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Trust is an objection that we must overcome

As more managers and owners are leading people away from listing sites and onto their own vacation rental websites, they need to immediately show force with blaring trust signals.


Well, some owners have shared with me how they’ve had spooked travelers when asked to pay outside of a vacation rental listing site.

In fact, an owner just shared with me how a traveler found her property website and inquired directly from her site. The problem was that they also found her VRBO listing and asked to book through VRBO instead.

That’s understandable since HomeAway and VRBO are telling travelers they’re not safe unless they book on their platforms.

So, they basically say, “don’t trust owners and managers, only HomeAway.”

Do you see how trust is the axis of which your entire vacation rental independence rotates on? Without it, renters will not give you their hard-earned cash, period.

This is why it’s especially important to combat any doubt with indisputable trust. And fast!

I’m gonna share several ways to help guests get over their trust issues in this post.

By taking full advantage of as many of these resources as possible, you’ll make the selling and booking process much easier.  How? An increase in customer confidence!

The cherry on top is that these resources not only cultivate trust, but they can actually help generate bookings. Do I have your attention yet?

How does a traveler know they can trust you with not just their money, but also their vacation?

As a traveler, I care more about the vacation than I do the money.

That’s why I trade my money for your “promise” of a great vacation experience.

Basically, a customer gives you their money and gets a “receipt” or email, which is like a promissory note. It takes trust to handover thousands or even hundreds of dollars when all I get is a promissory note.

Trust is a must!

Here are a few ways you can build trust, destroy their fears and multiply your bookings.

The Better Business Bureau- a well-known and trusted name among consumers. So much so, that people search the Better Business Bureau for “trusted service providers” to do business with.

The BBB is a third party reputable brand that can help in authenticating your vacation rental business.

Being listed with them gives you added exposure.

Some homeowners find this service expensive, with a listing ranging from around $400 to $500 dollars, per year. However, property managers should seriously consider the benefits on how an accredited listing can help their business.

One not so obvious benefit of signing up with the BBB is that they add a link from their highly authoritative website to yours, which will give your site a nice Search Engine Optimization boost.

The Better Business Bureau does provide an option for a free listing which can be found by customers. Your listing, however, will be not accredited, and the link provided for free listings are “no-follow” meaning there is little SEO value.

But you can still get an A+ rating even with an unaccredited account.
There is still value even in a free listing on the BBB!

Chamber Of Commerce
If there was a historic and trusted business board that could instantly validate the authenticity of your home and service, do you think renters would feel better about giving you their money?


The Chamber of Commerce is a business organization that can help you not just build trust, but also help you with getting bookings.

Get listed in their directory and get another authoritative backlink from their site to further help your SEO.

Social Media
Social proof shows people that other customers have approved of you, and that they should also.

You can leverage social proof with social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. All of these websites will help you to obtain a higher visibility on the web and also build trust.

Facebook:  If you’ve created a Facebook business page and have thousands of likes, this tells people that others like and approve of your service via a thumbs Like.

YouTube: How many views does your video have?

If you create a YouTube video and have 5,000+ views, it tells people that others like your content. It further builds credibility in potential travelers.

On the flip side, if you have very few views, it can have the opposite effect. Build up your views, then share your video with potential renters within inquiry responses.

Twitter: With all of the social networks mentioned, you can develop a social following, however, Twitter would be a great place to start as you can develop social proof faster on this platform. Twitter is the go-to place to create that following and social proof we all need. If you work Twitter enough, you can develop 2,000 followers within a reasonable amount of time.

Additionally, each of these networks allows you to post a link to your website. Google translates these likes, shares, and views into your social popularity, which also boosts your SEO.

Professional Website
Who doesn’t have a website? That’s what travelers think these days!

A professional website with great content, blogs and helpful information will answer key questions that travelers need to know.

At the same time, it lets them know that you’ve taken their vacation, and your business serious enough to create a quality website for their convenience.

A professional website can also lower resistance through beautiful imagery, a professional presentation and calming colors.

Having your own vacation rental website and leveraging SEO as part of your marketing will help you break away from listing sites and expand your marketing opportunities.

Tourism Bureau
Most vacation rental destinations have a tourism bureau who advertises their destination and offers valuable information about where to stay, eat and play.

Many of these companies provide advertising options for vacation rentals, B&B’s and other accommodations.

Do a Google search for a tourism bureau in your location and see what options are available.

Owners and managers have been very successful with some of these travel companies.

These agencies often provide a badge that you can add to your website and wear like a badge of honor.

Imagine how a badge from the Chamber of Commerce, the BBB, plus 5,000+ followers and video views can help you become more credible in the eyes of those cautious travelers.

Tourism bureaus often also provide a link back to your website that will help your vacation rental website rank higher in Google and other search engines.

There you have it! A list of resources you can leverage to advertise your vacation rental,  build trust and boost your SEO. And guess what? None of those resources are vacation rental listings!

Have you had success with any of these tools before?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Of course, if you need help with any of these resources, send me a message. I’m happy to help!


  • Cameron Harris says:

    Nice post! Trust is important for any transaction. I appreciate the resources you’ve shared. I am going to research how I can get involved with our Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau in the Smoky Mountains. Keep the tips coming! Thx J

  • Kyle says:

    That’s sucks to have a traveler find your website then ask to book through VRBO. Smh

    • Jay William says:

      I know right! We have to work extra hard on creating trust. But this trust needs to be created upfront and baked into everything we do. Including these badges on our websites will help fight back against that fear these sites are instilling in travelers to book direct. It’s actually pretty common. We shouldn’t wait for it to happen to us. Instead be proactive and establish that trust at – hello! Plus these resources really do help with your vacation rental marketing.

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