Archives For Social Media

Pinterest iPadWhen I first started hearing about Pinterest, it just seemed like a site packed with pictures of chic baked goods and fingernail art. As cool as the images were, it was a little hard to understand the hype. Now, however, the Pinterest statistics are impossible to ignore. The latest whopper is that Pinterest is currently the 3rd most popular social networking site behind Facebook and Twitter.

For those who haven’t ventured there yet, Pinterest is a social network where users curate virtual pinboards of images that inspire them. ‘Pinners’ usually have multiple boards, and the pictures are pinned from all over the Internet. The subjects are limitless, but lifestyle topics like cooking, crafts and clothing predominate. It skews heavily female, but men are catching up. Users follow each other, similar to Twitter, thus creating the vast network.

Businesses are flocking for several reasons, Continue Reading…

Facebook User MapWith nearly 1 billion users on Facebook, chances are you’ve got a personal profile already — even if it’s just to check out your grandkids photos and find your long-lost high school classmates. And your renters are using Facebook as well — connecting with friends, liking their favorite products, and posting photos from their vacation. But still, with everyone on Facebook, we still hear owners saying the same thing.

Should I create a Facebook Page for my vacation rental?

My renters don’t use Facebook!

My Facebook Page only has a few fans, will this really work for me?

I hope that these 10 stats will convince you that you need to set up a Facebook Page for your vacation rental immediately! And, if you already have one, connect with more travelers and past guests to build better relationships with them. Continue Reading…

Corporate Business TravelerYou’ve considered various niche markets for your vacation rental and you’re sure you’ve found the right one: The corporate traveler. And why not? A 2011 survey by Deloitte found that business travel will increasingly drive growth in the travel, hospitality and leisure industry.

With a furnished corporate rental, you have the benefit of being more agile than larger operations when it comes to tailoring to a niche market. Once you know your property provides the essentials that business travelers expect, you can move your marketing to the next level by:

  • Looking at the needs of your ideal corporate traveler, and
  • Clearly differentiating yourself from the competition.

Identifying your corporate traveler

Do your market research to identify any service gaps or particular needs for corporate rentals in your area. Chances are you’ll find that the short-term corporate housing market is well looked after; regardless of preferences, people will often make do with what’s most convenient or affordable for a night or two.

For longer stays, however, details matter more. The better you understand what’s needed in your neighborhood, the better you can customize your space to fit. For example: Continue Reading…

You don’t have to live in a big city like Austin or San Francisco to take advantage of renting your home during local events. Homeowners in Ardmore, PA, a small town of 12,500 residents, are already starting to talk about how to rent out their homes for the 2013 US Open golf tournament just under a year away. But, in order to rent your home, you need to stay abreast of local events and get up-to-speed quickly on your local rules and regulations.

Lake Tahoe Local Event GuideWhether you’re renting your home for a one-off event, or marketing your existing vacation rental, it’s important to set up an informative website with plenty of photos, including rooms, amenities, and the surrounding area. Maintain your website with a local area guide, like this one in Tahoe, and list upcoming local events, happening now and months in the future.

Find out about local events in your area

  • Contact your visitor’s bureau. In larger cities, this might be a convention and visitor’s bureau (CVB). They should have a list of major events and conferences happening in your area.
  • Check out local event directories like Eventful.
  • Subscribe to your city or neighborhood newspapers and magazines.
  • Search for press releases or news. Set up a Google alert to get notified by email when new items are published to the web.
  • Contact local entertainment centers, theaters, and concert venues to obtain a copy of their calendar.
  • Follow event companies on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Plancast as they are most likely to promote their events through these channels.

While you may find renting your home during an event very lucrative and enjoyable, there are many things you should do before starting to advertise, especially if you’re renting out your primary home or new to managing a vacation rental. Continue Reading…

First, congratulations! Setting up a website for your vacation rental is one of the best things you can do to market your property. A recent survey shows that owners who utilize listing sites and a have a personal website for marketing their vacation rental have a 12% higher occupancy rate than those who solely use listing sites.

Unfortunately, the saying “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t hold much weight in the world of online marketing. Here’s a few tips to help you start generating traffic to your new vacation rental website.

Add a link on your paid listings

Add Link to Your Listing SiteIf you’re already advertising on HomeAway, VRBO, or FlipKey, add the link to your listing. It allows you to showcase additional photos and information not featured in your paid listing and adds credibility to your ad.

Add a link in your auto-responder

Auto-responders or auto-reply messages are triggered when a new inquiry is received on your listing. Because it’s important to reply promptly to new inquiries, auto-reply messages let you send valuable information to the guest when you are not available to respond personally. If you’re not using auto-responders yet, here’s why you should set up an auto-reply.

Adding a link to your website gives the potential renter more information about your property and keeps them engaged until you’ve had a chance to respond. Continue Reading…