The vacation rental industry has a great advantage: it can look at what the hotel industry does right & wrong and learn from it. This is what we’re proposing today: let’s look together at hotel website trends. How are they growing their direct bookings? We’ve discovered 8 definite trends that you could easily implement on your vacation rental website today.

1. A Loyalty Program

This is not an IF it’s a MUST. Reward your clients with a loyalty program not only for themselves but for their friends too. All successful hotel brands, big or small, have some kind of comprehensive membership program. Idea for a hassle-free one: stay in touch with your guests even after they’ve checked out and get their permission to send them discounts by e-mail for their friends and family. The more friends come, the more discounts you give.

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2. User-Generated Content

UGC, User-Generated Content, has been growing in popularity over the last few years but in 2016 it’s about a must on any hotel website. Use for example an instragram feed of the photos your guests posts of your properties – and not just in the homepage but on the property pages too. Is no-one posting pics on instagram? as an incentive you could ask your guests to take photos and tag you for 10% off their next stay 🙂

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3. Guest Reviews

Bring those best reviews out from the websites you work with. If you’re on TripAdvisor (and if not, why aren’t you trying our Channel Management Software to get yourself there?!) you could use their review widget on your website too.

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4. Mobile Optimised

The huge growth in mobile on-the-go bookings means every successful hotel website will make it easy for their guests to book on mobile. You MUST make it easy for them too.

5. Social Media: Snapchat and Periscope

Millennials are very active on Snapchat and Periscope. Clued hotels are starting to develop strategies around those two networks. Have you? Download those apps now onto your phone, read this article on Skift and start posting.

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6. Option to reserve a restaurant

Why leave that extra buck to Most hotels will now implement an affiliate program with a restaurant reservation company to make sure the extra buck goes in their pocket. As a vacation rental owner you want to show off how well you know your area: go get deal with local restaurant owners and check our upselling ideas for vacation rental owners article too!

7. Curated Experiences

Just like an affiliate restaurant reservation company many hotels will now also partner with tour companies. This is easy to do and they are plenty around, but instead of going for a large, impersonal, affiliation company like Viator why not try Vreasy, who specialise in offering services to travellers choosing vacation rentals.

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8. Addressing environmental issues

If you don’t provide your guests with ways to recycle at your property, stop reading this article now, go over there, buy recycling bins, make a map of where the bins can be emptied, add page to your welcome book on “How to be environmentally friendly in this property“. Next step: use some of that content on your website. Not an IF, a MUST.

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