In the vacation rental industry, branding means creating a consistent experience for guests throughout the whole process, from booking to check-in, checkout, and beyond.
It’s about establishing your brand values, delivering exceptional quality, and offering a unique experience to ensure guests remember you and book again.
In this article, we’ll explain why developing your vacation rental brand is important and seven steps to building a brand strategy.
Why branding matters for vacation rentals
Creating a brand strategy for your vacation rentals can help you stand out against your competitors.
There are many ways that an effective brand strategy can benefit your business:
- More conversions — Increase your bookings by establishing trust through a consistent and professional brand.
- Better guest experience — Part of your brand strategy should be to deliver excellent experiences to make sure guests have a memorable stay and leave positive reviews
- Repeat bookings and recommendations — With an effective brand strategy, you can get more guests to book with you again and recommend your business to others. It’s even better if they can book directly through your website.
Focussing on branding will give you a clear idea of what makes your business special and convey that to guests.
A step-by-step guide to growing your vacation rental brand
Want to develop your brand and show guests your unique offering?
Here are our seven steps for developing your vacation rental brand.
Create your own website
Don’t just rely on OTAs for all bookings – to start developing your brand, you need a website where customers can book your properties directly.
Through your website, customers can learn about you and your business, browse all your properties in one place, and make direct, commission-free bookings (which can be more profitable than OTA bookings).
These days you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money in creating a website. Using Rentals United’s simple website builder, My Website, you can publish a site in just a few clicks by importing all your listing content into a beautiful, professional template.
You can customise your site with your branding and manage all direct bookings in your channel manager.
Distribute on the right channels
Even with your vacation rental website published, you’ll still need to list on the right combination of booking channels to maximise your bookings and revenue.
It’s important to list on a wide variety of channels and, crucially, channels that are best-suited to your properties.
Listing on a range of channels that includes both mainstream and niche sites means you’ll reach as many people as possible. Relevant specialist channels are particularly important because they can attract your ideal guests and get you more lucrative bookings.
The perfect channel distribution strategy requires a reliable channel manager with strong connections and plenty of options.
With Rentals United, you get unrivalled API connections to 50+ channels. You can list on all channels relevant to your properties, manage all your bookings in one place, and sync calendars and pricing so you never risk double bookings.
To determine the best channels for you, use our Who’s Who guide to vacation rental channels
Optimise your listings
Your listing content is a key aspect of your branding, and your photos, descriptions, amenities, and personal bio all contribute to your overall brand image.
Perfect your listings so they accurately represent your brand and are optimised to convert as many guests as possible. Your listings should include plenty of high-quality photos, amenities, a good description of the property and location, and a bio for you as host or property manager.
Review scores also play an important part in establishing your brand, so you want to earn as many high review scores as possible.
If you’re unsure how to improve your listings, you can try our free AI-powered Check My Listing tool. Just paste your Airbnb listing URL, and we’ll score various aspects of your listing and provide personalised tips for improving it.
Check My Listing is an example of what you can do to optimise your listings with Rentals United.
Rentals United customers use AI to scan all their listings and identify opportunities to improve. You’ll get a scorecard for each property and actionable tips for improving your listings.
Prioritise guest communication
Good communication with your guests will promote a good representation of your brand with customers. You want to establish a reputation as helpful, attentive, and going the extra mile to make guests happy throughout their stay.
Prioritise good guest communication, and you’ll start to convert more during the booking process and boost your review scores.
Guest communication can be time-consuming, but with our Smart Guest Communication tool, you can communicate with all your guests, across all channels, from a single inbox. You can send emails, Whatsapp messages, and chats anytime, plus manage your reviews. This makes it easier to communicate well with your guests consistently.
Review business data
Regularly analysing your data and finding ways to improve will help you find ways to grow your brand and increase your profits.
Looking at data can help you:
- Spot underperforming properties
- Find opportunities to improve your occupancy or profits
- Compare your performance to the market average.
Elevate is Rentals United’s advanced data platform, where you can review your property metrics alongside market data in simple visual dashboards. What’s more, you’ll also get AI-powered recommendations for improving your listings for more bookings and profit.
Remind guests of your brand
Once guests have booked your property, you can remind them of your brand throughout their stay.
You can do this through business cards and other branded items, as well as a digital welcome book that’s customised to reflect your brand.
Another way to keep your brand in mind and strengthen relationships with your guests is through loyalty or referral programs. You can reward guests for recommending your property or booking a return visit with discounts or additional services.
Add-ons to improve guest experience
There are various services and vacation rental tools that can help you go the extra mile to provide an amazing experience for guests.
In addition, many of these tools also allow you to run your business more efficiently and increase your profits.
Vacation Rental Services can help you:
- Process payments smoothly
- Organise cleaning schedules and maintenance
- Protect your properties from fraud
- Optimise your rates for profit and occupancy
- Deliver elevated guest experiences like self-check-in, smart locks, digital guidebooks, and more.
Read more about our recommended Vacation Rental Services – you can integrate all these tools with your Rentals United channel manager.
Ready to grow your brand with Rentals United? Book a demo and we’ll show you how.