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Vacation Rental Marketing – A Place Of One’s Own


This week we are taking a look at websites that provide websites for vacation rental owners.


Why a place of one’s own?


If you want to succeed in the vacation rental business you need to showcase what you have and you need to show it well.
These days it’s a big advantage to have your own website. It gives you control and adds a degree of professionalism to your business.
Now if you are computer savvy it may well be pretty easy to download WordPress or Drupal and throw together a bells and whistles website but for most of us that would require a course at night school and a course of Advil.

Well, not any more. Here’s a list of 5 companies that have made the process painless without the painkillers…


1. Future Stay


1. futurestay.com

futurestay

Here’s a little of what they say;
With Futurestay you can now create a website for your property in under 10 minutes with online booking for free.  Link your existing profiles on vacation rental listing sites (like vrbo & homeaway) back to your Futurestay website (at your own domain) to accept online bookings, simplify management and enhance your professional brand and image.
Here are just a few of the tools and features you get with Futurestay:
  • online booking (no merchant account or paypal needed)
  • guest management software
  • auto publish your property to 100+ listing sites (yahoo travel, lodging.com)
  • fully customizable layout and design
  • 100+ marketing, management, and booking features

If you can create a HomeAway profile, you can create your property’s own website at Futurestay.

Photos

You can add as many photos as you like and they also display as a slideshow on your home page.

Templates

Check out some sample websites here

Pricing

Futurestay is totally free to setup and use.
You’ll never be charged anything for the website or hosting. When guests book your property through your site they pay the price you want to receive plus Futurestay’s 10% commission.

7 minute challenge

Take the 7 minute website challenge!

They bet you can set up your vacation rental website in 7 minutes or you get your money back. Actually, its free either way!

Disclosure

I should add that I am a partner of Futurestay’s and I will get fantastically rich should you sign up with them.


2. MyVR


2. myvr.com

myvr.com

Here’s some of their blurb;

MyVR is online software that helps vacation rental owners increase bookings with less time and less hassle. We accomplish that by doing three things:

We better showcase your home
We help you launch your own online and mobile presence for your rental with your own website, Facebook Page, and more.

We expand your marketing
We offer numerous options for you to expand your vacation rental marketing (including social, local, mobile, and more) so that you can get more bookings, but without a ton more work because we know you have limited time.

We simplify the management of it all
We give you a single, centralized dashboard at MYVR where you launch and manage all your vacation rental marketing. Get all your inquiries in one place, and keep your calendar, rates, photos and information up to date and in sync across all your marketing!

Photos

Photos are shown full screen and here at rentmoreweeks we are big fans of full screen photos.

Templates

You can see some existing website examples here

Blog

They also publish a very informative blog that’s well worth following.

Pricing

At present there are two pricing plans the first costing $12 per month, the second costing $25 per month.
Both come with a free 14 day trial so you can dip your toe in the water.
For more info on what you get for your buck visit this page.

 


3. Promote My Place


3. promotemyplace.com

promotemyplace.com

Here’s what they say;

PromoteMyPlace.com is specially designed for holiday rental owners like you. It offers everything you need to get a high-performing website for your holiday let, simply and quickly, at minimal cost to you.

  • Simple & easy to use – no technical knowledge required
  • Great choice of professional designs and colour schemes
  • Full ongoing support included – never get stuck again!
  • Quick and fuss-free – get online in as little as 1 hour
  • Cost-effective – no need to spend a fortune on website designers, developers and hosting companies
  • Annual hosting included – no hidden extras
  • Unlimited free updates – change your site yourself, at any time
  • Promote your site online – we’ll show you how
  • Lots of satisfied customers

Here’s a video review by Mike Bayer of renting for profit (.com)

Photos

You can upload as many photos as you like

Show Videos

You can add YouTube videos directly onto to your website quickly and easily.

Templates

You can see their templates here

Languages

Allows owners to display their website in 7 different languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese. Very handy for the European market.

Blog

They also have a very good blog with all sorts of marketing tips

Pricing

Your website will cost you £69.00 (that’s around $103) which works out at about  £5.75 a month.
They offer a 14 day free trial too.

You can get a £10.00 discount by entering the Promotion code shown below.

When you’re ready, simply register for your no-obligation 14 day free trial and enter the promotion code below. If you decide to continue after your free trial expires, your discount will be applied automatically.

Promotion Code: NMR10


4. Web Chalet


4. webchalet.com

Here’s some of what they have to say;

If you currently advertise on HomeAway, Flipkey, or VRBO you can now also create a personal website for your vacation home in minutes—WebChalet websites sync with HomeAway and VRBO calendars.
Use your personal website to communicate with your guests and keep them there instead of sending return customers back to a directory with all of your competition! Isn’t a great domain name much easier to remember than a listing number?

Every website comes with a full suite of marketing tools, from formatted Craigslist ads to Facebook integration.

 

Photos

You can add unlimited photos at no extra charge.

Templates

They have 18 templates to choose from

Pricing

They offer a number of pricing packages from $149 a year for a single property to $1999 a year for an unlimited number of properties. There are also a couple of packages in between.
They too have a free 15 day trial if you want to try it out.

Webchalet are already providing over 2700 websites for owners which is pretty impressive.


5. Webmyhouse


5. webmyhouse.com

webmyhouse

Here’s some of what they have to say;

Easy-to-use solution to create your own website and publish your property on the web, both for renting and selling purposes. Lots of great, menu-driven functionality, such as multi language, choice of layout and colors, photos, connection to Googlemaps, what is nearby, property availability overview, property pricing, listing of events, email functionality and visit reporting. Great functionality and ongoing development for a minimum yearly fee, at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining a website!

  • Adjust your website any time of the day
  • Without needing programming knowledge
  • No estate agent, consultant or programmer involved
  • With the website address-extension you choose
  • Great functionality: availability overview, connection to
    Googlemaps etc
  • Easy set up in 4 languages
  • In the format and colours you prefer
  • Portal functionality for owners of multiple properties
  • Easy to add any additional properties
  • Develop and maintain your own marketing community
  • No unsolicited reactions for renting
  • Ongoing development for more functionality and eye catching presentations
  • Publish your basic website for free
  • Full functionality for a minimum yearly fee, at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining a website!

 

Photos

Free version = 5 pictures on slider homepage, 2 pictures per room and 6 general photos
Paid version = unlimited images (within reason)

Languages

Produces your website in 4 languages – English, French, Dutch and German. This could be very useful to those villa rental owners in Europe.

Pricing

There are two types of website that you can create, the first type is 100% free but has some limitations whereas the second, premium website is priced at £64 per year for one property.
For full details visit the pricing page here.

 



Here’s the vacation rental review takeaway


The vacation rental marketing takeaway

So, why have your own website?

Here are a couple of reasons for having your own website that I came across while researching this article.
The first is from Vacation rental guru;

When a potential guest calls about a listing, you send him to YOUR website while talking to  him on the phone, AND in your return automated email you provide a link to your site. In the shopping process they click on YOUR LINK, not VRBO, vacationrentals.com or HomeAway…THIS GETS THEM where you want them, and AWAY from the main search sites where your competition is! This makes getting the booking closed easier as the customer gets confused who they have talked to. GIVE THEM YOUR LINK! Take them away from the confusion of too many choices!

This one is from Mike L of St. Louis, MO. He says;

The personal website is all about control.  The photos, the content, the SEO factors are all able to be managed by the owner.  There is also a credibility factor involved.   With the scams we see now and them with fake ads on rental directory site, pointing a prospect toward a website can make them more comfortable with the transaction.   (Sure a scammer could fake this, too, but much less likely because they want the quick buck and move on).

I would add;

These sites are also optimized for the mobile market and this is the market to be seen in. Smartphones and tablets are selling like hotcakes so you need to be looking good on these devices.

There are many compelling reasons for having your own VR website and the 5 websites above make life very easy when creating one.
They all take the pain out of creating your own showcase.
All 5 offer free trials.
One is 100% free, another has a free option.
The others only cost around $100 to $150 per year, so none of these are going to break the bank.

Have a good look at all 5 of their websites and pick the one that you feel fits the bill for you.

All 5 claim to be quick and easy to use – Give it a go.
Get off the couch and you could have your own fully functioning website within the hour.
Only you are stopping you.

I personally challenge you. NOW. (send us your links)


What do you do?


I hope that you found this article – Vacation Rental Marketing – A Place Of One’s Own useful.
You may like to follow rentmoreweeks.com at one of the places below, that way you won’t miss out on other articles made for owners just like you.

Do you have your own vacation rental website where you are showcasing your holiday let??
Did you make it yourself or did you use a third party website?

I would love to hear your views.
Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

yours,

11 thoughts on “Vacation Rental Marketing – A Place Of One’s Own

  1. I have 2 apts for rent in Croatia, Europe; I live in the same house. This is a summer destination only; would any of this help me????
    Please advise.
    Thanks, Marina

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Hello Marina,

      Thanks for getting in touch,

      Unless you are fully booked it would help. If you have your own website showcasing the apartments and the surrounding area, things to do, places to eat, etc. then you appear more creditable in the eyes of potential guests.

  2. Mark Peters says:

    Hi Alan, thanks for the great article and resources… I will definitely be checking them out… do you have more details on how PromoteMyPlace goes about promoting my site? Do you have much knowledge about SEO, directories, and using social media for promoting vacation rental sites?

    Thanks so much

    Mark

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Hello Mark,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I contacted PromoteMyPlace regarding your question and here is their reply.

      PromoteMyPlace is a holiday rental website builder and CMS. All of our templates are built to be “search engine friendly” and we offer a number of free add-ons that allow website visitors to easily share owners sites on the most popular social media channels. We also offer lots of free advice to our customers with regards to Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Marketing. We don’t currently see any need to offer facilities to automate syndication of website content across listing sites and social media profiles (as some of the other services you mentioned do). We actually believe this could be detrimental to an owners marketing efforts, rather than beneficial, because of the negative impact of duplicate content on SEO. Many of our customers are getting direct traffic from Google and bookings through their websites just by following our advice.

      They also added the following, which I omitted in my original article

      Since we are focused more on the European market we also allow owners to display their website in 7 different languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese.

      I hope that all helps

      regards Alan

      1. Kai says:

        Hello Alan,

        pretty interesting what promotemyplace said about synchronizing the websites content with listing/booking sites.
        If the same content is used, you have indeed duplicate content, which you should absolutly avoid, as your own site is much weaker in terms of SEO power than the listing sites.
        So I hope, that with the other website builder that offer a synchronization you can customise the content for the listing sites, so that it’s different to your own website’s content.

        1. Alan Egan says:

          I agree Kai,

          it’s best to avoid word for word duplication where possible, a little tinkering here and there would help.

          Thanks for your thoughts

          Alan

  3. Kai says:

    Just found another Website Builder I tried out a little bit.
    I really like the multi-language feature.
    http://www.lodgify.com/

    I liked it better so far than http://www.myvr.com.

    I will try out the other services and give you a feedback in this group.

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Thanks for the insight Kai, it’s always good to hear owners thoughts.

      Regards Alan

  4. Steve says:

    We have a vacation rental in the Poconos, PA. We have our own site but the majority of our leads come in from the homeaway sites. We get about a dozen a year that come in from our site and maybe 3 – 4 that come in from the management company. Everything else is thru homeaway sites.

    We’re getting a pretty good amount of bookings, although it would be nice to have our site start generating more leads.

    Will keep those sites in mind for future properties, thanks!

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Hello Steve,
      Thanks for dropping by. Wow stunning place you ave there. Looks like heaven too.

      This is an old article and we now offer an online video course on how to make your own site using wordpress. Owners are having very good results with these build your own sites. They are also in complete control of their marketing.
      Please have a look at http://bookingsplus4g.com/course/wordpress-for-vacation-rental-owners-2/

      Good luck with your bookings

      1. Steve says:

        Thanks Alan, I’ll take a look! 🙂

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