Let’s say—in a perfect world—someone invented a special tool that vacation rental property managers could use whenever they wanted to:
> Book more effectively
> Improve conversions
> Secure long-term success
Would you use that tool? Of course you would!
What if we told you that tool already exists?
Below, VacayHome Connect’s Digital Marketing Manager, Morgan Samson, answers a few burning questions about promotions and merchandising opportunities for property managers. He also explains why they’re so effective and dives into the most popular promotions that you can implement right now in order to boost your production.
They’re available on all the top travel sites! You can run promotions on Vrbo, Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com, as well as many of their affiliates.
Ultimately, property managers need to stand out from the competition in what has become a very crowded marketplace. Promotions help set your listings apart with price slashes, special badging, and by pushing them to the top of search result rankings.
Beyond that, promotions speed up your engagement with travelers. They entice travelers to book, and that can create an immediate snowball effect: once a booking is made, algorithms used by travel sites reward booked properties—especially those with positive reviews. In that way, promotions can fast-track your conversions, bulk up your reviews and bookings, and naturally improve your placement in search results.
Promotions have a bunch of moving parts, which can feel really overwhelming to some property managers. That’s especially true of property managers with a lot of units. There are many types of promotions, and often, it can be difficult to identify which opportunities on which channels will work best for your business. At the end of the day, Property Managers are extremely busy, and many simply don’t have the time—promotions can be a bit of a rabbit hole!
Here’s the best data point to hammer home why promotions are so important: roughly 75% of bookings go to the first 15 listings in search results, according to Expedia. So if you maximize your visibility, you’ll maximize your production—it really can be that simple!
If you want to get even more granular, consider a data point like this: 60% of travelers are now booking on mobile devices. With promotions, you can specifically target this audience and any other audience that suits your business’s goals. The point is, promotions are great for precise targeting, which is typically a driving force behind increased visibility and production.
There are many different kinds of “promotions” and merchandising opportunities out there, but really, we can break it down into a few specific groups:
There are other examples, of course, but popular and straightforward promotions like these can make a big impact on your business. They help you capitalize on seasonality, take advantage of blackout dates, target specific travel audiences, and help you fill canceled reservations at the last minute, all while encouraging longer lengths of stay. Best of all, discounted rates are fully customizable based on your business needs.
Throughout the year, travel sites run campaigns that hosts and property managers can opt in to. By opting in, your listings will benefit from any number of perks, including special badging and tagging, marketing boosts, and pay-per-click initiatives. Your properties might also start popping up in filterable search results depending on the campaign, which increases your visibility and broadcasts your inventory to new audiences.
Again, if 75% of click traffic goes to the first 15 listings in search results, visibility is everything! Visibility boosters like the “Accelerator” on Expedia are different from standard promotions, but they’re powerful just the same:
If you cannot provide a discount with a standard promotion, but you want to obtain more visibility, boosters are the tool for you.
Finally, if you’re looking for a way to reward repeat guests, you can use targeted discounts. With these, only select audiences are able to view your offering, which makes bookings from repeat travelers and members more likely.
Of all the top travel sites, Expedia is the one channel that really lets you capitalize on targeted merchandising with its bundles and packages. Expedia Packages are super effective, but they can be a bit tricky to implement. They’re worth it, though, since they make traveling easier for your guests on one end while alleviating payment failures and cancellations on the other.
Promotions can be incredibly impactful for your business. If you want to implement promotions but don’t have the time, or if you’re just not sure where to start, VacayHome Connect can help. We specialize in turning these powerful tools into highly effective campaigns based on specific business goals. Our team knows how to implement just the right opportunities at just the right time, allowing property managers to focus on doing what they do best: providing unforgettable guest experiences.
Contact us today to learn more, and while you’re here, check out this video narrated by our promotions expert, Morgan. He’ll show you everything you need to know about merchandising your properties!