Recent years have seen a boom in demand for luxury vacation rentals.

More and more travelers opt for vacation rentals over hotels, and high-net-worth guests are looking for outstanding stays in one-of-a-kind properties where every aspect of the experience is tailored to suit their desires.  

Luxury property managers face a tough challenge when marketing their properties. You must convey your property’s excellence and avoid overselling, which can cheapen your brand.

In this article, we’ll share our top tips for building a successful marketing strategy for your luxury vacation rental property in 2024

What defines a property as luxury?

Everyone has a different definition of luxury, however, in the vacation rental industry, three key components define a luxury property.

  1. Exclusivity — At the heart of luxury lies exclusivity. Luxury properties offer a one-of-a-kind experience that makes every guest feel truly exceptional during their stay.
  2. Personalisation — Luxury isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It thrives on personalisation, recognising that each guest has a unique vision of opulence. Crafting an experience tailored to individual preferences is the hallmark of a luxury property.
  3. Storytelling — Luxury properties tell a story. They invite guests into their world, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in an elevated lifestyle. This storytelling aspect elevates a luxury property beyond the ordinary and creates a lasting impression on guests.

To attract high-value bookings, it’s crucial to convey how your property meets these criteria and optimize your marketing and distribution based on the unique needs of luxury properties—which are very different from your typical short-term rental.

How to market luxury properties

Here are our tips for luxury marketing in 2024:

Select your channels wisely

Most property managers benefit from listing their properties on as many OTAs as possible. However, this isn’t the case in the luxury market. Instead, luxury property managers should carefully choose a smaller selection of niche websites catering to the luxury market. 

Over-exposing your properties can reduce their exclusivity in the eyes of discerning guests. Also, many major channels are geared towards instant booking and don’t give you the opportunity to thoroughly get to know your guests before confirming a booking.  

Luxury specialist channels, such as The Plum Guide, Quintess Collection, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Smiling House, etc, will attract more of your ideal guests who understand the value of your property. With these channels, you’ll have the potential for more lucrative bookings where you can upsell various services. 

However, it’s important to mention that major channels like Vrbo, Airbnb and now offer a “Request to Book” feature to attract more of the luxury segment, and according to Siretti’s “Luxury of data” report, published January 2024, the highest value luxury bookings made in 2023 were through these channels. 

Listing on a channel like Airbnb may be a good option if low occupancy is a concern, but property managers should be aware that listing on major channels might reduce your exclusivity.

Provide tailored experiences

Luxury goes beyond your property and encompasses the entire experience. Every stay should be unique and fully personalized for each group of guests.

A tailored experience might include:

  • Arranging in-property services — Private chefs, babysitters, and laundry services could all be offered to guests who require them.
  • Booking authentic local experiences — Offer a range of bespoke local experiences according to your guests’ interests, for example – wine tasting, culinary tasting sessions, exclusive private tours, yacht hire, etc
  • Accommodating special requests — Be prepared to accommodate any unusual special requests. For example, a guest may request vegan, eco-friendly toiletry products or want to bring pets with them. 

It’s important to make it clear in your listing and website that you offer bespoke concierge services and that you can accommodate special requests. 

In addition to elevating the experience, upsells can be a great way to earn commission and massively increase your earnings from each booking.

Create an aspirational brand 

In the world of luxury, clients are looking for dream vacations that unlock new and unique experiences. 

It’s difficult to impress seasoned travelers who’ve seen the best of global travel. Your brand must embody luxury values of exclusivity, high standards, and storytelling. Your brand’s story could be tied to local culture, history, or simply excellence in design and taste

To convey this in your marketing, you need top-notch photography that could include 360 videos and virtual home tours. Take the time to design a website that truly represents your brand and demonstrates your impeccable standards throughout the entire experience and presentation of the home. 

Effective Pricing Strategy

While most property managers must remain fiercely competitive with pricing to keep up with competitors, in the luxury space, you can afford to maintain high prices to reflect the quality of your home and experience. 

Travelers in the luxury niche will be more willing to pay extra for services and to have their needs accommodated. 

Most of the time, you can trust that guests will pay what your home is worth, and you may want to avoid applying discounts and promotions.

With a data tool like Elevate, you can evaluate your rates compared to competitors if you need reassurance that your pricing is accurate. 

Influencer Collaborations

Creating influencer campaigns can be an alternative way to market luxury properties. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are ideal for showcasing the luxury lifestyle and creating aspirational content to reach target customers. 

If you are considering working with influencers, it’s important to do your research. Choose partners who are compatible with your brand and create content in the luxury travel space. 

Keep up with trends

Luxury travel may be less influenced by changing trends than other kinds of travel. 

However, it is still important for luxury property managers to understand evolving trends and guest desires, so you can offer the most high-quality experiences. 

Examples of current trends include:

  • Sustainability — Guests are increasingly seeking sustainable options to offset the environmental impact of global travel. 
  • Smart home technology — Incorporating technological solutions in your property can elevate the guest experience.
  • Adventure experiences — More adventurous outdoor activities can create exciting and unique travel packages.
  • Wellness travel — Retreats are experiencing a boom as health-conscious travelers seek wellness-themed getaways.

Incorporating elements of these trends into your luxury rental experience can make you stand out from the competition and offer more exclusive experiences for your guests. 

Successful luxury vacation rental market starts with your channel selection 

Choosing the right channels will kickstart your luxury marketing strategy and ensure your property is seen by the right audience. 

To help you understand the evolving luxury landscape, we’ve put together a guide to all the channels that every luxury property manager should know. 

You can list on all these channels through your Rentals United channel manager. 

Download your free luxury channels guide today.

Want more tips on marketing your luxury property? Speak to our team today!