9 Cheap Ways of Marketing Your Property with Vacation Rental Amenities
There are more vacation rental properties now than ever before. The vacation rental industry is on the rise and what are you going to do to stand out from the guy next to you? The old saying “you’ve got to spend money to make money”, is true. But truth be told I’m not interested in spending money just to spend it.
When I invest my rental marketing dollars, I want to make certain I’m spending the money wisely. There are several levels of marketing and I need to ask myself, could the upgrade help gain or retain more bookings? But before I get ahead of myself, I’ll need to first consider what upgrades should I offer to my guests? If you need some help choosing, here are 9 ideas to help your vacation rental marketing.
1. Ice Cold Water: A bottle of water is one of the cheapest upgrades you can easily include. A bottle of water can cost approximately 10 cents you should consider including about a dozen or so bottles. The total cost of this upgrade is about 1.50 per booking. Your guests should come into your vacation home, open the fridge and be greeted with a chilled bottle of water.
2. Private Library: This is a great amenity to add for your travelers. Think of how you can use this into your vacation rental marketing strategy. Having a book to read while they relax by the pool is a great way to draw your travelers into the picture. Offering a private library is an investment into your home and marketing that you and your guests can benefit for a very long time, so this is well worth the investment. All you need to do is pick up about 30 to 40 books at yard sales and flea markets. You can find books for a few cents a piece. It’s easy, cheap, and very effective.
3. Welcome Package: There are some owners who are using a welcome package in their vacation rental, congrats on making the extra effort! Your rental customers have come a fair distance away from home; if you’ve traveled lately you have an idea how chaotic traveling can be these days. Your renters may have been searched, scanned, bothered and are likely hungry and tired. Make your vacation rental guests feel welcomed and at home with a thoughtful welcoming upgrade. A welcome package is very simple to put together. Your welcome package might include a couple of drinks and a few things to snack on. It’s a good idea to think of something most people would enjoy something salty and something sweet to satisfy that sweet tooth.
4. High Quality Linens: Think that your guests are going to have several levels of interaction with your vacation rental and service. One of these experiences is in the bathroom and shower. Your vacation rental guests should not have to dry themselves off with a cheese grader, yet owners do this to their guests all the time. Consider opting for the higher quality bath towels for you and your guests. Your guests will notice the extra luxury and comfort and you’re towels will last longer by using a higher grade of towels.
5. Spa Quality Soaps & Amenities: As I mentioned in a previous blog some of the best and least expensive upgrades are in the bathroom. Owners sometimes worry about the dimes and forget the dollars; they try to save by pinching pennies and it winds up costing them more. When it comes to selecting soaps and bathroom amenities go for the extra splurge by spending a few more cents on quality soaps. Most upscale hotels use spa quality soap or a custom blend of their own. You don’t need to create your own brand, however using a spa brand is another weight on the scales of customer satisfaction. I like to see what type of soap is going to be provided at a nice hotel. I remember one time staying in a hotel and enjoying the soap they provided so much, I went out and bought it for myself. Now every time I smell that soap I remember the hotel and the great vacation I had.
6. Pool and Beach Towels: Most vacation rental properties do not come equipped with pool towels. Again by watching the dimes owners sometimes forget about the dollars. I believe not providing pool towels is a mistake because the pool’s chlorine can breakdown towels. A set of pool towels can cost approx 35 to 45 dollars but worth the splurge.
7. Coffee and Tea: I’m a coffee junkie, I need my coffee. I so greatly appreciate when a hotel has thought of me by providing packets of coffee for me. Coffee is a legal drug that can help keep your guests coming back for more. Remember all of these extras add to the experience of their vacation and your goal should be: to make them want to relive the experience again and again. It’s a great idea to provide your vacation rental guests with a small selection of coffee or tea. These little extras are what makes your vacation rental their home away from home.
8. High Quality Linens and Bedding: The type of bedding you use is very important to your guests. You don’t want to snuggle up to “scratchy” bedding and neither do your guests. Guests will often pay more for a comfortable sleep and higher quality bedding. I recently went on a trip to St. Petersburg and wind up paying for a room that some may considered over priced. My justification for staying at the resort was “I haven’t got a good nights rest like that in a long time”. Instead going for the cheapest thread count upgrade the thread count a bit. With a little research you can find a bargain here.
9. Robes & Slippers: Offering a robe and slippers can help your clients feel pampered. This is a fairly easy upgrade to provide your rental guests. You can purchase an all white cotton rope which can easily be washed with towels. You can purchase a one size fits all option for slippers. This extra touch goes a long way with travelers.
Owners often are guilty of thinking of marketing only on the front end and pay less attention to the back end. Don’t just concentrate on attracting renters to your property and getting them to book. Your marketing efforts need to go beyond that. You also should consider that you need to continue your marketing throughout the guests stay with you. Pay attention to marketing on the backend because this is where owners often lose repeat business. It’s all about your vacation rental marketing and there is no better group to market to, than those who are staying in your home.
To implement all of the upgrades it may cost between 400 and 500 depending on what you choose to do. I know there will be plenty of owners who who’ll say the 500 is an un-needed expense and they’ll look for cheaper options, that is exactly what we want them to say. Happy guests are vital to your businesses occupancy and profitability. As an avid traveler I know and I believe you know too, that these upgrades make guests happier. Your happy guests will tell others and maybe mention you online to their social networks, friends and family. The best form of marketing is still word of mouth and using vacation rental marketing strategies like these, will get people talking about your home in a good way.
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