Does your Vacation Rental Stand Out From the Crowd Online?
My vacation rental, Arctic Paradise B&B, is in Seward, Alaska, a place that is unbelievably beautiful and everyone wants to come on their once in a lifetime Alaska vacation.
And so, our market here is saturated with Bed and Breakfasts and other vacation rentals. The season here is about 100 days, so if you have a rental, you want to make sure it is booked every one of those days!
“The market here has become so saturated” said Nicole Lawrence of Seward Properties on a recent interview I did with her on Seward Public Radio’s Market Minute show. “There are so many people doing nightly rentals now. And especially the smaller places. At some point, when you are a customer traveling and checking vacation rental sites such as Airbnb or VRBO, all the vacation rentals start to look the same. There is a bed, there is a kitchen table. People don’t always put a lot of thought and personal choices into decorating their B&B. So it becomes really impersonal. They all start to blend together and at some point you just start looking for the best deal because everything just looks the same”.
So, unless you plan to just compete on price and offer the lowest rates, how do you get the bookings and income you want? And, more importantly, how do you get your ideal customers? They may not be the ones looking for the cheapest price. And you want to get people that will work with your situation, whether the Bed and Breakfast is in your house where you live or in a separate property in a residential area where the neighbors may be impacted if guests are noisy.
“For you, your guests are in your house where you live and interact with them daily. Some of my rentals are above my office, where of course I want guests that are respectful and quiet” said Nicole.
“I heard you talk about this to a group of people before and thought it was really interesting, on how you can attract the type of guests you want and how you can increase your income and bookings” said Nicole. “What kind of tips can you give us on that?”
I have written several articles on this topic such as “Increase your vacation rental income and bookings with home staging”, and “Attract your ideal customer and increase your Bed and Breakfast Income with Home Staging”, and taught several workshops to vacation rental owners on this topic. I used these tips on my own property, and was able to at least double my income and bookings; I raised my prices and am attracting my ideal customers most of the time! I learned these concepts from my home staging business, where similar concepts help sell homes. To hear the radio interview of the show with all the details, you can listen here.