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Marketing Your Short-Term Rental for Success

By Jamie Richardson | July 13, 2021

The short-term rental market took a hit during the pandemic. Despite the lull, the opportunity for short-term rentals remains strong. Analysts anticipate over 59.5 million people will choose short-term rentals in 2021, reaching pre-pandemic levels.

But like any business, succeeding in short-term rentals requires marketing. You have to get the word out, and you need a market differentiator, so they choose you. Wondering if marketing your short-term rental more strategically could increase your bookings and maximize profits? Here's what you need to know.

1. Build a Brand that Earns Premium Rates

If someone just needs a place to stay in your area, chances are they'll look for the cheapest rates on something that meets their needs. That's all good and well if you want to compete as the lowest price rental. But it's hard to make that up in volume.

Instead, tackle the competition by offering things that renters don't get elsewhere.

Build a brand for your properties that will get people talking and the homes booked up. How do you build a short-term rental brand? Here's how to get started.

  • Choose a name people remember
  • Create a logo
  • Get your own website. Make sure it's fast, mobile-first, easy to navigate, visually appealing, and understandable by both search engines and people.
  • Start publishing helpful content regularly to increase your visibility in search engines
  • Drive online traffic to your property listings
  • Get active on social media. Instagram is the most important one for short-term rentals.
  • Identify your ideal renter and be what they appreciate in a short-term rental
  • Listen to your renters and apply their feedback

We'll cover some of these more in-depth.

2. Invest in Your Brand

A brand is worth its weight in gold or hot real estate; take your pick. It's worth your time and money to build this kind of brand.

Building a brand requires financial resources. If you've just been getting by in the short-term rental market, you may not yet have the money it takes to start building a brand. So you might consider refinancing your mortgage Fairfax Va, taking out a home equity loan on one of the properties, or getting a small business loan to gain traction.

3. Set Up Direct Booking

You're building a brand. That means you are driving traffic directly to your rentals, so skip the third-party short-term rental sites when you can and direct people to book on your website. Here, you can manage the whole process, collect all the funds, skip third-party fees.

This also establishes you as an independent brand, not another rental hobbyist.

4. Showcase What You Have to Offer on Social Media

Attract guests by enticing people to what your property and the surrounding area have to offer.

Hire a professional photographer who can expertly capture what it's like to stay in your rentals. Make sure these photos get around by adding them to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, your listing, and emails if you do email marketing.

Consider investing in aerial shots, drone videos, panoramics, hosted video walk-throughs, and other photography and videography techniques to capture the essence of each property in a way that can be topped by being there.

Learn to love writing captions that align with your brand's style.

5. Become a Superhost

Your ultimate goal is to grow your rental business to the point that you don't need third-party sites. But in short-term rental marketing, work all the angles to grow your brand starting out.

Wow your guests with great service and earn the honors given on various rental sites. Research shows 81% higher occupancy and 60% greater revenues for hosts who achieve the badges that your chosen third-party site offers.

With that said, realize that failing to become a top-rated host or losing the honor isn't the end of the world. When marketing your short-term rental, you'll always perform better when you can roll with the punches, dust yourself off, and keep at it.

6. Promote with Social Media Marketing

Gain followers and direct bookings by utilizing Facebook/Instagram and Pinterest ads for short-term rentals. Because you only pay when someone clicks the ad, this can be an affordable yet effective way to increase awareness of your rentals and eventual bookings.

Focus on creating high-quality ads with high conversion rates because poor-performing ads will cost you more than just missed opportunities. Facebook/ Instagram will stop showing your ads and charge you more when they do if they perceive ads as irrelevant to your target audience.

7. Build an Email List

Don't miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. If you own multiple properties--each with its own appeal-- email marketing is a great way to increase the lifetime value of each guest you acquire.

Marketing a Short-Term Rental

A little marketing can go a long way. Investing in a solid marketing strategy can help you get the most out of your short-term rentals.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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