Let’s begin with
a myth that goes around all kinds of online businesses and their marketing
plans –Many entrepreneurs believe that they can withhold marketing to begin
only after the launch of the business.
rental business for instance. You might drag yourself in believing that you can
sketch your marketing plan once you have your website ready and launched.
However, it’s a myth that may cost you your entire business. Here is the thing-
businesses depend on web applications or mobile apps to offer the values capable
of bringing revenue to the business. Modern-day marketing aligns so much with
an application’s abilities that even a minute restriction in the features can
restrain the entire business from adopting profitable marketing strategies.
Let’s understand this with an example.
vacation rental marketplace and mobile applications are ready and live. On a
fine day, you came to know that high-quality videos of the properties could
increase the bookings by say, 20%. Hence, you went and tried uploading some
professionally created HD videos, only to discover that your website does not
even support files over 100 MB.
This is a
situation where you know a certain marketing strategy could boost your revenue,
but you cannot adopt it, as your rental marketplace software limits you from
doing so. That’s why you should not retain your marketing strategies as an
aftermath or “we would look into it later after launching the business”.
Build a powerful web application with online booking
well-known marketing brand states, “94% of the users on an online platform
do not trust a website or application only because it has a poor design”.
Good website design is one of the features that retain authority over how users
feel about your business.
How to make sure
your rental marketplace platform is up-to-date in terms of website design,
cutting-edged features, and competitive marketing feasibilities? It’s simple,
by knowing all the options you can adopt to build your online rental
marketplace, and what kind of competent rental marketplace software you can
adopt as per your budget constraints.
There are two major ways to build an online
rental marketplace platform:
Develop from scratch
Use an Airbnb clone
Building a rental marketplace from scratch is a
massive project that requires a lot of development, workforce, time, and money.
Considering the modern-day web development cost, required features, and customizability,
and time to implement the same, we can break the cost components of a simple
Airbnb like rental marketplace platform into the
Following is a breakdown of how long the development of each segment will take in hours:
The overall turnaround time for
such a project may cross 2700 hours of development. Even if we take the
development cost as low as $50/hour, it would cost you around-
$50,000+ for Web development
$80,000+ for Android development
$70,000+ for development
Development from scratch is something that requires a
significant amount of time and money. However, if you are not willing to spend
a fortune and looking for cheaper alternatives, the second approach using an Airbnb
clone would come handy.
Using an open-source Airbnb clone script:
A well designed Airbnb clone script comes with a package of website and mobile apps.
There are software vendors who sell complete suites of Airbnb clones for as low
as $2000. If you are lucky, they might also offer free of cost assistance for
deployment and installation.
Since these scripts are open-source, you can also
customize them to modify website design, add new features, or remove unused
features. If you have a limited budget, purchasing an Airbnb like script will
be profitable, as they come with all kinds of modern-day feasibilities to
accommodate trending marketing strategies.
Aim at qualified traffic with SEO, local SEO, and citation
Although I suggest
offering a niche rental service to stand out from popular platforms, if you
still going eye-to-eye with Airbnb and Home away, you want your SEO to be of
To be honest, a
large number of travellers will visit popular vacation rental platforms like
Airbnb and Home Away directly. However, there are still significant amounts of travelers
who look on Google directly using keywords such as “vacation rental house
in ‘local area name’ “. You should focus on driving such users on your
Nonetheless, don’t just rely on Google SEO to drive traffic, also optimize for Local SEO. Local SEO will give you a better chance to drive more traffic despite the competition. Most of the time, local businesses rank higher than giants if optimized properly.
So focus more on
local SEO and area-specific keywords. With a combined optimization on both SEO
and local SEO fronts, you would have a good chance to come in the relevant
search results. Once, you have a good visibility in general and local search result,
you may deploy the other tips in our list to please the users and get bookings.
Optimize property listings for
not just SEO but also for Customers
Ranking on top
of the search results is not enough. Even if you come in the search results,
you still cannot drive traffic or bookings without optimizing your listings for
the customers. There is always a room for improvement in your listings and
their representation to the users. This is conversion rate optimization (CRO)
where you optimize your touchpoints to convert as many traffic into paying
Production listing optimization is the first step towards CRO and intriguing the users. You can start with high-quality photographs of the properties, detailed description of the amenities, estimation of the charges, mentioning accepted payment methods, and reviews from previous customers. You can take a cue from the following listing page on Airbnb:
listing is a one-stop example to explain everything you should include in your
listing to attract the users. It has everything from property details,
availability details, customer reviews, host’s details, house rules, and
neighbourhood information, to the local attractions.
You too can make your listings further informative by mentioning the distance from the nearby airport, train station, bus stop, and popular landmark. Moreover, intrigue them by showing the HD images of local attractions, out-side view from the property, and fun activities.
Balance value with competition
to set the pricing right
There is no
doubt that people look for affordable accommodations, and affordability was
actually one of the biggest value proposed by Airbnb when it went eyes-to-eyes
with expensive hotel accommodations. The idea applies to your vacation rentals
vacation rentals are not just about affordability but a lot more is important
to consider while pricing your properties:
Rentals in the areas that lack
Amenities that traditional
hotels cannot provide (Example: self-cooking, activities)
Comfort and option to rent
entire property rather than just a room
So, don’t just
focus on affordability; focus on balancing the same with unique value
propositions such as;
Great customer service
Bottom line is
that travellers on a vacation seek a reason to enjoy their time. Unlike hotels
where guests just lookout for a place to spend the night and leave, vacation
rentals are more about creating memories and great experiences. The better the
service, the lesser people go skeptical about the pricing.
Accept local as well as
international payment methods
are international by default. You will have guests visiting from home as well
as international locations. Therefore, overlooking international payment
methods would not be a good idea. Offer both local and international payment
alternatives to attract all of the following kinds of travellers-
Those who book and pay from
their home country
Those who pay after the visit
payments are a must. Make sure your rental marketplace softwareis
open to the API integration with popular credit cards payment solutions such as
PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree. Besides this, also integrate local payment
solutions such as mobile wallet payments and traditional payment options such
as Net banking. In short, accept as many payment options as you can.
These were some
of the most important requirements to excel in a vacation rental business.
Besides them, you should also sketch a marketing plan on the following fronts
to make the most out of the available opportunities:
Social media: Build strong brand
identity with social media marketing. Use your social media handles to let your
followers have a glimpse of the experiences, latest offers, upcoming events,
and of course, for handling the customer grievances too.
Customer-generated content: Generate as
much customer reviews and respond to the same. Whether on social media, public
forums, or your own website, you need customer reviews to build a trustworthy
Dynamic pricing: Don’t just stick to a
price. Use dynamic pricing and offer coupons, vouchers, and seasonal sales to
attract customers. Offering an affiliate program is a good idea to not only
generate revenue but also boost word of mouth marketing.
Advertise everywhere: It depends on your
budget. The more you advertise, the popular you would become. So depending on
the marketing budget, utilize all sorts of paid advertising to gain popularity.
For example, TV Ads, News Paper Ads, Search Ads, Social media Ads,
collaboration with travel bloggers and YouTube creators etc.
It takes some patience
produces results overnight. It takes a lot of willingness and patience to
launch a successful marketing campaign. Especially, when you are running a
highly competitive business, you should not afraid of going extra-miles to
stamp a positive impression. These tips will help you start with your journey.
Rest depends on how you implement and how much value you are willing to offer
without breaking your margins.
I am a professional blogger, guest
writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. I
also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce