3 Ways to Stand out from the Crowd

It’s tough to differentiate in a crowded market when everyone is trying to do the same.  Upgrading TVs and entertainment systems is one way to get attention but the trend remains the same for attracting people to book your place over another.


If you don’t have natural water close by – i.e. a beach, lake or river, then a pool is still the number one attraction. Where every neighbor has one and they all rent as well, the key is to make yours look more attractive than the competition. People want to imagine themselves staying at a property; relaxing; reading a book; enjoying time with the children etc. Think about how the photos you take can capture that imagination. Pictures of pools can often look sterile and uninteresting, so take some time and stage the area. Place a book and a glass of wine or juice on a side table by a lounging chair; drape a towel over a chair and arrange pool toys at the edge of the water. Experts say that photographs of a pool showing ripples have more of an effect than still water so since it costs nothing to experiment with a few different shots, take the time to get several and use the ones that are most attractive.

Hot Tub

This feature consistently stays in the top three sought after amenities, particularly in locations where there are distinct seasons and cooler weather vacations are offered. Providing a hot tub may not generate a significantly higher rental rate, however those properties with tubs often report higher occupancy levels than those without. A good tip here is to ensure the photos are of the spa with the lid off and the jets in operation. As with a pool, take pictures from different angles – if you have a fantastic backdrop (Sedona red rocks or a Smokey Mountain view) this will create an even better image. Make sure your listing text uses words that will resonate with the target market – phrases such as ‘relax in the tub under the stars as the massaging jets soothe tired muscles after a long day, skiing/hiking/biking.

Pet Friendly

Standing out from the competition in the pet friendly market can reap dividends since pet owners can become loyal (and possibly repeat) guests. Saying you accept pets is a good start but the trend is to make them as welcome as their two-legged companions. If a potential guest is choosing between two properties – one that ‘permits’ pets and charges an additional fee – and one that ‘welcomes your furry friend’, and provides a dog basket, bowls, temporary pet id tag, and some natural treats, it’s likely there will be little argument about which one they will choose. Often pet owners will forego other amenities if they are made to feel welcome with their pooch.

Given the growth in vacation rental inventory across the board, keeping an eye on the competition is even more important. Stand out from the rest and the reservations will flow.