Let’s face it: building and maintaining your own personal vacation rental website is merely the first (albeit massive) step on the road to long-term and sustainable vacation rental success...
But after the initial work is done, there are a lot of smart moves you can make to start generating more leads through a variety of different techniques. As you may read in discussions like these, the mere act of building a site is not nearly enough to experience marketing success.
So today, I’ve outlined 7 of my favorite secret weapons (which very few vacation rental owners or managers know about) to help you maximize your newest prize possession and leverage your growing role as vacation rental extraordinare:
1. Help A Reporter Out (HARO): Most owners know how impactful it can be to get their vacation rental featured in the press, but they also don’t really know where to start connecting with journalists. HARO (free) connects reporters with news sources (including local experts just like you) and in exchange for suggesting interesting, funny, or breaking news about your region, your rental can earn tremendous exposure.
2. Fiverr: Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for $5 services (thus their namesake) such as graphic design, writing, video, animation, and pretty much everything else artistic under the sun. Whether you’re getting a new logo, having some translation work done, or creating a animated welcome note, each of the deals cost $5, there’s not a whole lot to lose.
3. Hootsuite: For owners who want to have the vast gulf of social media platforms at available at your fingertip, utilize Hootsuite. Once you register and set up (free), it’s a platform that allows you to Tweet, post on Facebook, share on LinkedIn, pin on Pinterest all from the same web browser frame saving you plenty of time (and frustration).
4. Bitly: Every smart owner with a vacation rental website must know about Bitly, the URL shortener of the internet. Bitly (free) is a very simple tool that allows you to take your long website pages (let’s use this page of my rental as an example: http://www.loscuatrotulipanes.com/index.php/casco-viejo-apartments/1bdrm/monjas-2b/) and convert it into a concise, sharable URL (like this: http://bit.ly/15YghWN). This is perfect for inserting into email correspondence or sharing on social media.
5. Portent’s Content Idea Generator: A blog is perhaps the absolute best way to make yourself helpful as a vacation rental owner to prospective guests. When travelers view your blog as a source of expertise, they’re bound to be drawn to you when exploring where to book. And now, there’s no excuse for a lack of ideas on blog articles. With Portent’s article title generator, you’ll never lack a catchy, useful or viral headline ever again.
6. Open Site Explorer: Part of the responsibility you adopt when launching your own vacation rental website is knowing what your competitors are doing and how you can do it better. The smartest owners utilize Open Site Explorer (free up to 5 searches per day) to laser pinpoint your competitors’ backlinks, and then replicate them for your own site.
7. Wordle: Wordclouds are an amazing way to visualize a theme or topic about your rental and whether you’re using them for strategic purposes or to post on your blog, Wordle (free) is among the easiest and best tools to create these diagrams. Simply plug in your vacation rental website or a body of text and let Wordle do the rest.