Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Tips for Improving Your Listing & Booking More Weeks

Fill the deck chairs in 2013 -- Spruce up your
property listing on Perfect Places to draw in the
most guests.

You'll want as many bookings for your vacation rentals as possible in 2013, and one way to help you achieve that goal is by reviewing your listings on Perfect Places and making any needed updates or improvements.

Great photos make a great first impression. Take a look at all the photos of your vacation rental. Make sure the best photo that will inspire the most bookings shows first. Are there are any out of focus shots? Replace them. If a photo appears smaller than a competitor's, be sure that you're uploading the largest sized photo possible. Add new photos of any new amenities or property features. And be sure to use captions. A brief description of the photo is another chance for you to sell your property on a guest.

Create special offers and review your rates. Take a moment to ensure that your pricing is competitive with comparable properties in your market. Then, give yourself a competitive advantage by creating special offers. They are another way to make your property stand out. While discounts are always attractive to a guest, you can also consider offering discounts to area attractions, bonuses such as free pickups at the airport or concierge service upon arrival, or special services such as massages, spa treatments or gifts (Wine, cheeses, candy) upon arrival.

Update your copy. Take a close look at your property description. If you uploaded the same copy as what's on your own website, take a few moments to make one or the other unique.  This will help avoid any duplicate content issues with the search engines. If you've added new amenities, or if there's a new attraction in your area, you'll want to add them to your property description. Be sure to review your headline while you're at it: include key search words for your property and area, use as many characters as needed (long headlines are OK), and avoid superlatives unless they specifically relate to the property (for example, if the property is oceanfront or in a historic area, say that, but do ask yourself if the view truly "amazing" or if the property would be considered a "luxury villa").

Add Your Location.  Perfect Places can now show your listing’s location using Google maps. This is a great selling feature that helps guests determine your exact location. If you’re concerned about privacy and don’t want to show the exact address, you can just show your location with a Google map pin marker and not reveal your address. If your property has an address that doesn’t show up on Google maps, then you can use latitude and longitude to display the pin marker.

Updated Calendar.  One of the biggest questions guests have when comparing properties is availability. Updating your calendar can help keep your property at the top of the list and avoid unwanted frustration for the potential guest and you.