There are literally hundreds of vacation rental sites that you can use to advertise your vacation rental property, varying from very well established to brand new sites. With so many choices available, where should you seek to list your property? Should you stick with one or two of the established sites or should you hedge your bets and list on several different sites?
We recently completed research among vacation rental owners into the number of sites on which they advertise their property. The results were quite interesting.
How Many Paid Vacation Rental Sites ?
It’s clear that most vacation home owners rely heavily on vacation rental listing sites to generate bookings. Approximately half of the owners surveyed said they get more than 75% of their vacation rental bookings using paid listing sites. Hence, it is not surprising that most vacation rental owners choose to advertise on more than one paid listing site. Our research indicates usage of “paid” vacation rentals sites as follows :
4% of Owners don’t use any “paid” sites
8% of Owners use 1 “paid” site
23% of Owners use 2 “paid” sites
27% of Owners use 3 “paid” sites
14% of Owners use 4 “paid” sites
14% of Owners use 5 “paid” sites
11% of Owners use more than 5 “paid” sites
For most vacation rental owners, listing on 3 sites is probably about right. This allows you to market to different types of renters, as well as hedging your bets against the inevitable peaks and valleys that many vacation rental sites go through. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider slightly more or less, but with 65% of vacation property owners listing on 3 or more sites, it’s clear that multiple listings are the way to go!
For a comparison of many of the leading paid sites, visit http://www.compareownerholidayrentals.com)
Should You Also Use Free Sites?
In addition to listings on paid sites, most owners surveyed also list on “free” vacation rental sites. These vary from permanently free sites (usually with an option to upgrade to a “paid” ad with more features), to sites that offer free trial periods followed by a paid subscription. However, there is a much wider variance in the degree to which owners use these sites. Our research indicates usage of “free” vacation rentals sites as follows :
14% of Owners don’t use any “free” sites
12% of Owners use 1 “free” site
10% of Owners use 2 “free” sites
18% of Owners use 3 “free” sites
6% of Owners use 4 “free” sites
4% of Owners use 5 “free” sites
36% of Owners use more than 5 “free” sites
Some owners are skeptical of the value of placing listings on free sites and several commented that they are simply not worth the hassle. However, 86% of owners list on at least one free site and 36% on more than five! Hence, it is probably worth listing on at least some of these sites as well. In particular, it’s worth using the “free trials” to see if the site generates sufficient enquiries to consider later converting to a paid listing. However, the results are more likely to be erratic than the paid vacation rentals sites and you should be prepared for the fact that the number of enquiries is likely to a lot lower than on the paid sites.
If you are a vacation rental owner using the internet to generate rental bookings, then you should list on as least three and possibly more paid vacation rental sites. In addition, you should also list on a number of free vacation rental sites to maximize your bookings.
Kevin Graham is the founder of Compare Owner Holiday Rentals (COHR). COHR provides a guide to choosing the best vacation rental sites on the internet, including reviews of the leading vacation rentals sites and comments from vacation home owners. For further details, please visit http://www.compareownerholidayrentals.com.
By Kevin Graham