What Are 5 Techniques That Turn Local Expertise Into Bookings?

Somewhere sitting in front of her computer is a vacation rental owner who puts her property online, crosses her fingers, and waits…


And waits…
And waits…

Until an inquiry hits her inbox.

I am not going to debunk this scenario because most of you are familiar with it...

Gone are the days when your beautiful property listing can sell itself.

With increased competition, properties precisely like yours are now a dime a dozen.

This means the question has shifted from “Where do I list my vacation rental?” to “How can I make my vacation rental stand out from all the listings?”

The answer to this question is fortunately right under your nose!

You see, all vacation rental owners and managers are blessed with a secret marketing tactic that they never knew existed…

And that is local expertise.

Whether you bought your property because you loved the region, or because you fell in love with the block, or you have been visiting the same place for years…

Chances are, you have tons of interesting bits of advice for travelers to the neighborhood.

With some prep, every owner can learn to leverage this local knowledge into trust.


And since trust is the one biggest components that generate bookings, here is exactly where to begin...

1. Create An Insider’s Guide

Every owner or manager should have under their wing a comprehensive (even if it’s only a few pages) guide of where to eat, what time to eat there, what dish to order, what waiter to order it from.

This restaurant version is just an example.

It should be replicated for bars, tours, or any other activities.

Something as simple as a PDF document outlining your insider knowledge is best shared with potential guests as a trust-building tool.

You’ll be amazed at the amount of conversions you get when freely offering this Insider's Guide to essential strangers.


2. Link To Tips In Email Correspondence

It’s proven that going the extra mile in your email correspondence gets results.

So owners or managers who can integrate their local intel to messages using simple links are on their way to more bookings.

Share links to private event calendars, customized Google maps, or maybe just your personal favorite ice cream shop website.

Add enough useful links in your messages and watch the trust mount.


3. Start A Blog

There is no better place to compile your local expertise than a blog.

And if you don’t have one already, create one for free in under 5 minutes here.

Use your blog to share updates about the new ski gondola or the grand opening of a new neighborhood café: these are the kinds of on-the-ground tips travelers are looking for and providing them via your blog is arguably the best way to convey your regional authority.  


4. Utilize A Newsletter

Compiling a list of previous guests and communicating with them regularly via an email newsletter is probably, pound-for-pound, the most powerful return on your investment in the vacation rental marketing arena.

In these monthly newsletters, share noteworthy gossip about your area. Especially gossip that appeals to visitors or reminds them of their vacation.

If you don’t live in the same town, use local newspapers and blogs to glean on-goings and stick them in the feed.

Those who communicate regularly with past guests generate massive amounts of repeat business purely by embracing their local expertise.


5. Help, Don’t Sell

Besides being my mantra for everything vacation rentals, “Help, Don’t Sell” is an overarching theme for marketing as a whole.

It means that by sharing your local knowledge, being generous to everyone with your insider knowledge, and constantly researching to replenish your portfolio, you are effectively assisting potential guests into submission.

Don't feel the need to protect your time-honored connections.


If a traveler has to decide between an owner who sends only relevant booking info and an owner who provides a liberal amount of helpful information, who do you think they will choose?

Matt Landau is the Founder of the Vacation Rental Software Blog (the largest free database of vacation rental marketing articles online) and VRLeap (an online marketplace for tools and services for vacation rental owners up to 90% OFF).