Marketing Your Vacation Rental Home: In Print and In Person
The third and final part of this series on marketing your vacation rental home will focus on using printed materials and on finding unique ways to get the word out about your rental property. While the Internet has become an important tool in marketing vacation homes, real-world options are still valuable and can help you find potential renters both locally and globally.
Brochures and Flyers
Full-color brochures and flyers can be extremely effective tools for marketing vacation homes. They are inexpensive and easy to produce on your own by using your home computer and a simple publishing program. You can also spend a little more and have a graphic designer create some for you. Start with a small run rather than thousands.
When marketing vacation homes, it is important to include quality pictures of your home, including not only the front of the house but also a few things that make it stand out, such as your extra-large bathroom, your swimming pool, or your beautiful view. You should also include your name, phone number, email address, the location of the vacation rental home (if space permits) and, ideally, the URL for your own personal website.
Check around the town in which your vacation rental home is located for spots to place your brochures or flyers. Ask local businesses to hang them in windows or place them for patrons to take. Churches and schools may have bulletin boards on which you can post your flyers as well. You can also expand the scope of your efforts by keeping brochures or flyers with you at all times when you travel or in your hometown and placing them strategically for people to take.
Postcards Featuring Your Vacation Rental Home
Postcards are another great way to go about marketing vacation homes. They are practical, useful, and inexpensive. Again, include pictures of your home as well as contact information and your website URL. Not only can you place these postcards around town, but you can also leave a stack of them in the vacation rental home itself. Renters will use the postcards to send notes to their friends and family, who may then see what a great time is had at your vacation rental home and contact you directly for their own trip. You can also use these postcards to send notes to friends and family, or to thank your renters for staying with you.
Marketing Vacation Homes with Print Advertising
Running advertisements in print publications is the traditional way to go about marketing vacation homes, but you can put a spin on this approach. First, ads can get expensive as most publications charge by the word or column inch, but you can keep costs down by listing your website URL rather than a long description of your vacation rental home. Your URL can contain all of the important details, and the ad can just state the location of your home and some basic contact information.
Additionally, you can advertise your vacation rental home in both standard and more unusual spots. Run an ad in the paper that is local to your rental home for sure, but also seek out publications that cover topics that are related to your home. For example, if your home is located near a golf course, run an ad in a golf magazine enticing golfers to come and stay. If your home is near the beach, a surfing or fishing magazine might work well for you. Try to stay ahead of your competition, all of whom are also marketing vacation homes, and reach as many potential renters as you possibly can.
Additional Options for Marketing Vacation Homes
Another approach to marketing vacation homes is to offer up a weekend as a prize in a local raffle. There are fundraisers going on all the time for various causes, and they would probably be thrilled to receive this as a prize to give out. At the same time, you benefit because it gets your vacation rental home noticed and even those that do not win will be made aware of your existence.
You should also create a signature for your emails that includes some basic information about your vacation rental home. You never know who will see your message, and your friends and family will always have your contact information at their fingertips to share with those that they know as well.
Above all, the personal touches that one puts into marketing vacation homes are what helps the owner close the deal. Capitalize on the fact that you are a real person with a real home for rent rather than a corporation with an anonymous hotel room. People are more likely to choose your vacation rental home if they feel comfortable with you, so take the time to be available to answer questions or meet with people in the community.
When you are involved with marketing vacation homes, you need to make sure you cover all of your bases. There are many homes out there competing for renters, so you need to stand out. Make sure you create a website for your vacation rental home, and then add your home and its URL to reputable listing sites for additional traffic. Use word of mouth and referrals from friends and family to your best advantage. And never forget that print advertising still has its place, even in today's online world. Savvy owners know that with a strong strategy in place for marketing vacation homes, they'll be sure to book their homes year round with ease.
About the Author
Fraser Hannah spent eight years working as a freelance television production manager and researcher before leaving to join his family's business working with the elderly. He founded Traveling2Florida.com in 2003 after purchasing his own vacation home in