Thursday, September 23, 2010

How many renters visit your vacation rental listings?


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Now that the 2010 vacation season of pretty much over, many vacation rental owners will look back on the season and try to review which sites worked best at attracting renters. Some will no doubt decide to take a look at whether they should switch to other sites or indeed add their listing to more vacation rental sites.

Although there are lots of considerations, one useful and simple way to benchmark sites is to make a rough estimate of the number of visitors it attracts for each property on the site. The higher this number, the more visitors your listing is likely to attract.

However, although most sites will tell you the number of properties listed (or you can calculate it, using the search tools), getting accurate estimates of visitor numbers is a little more problematic. Some of the larger sites will quote numbers, but do you believe them?

There are a number of independent resources on the internet for estimating visitor numbers. Two that I like are Statbrain.com and TrafficEstimate.com . These allow you to enter the url of the site you are interested in and they will estimate for you the number of visitors (plus some other details about each site).

Let's take an example, first of all using a large site such as Homeaway . According to COHR, Homeaway currently has about 118,000 holiday properties listed. According to Statbrain, Homeaway receives about 95,000 visitors each day i.e. an average of about 0.8 visitors to listing.

As a cross check, according to TrafficEstimate, the number of visitors to Homeaway is about 3.5 million per month or about 118,000 per day. This corresponds to about 1 visitor per day to each property listed on Homeaway.

How does this compare to one of the smaller sites? Let's take Holiday Lettings as a comparison. Holidaylettings has about 35,000 property listings, so it is still a pretty large site. According to Statbrain, Holiday Lettings receives about 35,000 visitors per day i.e. about 1 visitor per listing. According to TrafficEstimate, the number is closer to 56,000 visitors per day i.e. about 1.6 visitors per listing per day.

As a third example, take VacationHomeRentals , which has about 11,000 vacation rental listings. According to Statbrain, VacationHomeRentals receives about 18,000 visits per day or 1.6 visitors per listing. Using TrafficEstimate's numbers of 880,000 visitors per month, this gives an average of 2.4 visitors per listing per day.

Summarising, this simple metric indicates that:

Each listing on Homeaway gets between 0.8 and 1 visitor per day;
Each listing on Holidaylettings gets between 1 and 1.6 visitors per day
Each listing on VacationHomeRentals gets between 1.6 and 2.4 visitors per day.


Of course, this metric does not factor in the fact that visitors will view multiple sites, nor does it allow for the fact that some of those visitors are the owners themselves, but it's a useful and simple indicator.

Why not run these metrics on the sites you are listed on and compare?

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