Listing sites are super powerful and have raised many industry standards. Listing on these sites can bring in new leads, showcase reviews, and they have marketing budgets that are gigantic. That’s why it’s been a priority for us to make vacation rental software that communicates to your listing site (or sites) of choice.
To use these listing sites though, you’ll need to play by their rules. At some point, a host must make a decision regarding how much control they’d like to give to a listing site.
Let’s consider these three questions:
- Is it a goal for you to have repeat guests?
- How can your vacation rental business be the voice of your city?
- Do you feel comfortable raising your prices?
Question 1: Is it your goal to have repeat guests?
Generating new business costs more than keeping existing business. You’ve done the work to build a following. You’ve earned 5-star reviews. Getting that business back is crucial to growth.
Your vacation rental website is more than just a solution for getting more info to guests, it is home base for growth marketing. Especially with email marketing. We recently published a free e-book for email marketing to help you get guests returning to your website to book.
Question 2: How can your vacation rental business be the voice of your city?
Being part of the travel industry in your town is a powerful position and gives you a competitive edge — if you leverage your knowledge.
A modern business has a blog. It can be a big committment to start blogging in the beginning. But a blog for your vacation rental can get you a lot of marketing mileage. As a vacation rental host, you have the potential to be a voice for your city with local knowledge that corporate hotel chains simply don’t have. Can’t have.
Creating content on your website builds value. It’s not about just selling stuff, it’s about standing out as an exceptional brand not to anyone interested in your area. Not just guests. Do you want a travel blogger to stay at your home? Guess what bloggers read…
If you want to create a blog for your OneRooftop website, give us a call. We can help you get your WordPress blog connected to your domain name (the way OneRooftop’s blog is blog.onerooftop.com). This is huge for your SEO. Check out this video by Moz about how to create a strategy for your blog today.
Question 3: Do you feel comfortable raising your vacation rental pricing?
If you’re solely on listing sites, maybe not. But if you had a strong enough marketing foundation through your website, would you then?
Increasing your nightly rates can be scary if you’re listed right next to your competition.
Vacation rental marketing expert, Matt Landau, wrote an article about him raising the nightly rate by 10%, and that the decision came down pretty much to one thing: really strong marketing for your brand. The truth about listing sites is that they build their brand, rather than your brand.
It wasn’t just Landau who was able to up his rates. Many followers were able to say in their comments that their brand allowed them to raise prices and earn more revenue.
Having a website is a long-term investment and requires dedication. But your efforts are greatly rewarded. Rethinking certain ways that you use your website can have a dramatic effect for how your business starts to scale up. An interview we did a while back with Jan Stevens at Bowen Island Accommodations revealed that she gets as many bookings through her OneRooftop site as she does on Airbnb, and her hard work has allowed her to increase her inventory too.
More properties, more bookings.
There are other signs that the industry is shifting towards online booking through a vacation rental website. Matt Landau’s research with MIT’s Rachel Plitch has BIG implications for having an online presence outside your favorite listing site. They found that 17% of guests are now looking for their vacation rental through a search engine.
Let these questions sink in and really consider them.
The strides you’ve made on your listing site will get you the exposure your business needs.
If you want to see your business grow, we’d love to chat. Give OneRooftop a call. We’d love to share more ideas.