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Worried sick about the coming rental year?

6 Ways To Make 2013 A Better Booking Bet

Want or need more bookings?

Well, you’re not alone, that’s for sure.
I know many vacation rental owners are worried about the coming year.
Who can blame them? This year was bad enough.
Everywhere you turn you seem to run into more and more financial grief.
The question is what are you going to do about it?

The simple answer is: One of two things.
Stick your head in the sand.
Attack the problem ~ Head on

And those of you that read my blog regularly know what I have to say on this matter;
There are two types of vacation rental owner,
Those that take bookings and those that make bookings.


Takers or Makers

Well, as of today (Wednesday 7th nov) you have 8 weeks until the booking season starts in earnest. So ask yourself… Am I a taker or am I a maker?
Those that answered taker may as well log off now and go and watch some television.
Those that answered maker can start to draw up a plan, take action and prepare for the coming booking season.

So, how are you going to become a maker of bookings? Here are 6 ways,

1. You need to become Proactive, with a capital P.

It’s very unlikely that you will get more bookings in 2013 than you did this year, unless you put in some effort.
There’s nothing for nothing in this game.
No magic bullet
Commit to improving your lot and your lot will improve.

2. You need to improve your marketing material.

This is by far the easiest, quickest and cheapest, way to increase bookings.
If you look better people will pay more attention to you.
Update your vacation rental photographs with better images.
These will look better when displayed on all devices ~ Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and digital TV’s.
This is the no brainer of no brainers.
Make sure that you are showing the maximum number of photos that each listings company allows.
Make sure every photo is a great photo.
Plan and carry out a photo makeover

3. You need to be more flexible with your rates.

I will say that again – “You need to be more flexible with your rates”.
Need more income?
Think about this. Add up all of the low season weeks that you were empty this year. Multiply those weeks by your low season rate.
Now divide that figure by two. Write that figure down in big red pen.
Now advertise “Low season ~ Book one week get a second week FREE”.
Think about that figure in red!

4. You need to be a social animal.

Social media is the way of the web.
Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest board, Blogger blog, Google plus circle or any real friends, relatives or workmates?
If not, get some!
Get them all and then get some more.
Like, Tweet, Pin, Blog, Plus and shout about your property and it’s various fantastic attractions.
Be social. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

5. You need to attack niche markets.

Try to focus on bird watchers, wedding parties, walkers, golfers, cyclists, fishermen, hunters, rock climbers, surfers, nudists, photographers, anyone in fact who can carry out their hobby, interest or obsession at or near your vacation rental.
Blog about it, tweet about it and tell anyone who will listen on Facebook, forums, groups or hangouts.

6. You need to expand the areas where people can find you.

Have you got your own website? Do you blog?
If not start one today. Go to blogger.com to start your own website / blog.
It’s run by Google and it’s free. Better still it’s easy to use. Even a fool like me can use it.
Have you attacked the free to advertise marketplace?
The more websites that you advertise on the more places you can be found.
Have you made a Squidoo lens about your area? See squidoo.com for more details.
Create a youtube channel and make short videos showing the local attractions near your property. Link these back to your website / blog.

Here’s the vacation rental marketing takeaway

Don’t sit around worrying. Do something.
Make a coffee.
Make a list.
Make an action plan.

Make a marketing difference!

Take a set of new, better, photographs of your property so web visitors will see it in it’s best light.

And whatever you do, do it before new year so that you are ready for that all important booking season.

That’s what your competitors are doing.

What do you do?

Do you have a marketing plan that you’re working on right now?

I would like to hear what you have planned .
Please use the comments section at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts.

If you found this information useful you may like to follow rentmoreweeks.com at one of the places below, that way you won’t miss out on other articles on #vacationrental marketing, made for owners just like you.

5 thoughts on “Worried sick about the coming rental year?

  1. Tommy says:

    Question about main photo…the one that people see first when scrolling down a page looking at various places to rent. I only rent during ski season. Should I have a photo of my home or should I have a photo of people skiing. Which would cause more people to stop and click on the photo to find out more information.

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Good question Tommy,
      I’ve never tried to rent ski lodges but as most owners show their properties I would be inclined to lead with a photograph of someone skiing or a group of skiers. I would consider buying a photo from a photo stock website like istockphoto.com.
      I just had a quick look there and searched using the term “skier”. The site returned around 320 photos and they cost between $4 and $10 although you may have to buy more credit than that. When I first saw your comment I had a photo of a lone skier in mind but then I saw photos like this which I prefer,

      as this one shows people having a good time on a skiing holiday and it’s packed with bright colours. As I say there are a lot of photos to choose from, it’s not too expensive to try and if it doesn’t attract bookings you can always go back to a photo of your house.

      I would give it a go anyway.
      Let me know what you decide to do and how you get on.

      Good luck Alan

    2. Alan Egan says:

      Hi Tommy,
      I just had a look at your new photo in the listings () and it certainly stands out from the crowd. Fingers crossed that it gains some click-throughs.

    3. Great ideas. We just put together our marketing action plan, and are working at it just about every single day. The plan includes short term and long term goals, that can all be measured. We post the goal on the fridge, to make sure we remember, and keep each other accountable for our plans. It feels so good to cross them off, one after another 🙂

      1. Alan Egan says:

        Thanks for the feedback Sophie. If I can be of any help please drop me a line. Good work with the action list.

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