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Do you want to build your website for your vacation rentals but want to be sure to have all the important pages in it?
Have you decided that you are tired of giving away a commission to Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO or any other platforms for each booking?
Do you want to stand out from the fierce competition of other hosts on Airbnb?
I did this live in my FB group this week to help one of the member of the group who was building her own website to get more bookings.
I decided to share it on my blog, so that I can help more people to know how to create a website for their vacation rentals.
Here is the live training as a video, if you prefer to read, just find below the written version of the training about website tutorials for vacation rentals.
I wanted to share with you the tips on the things that you should have when you’re building the website for your short term rental and some little tricks which will help you to get more bookings for your vacation rentals.
Which pages not to miss for a vacation rentals website to get more bookings?
a. Vacation rental website design – homepage
The first thing is a home page. That’s what people see first. I will dive into this later on in this video to tell you what you should have in the home page, but right now like let’s see the different pages.
b. Vacation rental Review page
You should have a review page and people can put their review directly on the website or you can do pictures of different reviews that you have on Airbnb, Homeaway, Facebook, Trip Advisor.
That way people see, okay, what other people think about this place.
If you manage to have some, you can also have some videos of people, who liked your place and talked about your place.
Be sure not to miss having this page. It’s very important. It’s helping people to make their decision and help them book as you want.
c. Contact page of your vacation rentals
We should have a contact page, so that they know how to contact you.
d. Vacation rental Blog page
A lot of people don’t have a blog page on the website for the vacation rental. Why I think it’s very important? Because you want to attract the right people and writing the right posts in your blog is very important.
On the blog you can reply to things that people are looking for when they are going to your area.
So some things like as I said, you can talk about attractions to do around your vacation rentals.
People love lists. So something nice is a post “The Top 10 attractions around my vacation rentals”.
That will help you have people come to your website and see, oh, she has this amazing holiday let. I should check it out or let’s save it for later.
e. About page with your story
You know that according to statistics after the home page, what most people are looking at on each website and really reading? It’s the about page.
Why? Because people like to identify themselves with you. And that’s a very big selling point.
You think that’s the only selling point is how beautiful your vacation rental is, the amenities you have in your home. It’s not, an about page is very important. It’s your personality.
Why are they wanted to come to your place, it’s also because of you. I was talking to another host, an AirBnb host and she was explaining to me all the love she put in designing her place, decorating her place and how it reflected in the reviews.
Like people said, “oh I felt so at home”. Like because she put her heart inside it. And I am sure you are doing as well. So show this in your about page.
Tell about you. Tell about why you decided to build this place, why you decorated it like this.
You can do it written or you can even do a little video of yourself. Show some pictures as well of who you are. They want to know who you are.
f. Video tour of your vacation rentals page
Then if you can I know some people cannot do it from the beginning. But if you have a page with a video tour and you really show your place.
Nowadays, more and more people love it and it will help you to convert, from a website visitor to make a booking. It can help you to have more bookings.
So really have a video. You can do it yourself. Nowadays. It’s great to do it like with phone and with a camera, whatever, but to show exactly people what they can expect from your place.
g. Booking page of vacation rentals website
The most important page.
On the booking page, you have something which is similar to the Airbnb calendar with a payment system & the cancellation policy, very important.
i. Cancellation policy on vacation rentals booking page
Don’t forget your cancellation policy to say how long before they can cancel and when they can get a full refund, a 50% refund. Be sure to mention those.
ii. House rules on your vacation rental website
Another thing which is very important that you want to have on your website when people book and that they see it before they book is to have your house rules. Don’t forget them.
When you are building your own website for a vacation rentals, you don’t have those tips popping up for you like when you build your Airbnb listing, to say, okay, I have to put this, I have to put this, I have to put the house description, the rules,… That’s why I make sure to mention those elements here.
Write them in a nice way that you don’t refrain people from booking. But tell them what they have to expect and what the rules are.
iii. Synchronized calendar between your website and short term rentals platforms
Then you also want to have a synchronized calendar. You want to be sure that yes you have direct bookings, but you don’t want to have bookings on your website, and then to have to decline on Airbnb.
The point is to really have something which is working for you, which is making you work less, not more. So be sure to have a synchronized calendar.
3 tools to add on your vacation rental website to increase your bookings rate
You might think now when I will tell you, oh my God, I don’t know how to add those things to my website. It’s not really a problem. You can ask me how it is done. But be sure to have them because they are very effective.
Those are very effective to convert, to covert someone with visiting your website into someone who you will book. Or to convince someone who is visiting and will be interested later on, and have them in your email list.
1. Chat box for vacation rentals
You should have noticed nowadays it’s more and more common for a website. When you go on the website, you have a little chat box on the bottom right.
Usually it’s on the bottom right. You can say, “Hi, my name is _________. I am the owner of the property. I would be happy to answer any question”.
Does it means that you have to be there on the chat all the time? No. It means that if you’re connected, people will see that you’re connected. If you’re not. They can send you a message. The chat box is helping them to send you a direct message. We all know that it’s easier to send them direct message than to go into the email and send an email.
It’s more user a user friendly. So this is something that you can have that is not really difficult to add.
I know as I said, it might seem very tech technical, but it’s not. And it’s very good to have it on your website to retain people and to create a connection with you. You want to have a connection with people when they go on your website.
Another thing, you want to have an opt in so that people can sign up to your newsletter. Why a newsletter? Because you want to tell them, oh, you can sign up to know our latest discount, our latest offers, new things that you are doing, news about the area. That’s how you get them into your email list.
And then after that you can nurture the relationship with them and one day they will book your place. Doesn’t mean that they will book today, but they will book later or you have higher probability for them to book your place if you have their email address. If you don’t have it, they will probably forget about your website and go somewhere else on holidays.
There are ways to have it on your website adding a plugin. I am using Bloom opt-in.
This is for when people want to close the tab. You can have two different popups for this.
When they are not on the booking page, you can offer this optin in “Sign up for the newsletter”. They can be in your email list.
If they were on the booking page or on the video tour page and they’re closing. Have a popup offering something. Offer something like “Don’t leave now, take advantage of our great offer if you book TODAY. Get 5% reduction for instance, if you book one week or more”.
Things like this to help you get more bookings.
If you don’t want to offer a discount. Offer some things that you can easily do for them, offer them for instance, a free breakfast for the first day.
Those three things can seem a bit technical, but they are not. As I said, feel free to write me in the comments if you don’t know how to do those things.
If you don’t know how to do those things and you want to feel less confused on how to build your website, feel free to book a call with me. I will be happy to clarify some things and to give you a strategy on how to do digital marketing for your website.
Design ideas for your vacation rentals homepage
a. Big pictures of your vacation rentals
On the homepage I advise you to have four wide picture of your place. Have something which brings feelings, which show life on your place. So you have a full picture.
You can put three different pictures of your place. If you have a video, it can be even more interactive. But be sure to know that it’s not too much on your website.
Embed the video, don’t have it loaded on your website, because you want the website to be loading quickly. You don’t want something which is taking too much time.
b. Tagline with reviews from past guests
Have a tagline saying why people should come to your place. Use your best reviews and add them on the pictures as a tagline. That way people will identify themselves.
Say as well, why people come to your place mostly.
For instance me here, a lot of people are coming because I’m close to the beach. So I can say come enjoy the beach. If also a lot of people are coming because I’m close to the university. Come to take part of this conference and stay at our place, close to the university.
c. Holiday home logo
Put your logo on the left. Last month in my group, one owner was designing her logo and shared her different options with us. Feel free to share your ideas when you are doing your vacation rental logo.
d. Social media icons
You want to be sure that they can follow you on your social media. So usually those are on the top right.
e. Contact details
You can have your contact details, your email and your phone number. In one of my groups someone was saying that she was getting 70% of her bookings directly by phone.
So something that is also important to have for local, if you have a lot of local guests and travelers coming to your place have your phone number.
That was it for the things to have on your vacation rental website to have more bookings. I hope you got some good ideas from it. As I said, if you need help doing your website, feel free to book the call with me.
Or if you want someone to do the website for you, I will be happy as well to do it for you.
Do you want to create your website yourself for your vacation rentals?
Check my course which will guide you every step of the way here.
If you want to have your website done for you, you can check my packages to get more direct bookings NOW!
Over to you, what the most challenging part for you when creating a website for your vacation rentals?
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I’m Natacha, a French vegan Airbnb host who has been working online for the past 4 years. I help hosts stand out and make more money online so they can have a good work-life balance!