It’s a weird time for everyone in the world right now. Information is changing daily and it’s overwhelming to keep up with the tremendous amount of information out there. The travel industry is getting hit especially hard with cancellations and lack of sales for future travel. It’s easy to fall into the doom and gloom of it all, so we’ve put together a few vacation rental marketing ideas to get your creative juices flowing and keep your vacation rental business moving in these tough times.
Reschedule, Don’t Cancel
Encourage your guests to rebook their stay instead of canceling. Offer guests the opportunity to move their dates without any additional fees. Consider an open date policy for people, meaning they don’t need to cancel but don’t need to pick their new dates now either. It might be hard for people to schedule a vacation right now, so reassure them that as long as you have availability they can reschedule for a new trip in the future at the same rate.
Discounts for Future Travel
Offer discount prices where you can. Now’s not the time to stop everything. You need to keep business going, so get creative with your discounts and vacation rental marketing. People love a good deal, so discounts are an effective way to get people to buy. Especially if you don’t normally give discounts. Try things like 10% off a voucher for future travel. Cash flow is the important thing right now.
Add in Free Extras
Advertise free extras for future stays. Consider things like, “book now for your summer vacation and get bikes included for the week.” This is a nice little bonus for people that doesn’t cost you too much. Also, maybe partner with another small business in your area that also could use some help during this time like a tour guide company. You could offer free tours when they book a stay for the fall.
Advertise Specials in Your Vacation Rental Marketing
Consider promoting specials like, ‘book 4 nights and get the 5th half off” or free. Figure out what works for you. Another good offer could be to waive the cleaning fee with a seven-day stay. Cleaning fees can be expensive, which makes this a good deal for some people. Remember people love the word free so that will definitely catch their attention.
This has become a big trend over the past few years. On a normal day, people are thinking about exploring their own beautiful cities like they are tourists visiting for the first time. Now that we are all “landlocked,” people will definitely be looking into staycations to get out of their own routines and feel like they are on vacation without going very far. You can market staycations to locals and areas that are a short driving distance of 3 hours or so. You can be on a staycation and still social distance. This is a perfect time to market to locals who are going stir-crazy and need to change of pace.
Work from Someone Else’s Home
Remote working isn’t all that new, but now that everyone is forced to WFH (work from home) we are all looking for ways to be productive. Some people don’t like working form home and just need the routine of going to the office. If you have units with good wifi, consider renting them out as remote work stations. You could rent by the day or the week. Guests don’t need to be sleeping in your unit to rent it, they go for the day for a quiet workplace and then go home.
Boast About Your Cleanliness in Your Vacation Rental Marketing
If you thought we were all germaphobes before, we definitely will be now. A good vacation rental marketing strategy is to show the work you are doing daily to help combat this virus. We know that you are enforcing stricter cleaning habits so showcase all you are doing to ‘flatten the curve’.
Ask for Help
We’ve talked about lots of promotions you can do, but we know that you are asking where to do these promotions. Now is the time to rally your troops and ask all your owners, employees, friends, and family to share. Don’t let this feel like you are bothering people. We all see the news of how small businesses are hurting right now and we all want to help. Ask all your people to help you by like, commenting and sharing your amazing business on their social media. Social media is more important now than ever before. This is how we are all staying connected and this is how you will reach new audiences- particularly locals who can help bring in revenue with, you guessed it, staycations.
Market to Medical Staff
The medical industry is on the front lines of the pandemic. But they also need places to stay. If you have units that are close to hospitals and medical facilities, consider offering your rental to medical staff as a place to stay when they are on call instead of driving home. Give discounts for your unit to help the cause and offer up your rental for those medical professionals on call in your area.
Offer New Travel Planning Services
While you are at home working, offer to help your guests plan their next dream vacation. Position your marketing messaging to go something like, ‘you’ve been cooped up in the house for days (maybe weeks at this point), you’re freaked out you might not have enough toilet paper to last you another couple of weeks, and the kids are bored. You need an escape. We have just the thing. Let’s plan your next dream vacation for when this is all in the past.’ That’s not perfect but you get the point. Offer to help your guests plan out their next vacation. You know all the best places already to make it stress-free and an easy yes for them to hit the book now button.
Don’t forget that Bookfull works hard to provide you with free content. Our marketing team is wicked smart and they have put together a bunch of guides over the years to help you with your vacation rental marketing and get more direct bookings. Check out our guide on email marketing, website hacks, and Instagram.
Everything is changing daily and we want to help you navigate this new world with new creative vacation rental marketing. Download our vacation rental marketing guide for these tips and get on our mailing list for more ideas. Stay safe and let us know how we can help you!