  Request reviews – A TripAdvisor study found that 87 percent of U.S. travelers are more likely to book a vacation rental due to the increased availability of online information, such as traveler reviews and photos. The best way to ease traveler anxiety about booking a Disney vacation property is to include real, authentic reviews on your listing. Take time to post a professional response to your reviews to show potential travelers you care and work hard to provide a high-quality guest experience. 

5. Maintain up-to-date calendar and rates – Don’t frustrate potential guests with an out-of-date calendar. That’s a sure-fire way to limit your rental revenues. Make sure your calendar has a year’s worth of valid dates, and sync it with any other rental listing sites, or your Google or Apple calendar so you can keep it updated on a daily basis. Be sure your rates are up to date too, along with any extra fees. Travelers get upset when a final rental price doesn’t match what’s listed on the website due to owner error. Avoid that problem by planning out the entire year with your rates. Plus, you won’t have to go back and constantly update! 

Remember, you are not obligated to rent your home to every person who shows interest in your property. You can always decline if the inquiry is rude, or you simply feel the person isn’t a good fit. It’s also perfectly reasonable to respond to inquiries with your own questions to get more information about the prospective guests.

Marketing an Orlando vacation rental home does take a lot of time and energy. If you don’t want to do that work yourself, you might consider hiring a property manager to do it for you. Contact Team Donovan today at 407-705-2616 for assistance in finding a home in the Disney area that can be used as a rental property. Once you purchase a home, we can also recommend property management companies to secure rental guests for your property.