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Simple, Quick Ways To Increase Your Vacation Rental Revenue

Feb 15, 2008
You have found the perfect vacation home in the perfect setting. Follow these simple steps to help increase your rental revenue, so your vacation home is not only a place for you to relax but also an instrument in helping create financial wealth.

#1: Understand Your Competition and Target Market - Browse various vacation rental websites and talk to property managers who offer rentals in the area. This will give you an idea of the current market to help set competitive prices as well as help you determine what amenities you should consider in order to make your property stand out. This can also help answer common questions/concerns: How do owners handle deposits? Outside of deposits, what are other fees I should consider charging? Should I allow pets?

Evaluate your vacation home to determine for which groups your property is best suited - couples, families, large groups, adventure, relaxation, etc. This will help you create advertisements that will appeal to target audiences. Find advertisements that you find appealing and use those to guide you in the creation of your own advertisement.

#2: Advertise, Advertise, Advertise - The vacation home that's the best-kept secret isn't generating much revenue. Get your property out where people will see it! There are many websites that offer free advertising with minimal work for you. Seek these sites out first, as it is a way to generate some exposure without the cost. To get even more exposure, look for sites with high visibility by spending a little time doing some research. Try various search engines to find which vacation rental sites get the most exposure for your area. This will help you pick a vacation rental website that generates high traffic for your locale. These sites will most likely have attached fees, but these fees will usually pay for themselves with just one successful lead. The more sites you advertise on, the more traffic you will generate for your vacation home.

#3: A Picture Says a Thousand Words - Potential renters want to see what they are getting before they get it! Simply advertising your site with basic descriptions is not enough. In the vacation rental business, pictures are key since the majority of people will rent sight unseen. Be sure to take many pictures of your vacation home to highlight its features. If possible, try to stage the pictures - set an appealing dinner table with dinnerware that suits the location/decor, make sure bed and bath areas are clean and appeal to the senses, take pictures with good lighting - you don't want dark, dreary pictures. The more pictures you take, the better. You want to charm potential renters while erasing doubts.

Finally, add the words to match the pictures. Make your listing stand out from the typical "2BD/2BTH Beachfront Condo" description. Be creative! If you find it hard to express yourself, imagine having to describe your vacation rental to a friend who is visiting for the first time. How would you describe the front of the property? What aspects of the property do you love? What do you think they will like the most? What types of great activities can you offer during their stay? Be specific in your descriptions. Let potential renters know exactly what amenities you offer and highlight nearby attractions.

#4: Offer an Availability Calendar - The Internet has given us instant access to all sorts of information and many potential renters expect that same access from you. By providing an availability calendar, renters can find out immediately if you have openings for their schedule or determine the best dates for their travel based on your availability. This will also prove to be a time saver. You will no longer need to waste your precious time returning phone calls or sending emails saying, "Sorry, we're booked that week." Spend your time dealing only with truly potential inquiries.

#5: Offer Promotions - Sure a ski chalet does great in the winter and the beach house is booked all summer, but what about the off-season? To generate yearlong income, you may want to consider reduced prices for quiet months. This will make your property stand out when compared to its competition. In addition, find attractions for your property that are still available during the off-season (i.e. their may be no snow for skiing, however, the ski runs make great mountain bike trails in the summer and nearby trails offer nice hiking opportunities). Remember, even if it is not the peak season, you can still capture an audience that is looking for a quieter time to travel with alternative activities and bargains to boot!
About the Author
Watermark Vacation Rentals offers online advertising for your vacation home as well as a great resource to find vacation homes around the world for your travels!
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