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Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing for Homeowners’ Category

Are Men or Women More Active on Social Media?

Today I came across this great analysis by Neil Patel about differences in demographics on social media. Because vacation rental business is a very unique niche I thought it’s very important to understand where your prospective clients spend most of their time.

A couple of years ago I read another study about who is doing all the prep work for an upcoming vacation. Although in our family all travel planning is done by me I wasn’t surprised to learn that in most of the cases it’s actually the opposite. Women take care of this task.

The infographic below gives you a clear picture of the best channels to market your vacation rental. Well, as long as you know who your clients are:

Who is more active on social media? Men or Women?
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Introducing Last Minute Deals on Vacation Rentals by Homeowners

Don’t give up on upcoming vacancies, we’ve got a solution!

It’s never too late to make some memories, or money when it comes to being a vacation rental owner. That’s why we have created a last minute deals program that allows our homeowners to offer travelers last minute discounts on vacancies for their vacation rentals.

Fill vacant dates on your calendar
Each week on Tuesday at noon EST, registration for our last minute deals page will open. There you can let us know your desired last minute dates and rates. We will then publish the new rates for travelers the following day (Wednesday) along with spreading the word about your great deal across as much of the internet as can.

Blog about your last minute deal

If you want to take your deal (and overall listing) one step further, we are accepting blog posts from our homeowners regarding their vacation destinations. Take a look at these posts to get some ideas. Notice how we talk about the culture, activities and overall lifestyle of the destinations. By attracting travelers to the destination itself, your property will be featured as the perfect accommodation for travelers to go and experience everything for themselves. This is done through linking keywords and photos to your listing, as well as simply culminating your post with a “Where to stay” sort of ending.

So feel free to submit your own to blogger@rentini.com and we will review it for publication.

High Quality Photos Make a Difference in Booking Your Vacation Rental

As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Here at Rentini, we believe,

“a quality photo could be worth a thousand bookings”…

A better picture brings more bookings

A better picture means more bookings: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa

We are always exploring new ways to help market properties in an effort to bring homeowners more bookings. That’s why we conducted a survey of travelers regarding how they search out the right vacation rental. We found that 8 out of 10 vacation rental bookings are influenced more by images of the property versus the description of the property. People want to see what they are spending their hard earned money on. Makes sense right? Anyone can try to sell you a “Stunning 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with all the necessary commodities”, but only so many homeowners can actually show you high quality photos of how stunning each room actually is.
For example, between these two properties, where would you rather stay?

Property images
Here? or Here?

Believe it or not, those are photos of the same living room. While the first photo may make you think your looking at a small loft in Brooklyn, the latter photo clearly shows the elegance of this beautiful vacation home in the Hamptons.

Furthermore, according to research done by Trip Advisor; properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement. This should be reason enough to spend the $200 (on average) for a professional photography session for your vacation rental. After all, photos last forever so you should see that cost returned to you within the first booking, and then the next, and so on.

These are reasons why we have created a contest on Pinterest to give 5 lucky homeowners a professional photography session for their homes. Pinterest is currently the fastest growing social network in the world, read more about its benefits in our social media property marketing series here.
Contest instructions and details can be found here for both homeowners and travelers.

Using Pinterest to Market Your Vacation Rental

Pinterest  is one of the newest and most hard hitting players in the social media world. Below we have listed some statistics to get you excited about the platform and why vacation rental owners should be taking advantage of our “Pin-it to win it” contest we just launched.

  • Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network (Experian)since it took the internet by storm in February 2012 when it reached 10.4 million users (AppData).
  • Despite it not yet getting as much traffic as Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as 2-3 times as efficiently as Twitter was at a similar time in their history (RJMetrics).
  • Daily Pinterest users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012. (Mashable)
  • As of January 2012, American users spent an average of 97.8 minutes on Pinterest. (eMarketer)
  • Over 1/5 of Facebook-connected users are on Pinterest daily (which represents more than 2 million members). (AppData)

Pretty impressive right? Now here is how you, as a vacation home owner can take advantage. Pinterest is all about simply sharing nice photos, or pinning, as it’s known on the site. By creating separate boards based on category, location etc. users organize their pins onto designated boards that can be found when users search for specific topics.

In this case we will use travel as the category. When the any user types in “travel” in the search bar, they are presented with any pin that has been labeled with “travel” or “#travel” (hashtags seem to work interchangeably on Pinterests platform). You can adjust your results to focus on specific boards that are labeled as travel, or people with travel in their name.

Pinterest travel boards

Pinterest travel boards

Travel is obviously a popular search term, as are specific vacation destinations, exotic countries and home decoration on Pinterest. Therefore, just by adding these words to a pin of your property, you can be thrown into this mix of users that are searching for their dream getaway. Not only do they just see the picture of your beautiful vacation home, but when they click it they are taken directly to your page. Pinterest acts as a bookmarklet for users so they can come back and find these places again.

This is where we got the idea for our “Pin it to win it perfect getaway” campaign. As homeowners, you simply need to pin your property once with the hashtags #Travel and #PerfectGetaway. By doing so, we have set up the traveler side of the contest to push your pins even further by having them pin your properties with similar hashtags and by creating boards that will keep them in their history forever (as long as they don’t delete them, but who would get rid of such beautiful places?).

With each post, comes a tweet with similar hashtags that are being searched for constantly. More so, they will be shared on travelers facebook pages, expanding the reach of your property infinitely (or at least to as many friends each user has; it adds up!). These are just some basics of utilizing Pinterest as a very simple way to reach more travelers. Stay tuned for more posts about similar ways to utilize Twitter, Facebook and more!

Rentini Pin-it to win it contest

Why Social Media Marketing for Vacation Rentals is Important

Major Social Networks

Social media has become an enormous part of today’s society. It’s nearly impossible to have a conversation without there being mention of a story that happened on a major site like Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. This is because of these astonishing statistics found by online travel studies done by The Social Skinny as well as Google:

  • 62% of adults are now active on some social media websites.
  • Not only are they active, but these websites account for over 22% of the time that they spend online.
  • More specifically, 85% of travelers rely on the internet to get travel information.
  • About 40% of those users were influenced to actually book their trip because of online sources, making the internet the leading source followed by word of mouth.
  • 50% of travelers who came across some travel ad, article or video started dreaming of a vacation.
  • Of those, about 70% ended up actually choosing a destination and making the trip.

Utilizing these communities that travelers are scouring everyday makes sense. Let’s be real here, who isn’t browsing the web in search of everything they want and dreaming of getaways they hope to have? That makes every one of these users a potential traveler. Everyone is captivated by the beautiful, high quality images being posted all over Pinterest, Facebook etc. Of course you can list all your great amenities on your rental page, but these visuals are what really make your property stand out against the rest. Having a properly managed social presence can act as both a marketing billboard for your vacation rental, as well as a customer service center where you can connect with travelers.

This all sounds great but you don’t have time, right? Don’t worry, no need to hire an intern! There is a reason these websites are so popular, and that is because of how simple they are to use. After setting up your pages, which should take no more than 10 minutes, posting and sharing content can be done anytime, anywhere (if you have a smartphone) and within a matter of minutes. Simple posts and photos with the proper tagging/hashtags can bring you the traffic you need to fill your rental calendar.

Follow our social marketing series to find out more on how you can promote your vacation rental through each major social network. Also get involved in our Pinterest contest where you can win a spa package or professional photo sessions for your property just for getting started with social media marketing!

Your Property Heading…Means More or Less Clicks.

Tommy Taylor's large luxury cabin

A luxurious getaway in Colorado

I do not want to take total credit for all of the following information.  I have combined a couple of suggestions from other property owners along with my own opinions about the true importance of your property heading.

Property headlines are the most valuable real estate you have on any listing site.  If your listing’s heading is not compelling enough to draw someone in to click on it, your headline is your weakest link.  It won’t matter if you have great photos, copy and fantastic rates if no one clicks through.

Do not use the headline for the property name because those characters could be used for something far more important to the traveler.  You need to think like potential guests–they want features and benefits that match their needs/wants.  If you put “TreeHouse Hideaway” in my headline/title, you have used up 18 characters that could have said something much more valuable to the traveler:  “WiFi – Hot Tub – Jacuz…” would fit in the same space.

I feel that you should not need to put number of beds/baths in your headline, unless you have 3 bedrooms and all have a king bed.  I would definitely say “3 King BRs” in title.  Three couples traveling together would be thrilled to know that they don’t have to flip a coin to see who gets the 1 King BR and the others get the Queen BRs, or even the room like mine that is bunk beds.

The most visually distinct part of your headline is the last few words.  When you scan down the listings, it’s the tail end of each listing that sticks out because there’s white space (negative space) at the end.  So the last thing in your headline should actually be one of the most important aspects of your listing.  It could be “April $135/night” or “Pets OK” or “WiFi”, mine, (http://rentini.com/en/properties/luxury-log-cabin-on-golf-course),  starts with the word “Luxury”, and ends with the words  “On The Golf Course.”   Whatever you choose to put at the end gets extra visibility by virtue of its location, so think twice about what might be most interesting to potential guests.

Finally, if you can and have the space…put a call to action or urgency in your headline. Phrases like “Booking Fast” or “New Photos!” or “July 7-17 Now Open” may encourage a click thru.

Good luck and remember to review your headline/listing title every month to make sure it’s not out of date and look for opportunities to freshen it up when needed (new season, announce improvements, specials, cancellations, etc.)  Make your headline work for you!

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