By Richard Burns


Vacations rentals are big business, and competition is increasing every day. If you have a home you are thinking about renting out, you are going to have to get serious about the way you market it. You want to attract the best vacationers who will respect your property, recommend it to their friends, and come back again. To do that, you have to beat out all the others listing vacation rental property.

If you don't have great photos, it won't matter what else you've got. Readers will pass right by the bold headline, great description, and below market rates if the pictures aren't up to par. You can overcome a lack of beachfront, mountain views, and small bedrooms if the photos you include in your listing are well done. If you need to hire a professional to take the pictures, it will be money well spent. Blurry photos, poorly composed, will turn off any potential renter.

If you think you can get away with using stock photos of views you don't have and furniture you don't own, you are sadly mistaken. It won't take long for word to get out that you don't deliver on what you advertise. The pictures have to be real, and the more you have, the better off you will be.

The pictures will get the reader's attention, but you've got to keep it with a great headline that intrigues them and gets them to read further. You have to be specific, not general, and concise, not vague. The headline is the place to highlight what is really distinctive about your house and what makes it a better choice than the competition. Exclusive locations and unique views, rather than bedroom bath counts, are the types of things that get attention.

Descriptions must be well written, in clear, concise English with no misspellings or grammatical errors. The bulk of the description should concentrate on the features of your house your competition can't match. Overselling will get you in trouble however. Tenants will notice if the reality doesn't live up to the hype and be disappointed. Your reviews will be bad, and you won't get return business.

When you are deciding where to advertise, the rule of thumb is to saturate the marketplace. Instead of comparing and contrasting the various sites when it comes to traffic and search engine optimization, put your listing on as many sites as you can. The more places you advertise, the more people will see your listing, and the chances you will rent your house are exponentially higher.

You might not want to publish your phone number, but you will be making a mistake if you don't. An email address as contact information is fine, but you might be surprised at how many potential renters will call just to find out whether or not you are legitimate. Some people are more comfortable when they have talked to a real person.

If you have a vacation home that sits empty unless you are in it, renting it can be a great idea. You will make some extra money without much effort. You have to beat the competition to the best renters though.




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