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Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

Old 06-03-2007, 10:49 PM
  #1  
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Default Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

My brothers and sisters and I bought a house in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island off Southern California that has a vacation rental permit. The season is from Memorial Day through Labor day.

We are new to this business. We have a management company helping us keep it rented but this is not their primary business. We need to increase our yearly income form the property.

We currently have it listed at vacationrentals.com but aren't getting much business from that site.

Does anyone have any tips in marketing these types of properties?

Thanks

Bill

Bill
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

I'm not sure as much about the marketing aspect of things...but as far as appeal goes, people like houses that have more options while still paying a competitive rate. If you want to sink a few bucks into something like a hot tub or other added amenities, you may find that your place does more business. Just a thought to consider- good luck.
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

Start your own site just for that house. Its cheap to do and with a little comp savy your in bidness. I used Siteground.com I think it's now5.95 a month. I set mine up myself i usually get 2-6 hits per day. I would think a vac. house would get alot more.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

I have my Harkers Island Vacation Rental listed on 5 or 6 sites.I get the most buisness from VRBO.com , and forgetaway.com.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

I would go with the VRBO site as well.

We have been lucky in that we keep our beach house rented year to year with most of the same people. In fact I only get 1 week in the summer due to the number of renters we have when school is out but that keeps the bills paid.

I would at least go with a full time agency if I were going to do this but it seems like most people search the net now for vacation rentals. Make sure you have plenty of pictures and a good description.

I know when we traveled to the Keys this was the way we found the house we rented and I am sure that we passed over a lot of houses but some of the properties do not show many pictures and do not give a lot of details that made me think either they were hiding something or were not that interested in renting it
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:48 AM
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Default RE: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

vrbo.com works for me.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

Another vote for VRBO.com
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:47 PM
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Default RE: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

To all.

Thank you for the information. I will check both of the sites listed and keep my eyes out for a full time agent who might be able to bring more business our way.

It might be a good idea to put my own site together.

Thanks again.

Bill
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

VRBO works great. The more pictures you pay to post, the higher up the list you get placed. I started with 6 pictures in Nov. 2005 and added 5 more this past Feb. Since then my inquiries are up 25%! It pays to post more pics. Be careful when using the booking calendar feature. I got burned last season when my seasonal renter left a month early due to health reasons and I had to scramble to salvage the month of March. Because I showed that the house was booked on the calendar for the season, no one called. I was able to edit my listing and advertise the March availability. Another site we use is findvacationrentals.com although nowhere near the inquiries as VRBO.
Be careful with Mgt. companies. Ask your neighbors who they are using. Watch the fees they charge. Many are in the "home repair" business and love to make the "$1000 you need a new A/C unit" when they need to make a buck! Been there, experienced that.
Ask around to see where the people that are visiting your area are coming from. We get alot of Canadians and Northern mid-westerrners that visit our area. That will help you target market your potential client base.

Charge enough to keep the weekend partiers out. As mentioned above add the features (hot tub, pool, game/steam room, etc,) that will make your property more desirable. If you can put up with pets offer it up with applicable deposit. Many people like to bring thier dogs on vacation instead of boarding and will pay a premium to do so. Offer discounts to good renters to come back next year. Charge a cleaning fee that will cover the clean. Get large deposits from those that sound questionable ( i.e. the 22 yr. old just bringing his fiance for the week, next thing you know 20 kids are having a rave in your house) . Sorry to ramble, we have been doing this for over 10 years and just when i think i have seen everything i get surprised. Hope this is useful info for you and good luck. It is a great way to subsidize a vaction home.


http://www.vrbo.com/74633
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:16 AM
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Default RE: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

Put up a sign....."Washington slept here...Clinton stayed up"

My sister has good luck posting her rental on a local vacation home web site,I'm sure there are similar sites in your area.http://www.atlanticvacationhomes.com...opDefault.aspx
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Tips on marketing vacation rental properties?

Check with the local chamber of commerce - they probably get calls every day about rental properties - how do they handle them and who do they refer them to.
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