Ah, the joys of owning a vacation home. Your very own abode away from abode. A private oasis where you and your loved ones can laugh, play and forge lasting memories in a dreamy locale.
Yet, for many, their vacation home isn’t just a sweet escape. It’s an investment.
If you’re one of the 1 in 3 people who rent (or plan to rent) their vacation home to short-term guests, you undoubtedly want to make as much return on your investment as possible.
Stay Here, a state-trotting show on Netflix, lovingly combines travel and home improvement as interior designer, Genevieve Gorder (of Trading Spaces fame), and real estate expert, Peter Lorimer, elevate the interior design and marketing plans of short-term rentals around the U.S..
The before-and-afters on this 8-episode show are quite impressive and definitely worth a watch.
Here are 3 nuggets of Stay Here marketing wisdom on how you can double your vacation rental revenue and leave your competition in the dust.
Cater to a Niche
“The riches are always in the niches.” ~ Peter Lorimer
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ Nor should you try to.
The first rule of marketing is to zero in on a niche audience. Is your short-term rental best-suited for families? Couples? Large groups, wedding parties and family reunions?
By defining your target audience, you can easily tailor your decor and amenities to cater to them. Then you can craft the words and imagery on your website, digital listing, social media posts and digital ads to attract and compel them to click, ‘Book.’
For instance, if your niche is couples, you could have electric candles, outdoor blankets, picnic baskets, champagne and the like on hand to set the mood for their romantic getaway.
Take Luminous Pics
“Great photographs are the most important tool to sell your short-term rental and beat the competition.” ~ Peter Lorimer
If your budget can swing it, hire a professional photographer. Ideally, someone with real estate pics in their portfolio.
If not, you can take your own marketing photos using a high quality camera like a DSLR or mirrorless.
Professional interior design photographer, Cristopher Nolasco, says you should do so on a sunny day. Open up all of the windows to let in as much light as possible. Then stand in each corner of the room so you can get nice wide shots of the space from different angles.
To look even more professional, also take close-ups of decor items that showcase the theme, mood and niche of your place.
Create a Social Media Moment
“Get your guests to put your hashtag on all their social media and they will market the property for you. It’s genius.” ~ Peter Lorimer
Word of mouth is, arguably, the most powerful form of marketing. People are more likely to solicit and act on recommendations from friends and family members they trust.
Nowadays, with the advent of social media, word of mouth isn’t limited to aural conversations anymore. It can also spread via social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.
There’s a good chance at least half of your guests will be on or more of these social media channels. And you want to inspire them to post photos of, and wax poetic about, your fabulous vacation rental. So much so that their friends, family and followers will be clamoring to book with you in the future.
One way to do this is to add or highlight an Instagram-worthy backdrop; and showcase it in your digital listing and marketing efforts.
For instance, you could hire a local artist to paint a cool indoor or outdoor mural that’s in keeping with your niche, decor and local vibe.
A gardener to plant and maintain a resplendent rose garden straight out of a fairy tale.
Or, if you have a killer view, you could put a unique stamp on it by adding an infinity pool, hammock chair, sculpture or the like, that guests can use to frame or enhance their photos.