Part 8 – Advertisement: How to win over the renters

Vacation rentals are booming and it has, especially with a wide selection of affordable houses on the market, become very popular to buy a second home and convert it into a vacation rental to generate income. This is easy enough and after reading this blog nobody should have an issue to decide how to furnish, decorate or altogether present a vacation home to make it successful. It is, however, not easy to come by adequate numbers of vacation guest to populate the house in a profitable way.

Friends and family are more than likely to spend some time in your vacation home in the most beautiful area of Florida but they rarely pay. You might advertise your home at work, talk to more extended friends and maybe you even advertise in a local newspaper. All this is usually not enough and a house that’s unoccupied most of the time does not only cost money without generating any, but it’s also hard to keep it up and safe.

A professional can help! Guest acquisition is a time-consuming and costly process that requires resources and a multi-national approach. Most guests in today’s world are looking online for accommodations; it seems that not too many people are booking single family vacation homes via a travel agency or via traditional advertisement in a magazine or paper. The method that promises the most success is the Internet and therefore requires an interactive, speedy and catchy Web site.

Online advertisement must attract a multitude of nationalities; English language is naturally the most popular language as many of our guests hail from the northern U.S. or Canada especially during the winter season. Many guests, however, come from all over Europe and a bi-lingual approach is just one more service we offer to our valued guests from around the world. German is a language spoken by approximately 90 million people in Europe (as of 2004) or 13.3% of all Europeans, being the second most spoken native language in Europe. Our Scandinavian guests usually communicate in English.

A picture can express more than a thousand words; this is why we invest in top-quality pictures to display the rental home in – literally – as good a light as possible. We want our guests to see the home as it is with all the accents that make it something special. The description matches the features and amenities and provides a clear impression of what is offered.

An interactive real-time calendar for instant booking, interactive calculation of rates, and a clear and comprehensive list of fees and taxes is a must. Full disclosure of facts is essential and earns trust. Guests appreciate timely service and a hassle-free experience; answering inquiries and providing first-hand information are vital.

The best recommendation, however, are returning guests. A happy renter may decide to come back and may even recommend the home and the rental company to friends and family. Mouth-to-mouth propaganda works best and a happy guest who leaves a positive comment in the review section and tells his friends at home is the best advertisement we can wish for.

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