Each one of the vacation rentals I’ve owned has had a name. Beaver Creek Cottage, The River House, Porth Ridge, The Lodge, and Osprey Cottage are some of them. Naming them has been fun and the extension of that is the connection our guests seem to have with each of the properties and the fondness with which they remember their stay. Creating the artwork for the signs has added to the excitement of getting the new property ready for the first guests with the knowledge that the sign and name of the place will be the first thing they see on arrival.
Property names can be so evocative. Our recent stay in Costa Rica was at a villa aptly named Flying Toucans as it described the visitors to the garden each day. I always remember an owner in England calling his cottage in the village of Crawley Down, “Creepy Up” which is probably not recommended for a rental but amusing nonetheless.
There needs to be a balance between any ‘in joke’ or family connection with a name, and a more practical creation, because what works for an owner may not work for a rental guest. Thus, calling a converted barn ‘The Piggery’ or a forested log cabin, ‘The Bear’s Lair’ could backfire quite badly. The same goes for ‘Spider Hollow’, ‘The Love Shack’ (the owners’ surname is Love), and ‘Fallin’ Down’ which are all names of genuine properties. People see names as descriptors so make sure those catchy names are not describing things your guests prefer not to see. Others to avoid are those that might indicate climatic features – believe me, a property called ‘Hurricane Haven’ or ‘Windy Ridge’ isn’t going to attract many potential renters.
Start the naming process by making a list of attributes of the location, such as a sunset or sunrise exposure, wildlife in the area, plants and trees, and any type of bird they might see. Sometimes these can stand alone such as our Costa Rica haven; others may need a qualifier to balance out the name, such as the following:
The Butterfly House
A memorable name can pique interest and capture the imagination and could make the difference between a visitor to your listing staying around and reading your text, or moving on to the next, similar property. If that’s all it takes to get them to stick around a little longer – get brainstorming and come up with your special name. I’d love to hear your property names so please share in the comments.
Heather Bayer is Director of Owner Community at VacationHomeRentals.com. She has been renting her vacation homes for over 20 years and is author of the book ‘Renting Your Recreational Property for Profit’.