We are the listing optimisation experts!
Become a TravelNest customer and tap into our in-depth listing optimisation expertise. We’ll share a wealth of tips and hacks to help you present your vacation rental in the best possible way so you’ll consistently achieve more bookings!
Unlock the potential of your vacation rental
1. Tweak the listing headline
It’s really important to use the listing heading to really sell your property – it’s the gateway to the rest of your listing, so needs to grab attention and get guests clicking to learn more! Is your property in a rural location? Close to the countryside, beaches or mountains? Include these unique selling points in the listing title. When it comes to amenities, things like a hot tub, log burning fire, outdoor space and lovely views are all factors which boost your bookability, so mention them in the headline. If your property offers a luxury experience, be sure to include this!
Here are a couple of great examples:
- Luxury 3-bed pet friendly lodge w/ log fire
- Cosy 2-bed rural cottage w/ hot tub & open views
2. Flex your cancellation policy
Post-COVID19, flexibility is the key to getting booked. Guests need to know that if they’re plans change, they won’t be penalised by a strict cancellation policy. Data from our channel partners shows that moving to a more relaxed cancellation policy can result in a higher percentage of bookings. What’s more, many channels (e.g. Airbnb) allow searches to be filtered by cancellation policy, meaning properties with strict cancellation only will be omitted from searches.
3. Have key amenities covered
Review your amenity list and make sure you’ve got everything that you offer ticked off so that guests can see it on the listing. Travellers often filter their searches by specific amenities, so not having something ticked could mean missing out on a potential booking. Take a look at our post on the Top Ten Amenities Guests Want in a Vacation Rental – is there room for some improvement in what you offer?
Families travelling with children are looking for things to keep the kids occupied, so things like WiFi, streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, a games console such as an xBox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch plus some books and traditional board games, will be really appreciated by guests.
4. Add a WOW hero photo
Along with the listing heading, the hero photo has a super important job to do. It entices guests to click on your listing and find out more – that first click is key to converting their initial interest into a booking. Our research found that 79% of people were more inclined to book properties with hero images of attractive external shots of the property.
If your property looks great from the outside, use this as the main image on your listing. If not, don’t worry. Anything that has a feel-good factor will help capture attention. If you have scenic views from the bedroom or lovely living areas, then that’s your next best hero shot. Read our guide on the photos that will boost the performance of your listing.
5. Lower minimum nights stay
During the initial weeks and months of COVID19 recovery, we predict that short trips closer to home will be hugely popular, in particular weekend road trips of 2 or 3 nights duration. Consider your minimum night stay requirements, even if only for a limited period of time, to cash in on this type of bookings. Again, flexibility is really important – guests can filter by length of stay, so properties with an inflexible 7-night minimum night stay will appear in far fewer searches, and receive fewer bookings as a result.
6. Allow children and pets
If you’ve not previously allowed children and pets in your vacation rental, now is the time to review this. Domestic travel is set to spike later this year, with families making up a huge percentage of the total demand. If at all possible, we recommend allowing children, as this will have a noticeable impact on bookings. With 26% of people in the OK owning a dog, allowing pets in the property is another good step to take to increase bookings.
7. Check your pricing
Review your pricing strategy for the year ahead, and compare your prices to the competition in your area. Compare your nightly price, weekend rate, any seasonal changes, and discount rates/special offers to see how you stack up.
8. Review any additional fees
Travellers are going to be more cost conscious moving forward, so go over any additional fees and deposits and consider reducing or relaxing them, even if only temporarily, as part of your recovery strategy to attract bookings. For example, if you have a cleaning fee, consider whether this is really necessary, and similarly if you have a large damage deposit – this can actually work against you and put potential guests off from booking your property.
We recommend lowering your damage deposit so that your property is more affordable. We partner with Pikl, a specialist insurer for vacation rentals. Having specialist insurance in place eliminates the need for a large damage deposit and immediately makes your property more attractive to potential guests.
9. Adjust check-in and check-out dates
If you only allow check-in and check-out on limited days, this reduces your overall flexibility and your property will show up in less searches as a result. Review your current check-in/check-out arrangements, and try to offer this on as many days as you possibly can, to avoid losing out on bookings to properties with greater flexibility.
10. And finally ... big up your COVID cleaning precautions
Ensuring your property is COVID clean is super important and should be a top priority for your vacation rental. From conducting a risk assessment, to getting the right cleaning supplies and focusing on high-touch areas, our Ten COVID Cleaning Tips for Your Vacation Rental has you covered.
Find out more
TravelNest gets your property seen in all the right places. We can list your property on over 30 of the best booking channels including Airbnb, Booking. com, Expedia, HomeAway, TUI and TripAdvisor.