Word-of-Internet is the new word-of-mouth, demonstrating the most strength in numbers. So the more positive experiences renters have with your property, the better.
With the Internet at our fingertips, content is power, but there’s a lot of dodgy information out there. Owners, load your listing with the best, most specific reviews to equip potential renters with enough facts to make an informed decision.
But first off, how do you get past renters to write about their stays? Here are a few ideas.
1. Consider an incentive program.
If the house lived up to or exceeded its billing, encourage renters to share their experiences online with rewards for future visits. Families tend to book the same house year after year to take the hassle out of planning or potentially losing that coveted house on the lake. Give them discounts for return trips.
2. Bring in extra touches.
You may not know them personally, but vacation home clientele want to feel like guests of your home. Add a personal signature to their stay by providing a basket filled with fresh baked cookies or wine, and you’ll have them gushing long after their summer vacation.
3. Don’t forget about the off-season.
Make your vacation home a year-round money maker by dangling incentives during all four seasons. That Cape Cod beach house? Make it available during Thanksgiving. That Destin condo? It could be the next destination for a girlfriends’ getaway come December. Let it be known that shorter stays and holiday weeks aren’t off limits, and you’ll have folks cooing about how flexible you were.
4. Make it family friendly.
Parents will scan your listing for words like crib, Pack ‘N Play, bunk beds and stroller when they’re narrowing down their list of possible vacation rentals. A kid-ready home is likely to land repeat renters and possibly new ones in other parents.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.