Friday, February 07, 2014

For Those Who Prefer To Use a Personal Vacation Rental Site

One low annual fee to advertise your home on HomeAway with No Commission or Booking Fees!

Although most owners seem to prefer to use listings on the various Vacation Rental Sites, some owners prefer to develop personal sites and use these as a (large) part of their vacation rental marketing strategy.

This has a number of advantages. Among the more important are:

1. You don't have to pay listing fees or commission for bookings you receive on your own site

2. You can provide a lot more information about your vacation rental property on your own site: you are not limited by the number of photos /pages etc that are imposed by the vacation rental listing sites. In addition, you don't have to compete with other properties listed on your site!

3. You get to control all aspects of your interaction with renters. This is becoming increasingly important with the advent of "commission only" listings, where you don't even receive the email address of the renter who sends you enquiries.

Of course, running your own site ( and the associated marketing) takes some work and has costs of it's own. For example:

1. You need to design your web site ( or get someone to do it for you). Since this will be used to "sell" renters on your vacation property, it's important that you do a good job, so you need to be sure your site looks clean and professional. You also need to make sure that the hosting service you are working with is reliable and provides good service, as if your site goes down, your property is effectively off the market!

2. You need to invest time and money in attracting prospective renters to come to your site. This is a lot harder than it looks! The public vacation rental listing sites have the advantage that they have the marketing budgets to attract lots of traffic to their sites. Getting decent traffic requires that you spend time and money in a smart and effective way.

Hence, if you are considering using a personal vacation rental site, my advice would be that you seek help from those you have experience in this area. This can be other vacation rental owners, for example in forums such as Lay My Hat. In addition, there are professionals who may be able to help.

A couple of examples that are both listed on COHR:

1. Web Chalet will help you to build and then host your website. This has the advantage of ensuring you have a professional looking site with lots of support once it's up and running.

2. Villamarketers provide extensive support and services in building your personal site, including ensuring the it is designed with built in "Search Engine Optimization", to help ensure you show up in searches on Google and other search engines.

Whether you decide to use a personal website, listings on the public vacation rentals sites or some combination, getting the right help and advice ultimately pays off in the end. In this regard, I would also recommend you take a look at VRLeap.

Post a Comment