This just in: one of the best things you can do to increase your bookings in 2020 is to list your properties on niche vacation rental websites

It’s becoming more and more evident that property managers need to diversify their marketing mix and become less dependent on large OTAs. By the looks of it, the solution lies in feeding the smaller fish.

Sure enough, niche sites can help you generate more bookings, boost your occupancy and even increase your revenue per booking.

In this blog post, we cover everything you need to know about niche channels: what they are, why they’re important, how to choose the perfect ones for you and how to get listed on them. And of course, we bring you the top 30 niche vacation rental websites we’ve got on our radar!

What are niche vacation rental websites?

A niche vacation rental listing site addresses a specific traveller need and appeals to a specific type of traveller.

We have identified three different categories of niche vacation rental websites:

1. Top local

These listing sites specialise in a certain destination/geographic area. Or, they focus on attracting travellers from specific nationalities. 

2. Curated list

These listing sites select and organise rentals based on their expertise and their own criteria. 

3. Travel trend

These websites address specific travel trends and target traveller segments by asking the question: “Why do people travel?”

Lately, niche vacation rental websites have received a lot of attention for the unique opportunities they present.

Even investors looking to expand their portfolios with promising vacation rental businesses have started showing interest. Plum Guide, for instance, raised £14 million in funding last year to grow its curated vacation rental platform. 

What this tells us is that niche sites are here to stay, and property managers must pay attention to them, too. 

Read more about Vacation Rental Websites Backed by Venture Capital Funding.

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Why list your properties on niche vacation rental websites

1. Diversify your marketing mix

When it comes to distribution, your target for 2020 should be diversification. Everyone gets listed on the big global sites. Of course, it’s essential to be present on the most popular OTAs – they get the most traffic – but it’s becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd. 

Besides the immense competition, relying solely on the big players is risky for a couple of reasons. It makes you prone to algorithm changes and even potential OTA bankruptcy. Sliding down the search results page of your main channel could cost you a lot of bookings and a dip in your occupancy rate. And let’s not even get into what happens in case your favourite OTA goes out of business!

2. Increase exposure and reach new markets

When vying for the attention of global travellers, visibility is everything. Currently, the best way to increase your exposure – once you’ve optimised your listings on the big OTAs – is to get listed on a variety of niche vacation rental websites. This way, you’re giving yourself a chance to appear in front of travellers who either don’t use the big booking sites or are looking for a very specific kind of accommodation. 

Maybe you haven’t been able to reach German travellers before. Or, travellers with specific needs such as accessible accommodation haven’t been able to find your property because it got lost among all the other listing on the big OTAs. Niche channels give you the opportunity to attract guests who most likely wouldn’t find your listings on the big websites, increasing your bookings and occupancy.  

What’s more, travellers tend to spend more on properties that address their specific needs, resulting in a higher revenue per booking for you. 

3. Become an expert and advertise in a targeted way

Listing your properties on niche vacation rental websites not only exposes you to new travellers, but it also helps you build your brand. You can be perceived as an expert in a specific niche, and advertise directly to travellers within that niche. 

Several curated listing sites have rigorous vetting processes. Some ask owners and managers over a hundred questions to make sure that their properties align with the listing site’s requirements. Others do in-person visits and thoroughly inspect properties to select only the best. Travellers who book on these platforms know that every property has been vetted and is up to the listing site’s standards, which creates a sense of trust towards the properties listed there.  

If you don’t want to miss out on such targeted traffic, you should start including niche sites in your distribution strategy.

how to get listed on niche vacation rental websites

How to get listed on niche vacation rental websites

With so many global and niche sites out there, the opportunities for widening your reach are endless. At the same time, it’s all very overwhelming. How do you pick the best sites to advertise on? You can’t possibly get listed everywhere – and, if you’ve read our Secret Sauce ebook, you’ll know that the world’s most successful property managers caution against spreading yourself too thin. They swear by using distribution channels in a selective way, focusing only on the ones that work best for your business. 

Even if you had the time to research every single listing site out there, it would still be impossible to get listed on all of them and update your ads manually. This is why technology is such a huge enabler for property managers. By using software solutions that were built specifically for the demands of the vacation rental industry, you can accelerate your business growth like never before. 

Diversifying your distribution is a key to growth in 2020. And if you want to get listed on a variety of booking sites, from global to niche, you’re going to need a robust Channel Manager that lets you efficiently distribute and automatically update your listings. As a response to the growing demand for alternatives to big OTAs, Channel Management providers like Rentals United are working hard on adding more and more niche vacation rental websites to their available connections. 

Property managers partnering with Rentals United have increased their bookings by 25% and saved 40 hours of manual work per month. Find out how you can jump on board!

And now, let’s take a look at some of the most exciting niche vacation rental websites out there!

Top 30 niche vacation rental websites 

Spain-Holiday.com

Spain-Holiday.com is a top local expert in Spanish destinations. They specialise in attracting travellers from Great Britain and Scandinavia: 50% of their guests are from these regions. 

Handiscover

A website in the curated list category, Handiscover selects accommodations that address the mobility needs of their audience of elders and disabled families. It’s a leading platform for accessible short-term accommodation. 

BringFido

BringFido is a champion of pet-friendly vacation rentals and hotels. Their website and app act as a guide for dog-owners to all the places where snooters are welcome. 

Plum Guide

Plum Guide offers a strictly curated selection of high-end luxury rentals. Their audience consists of discerning guests who don’t search for accommodation on mainstream OTAs. 

HalalBooking

Another curated niche vacation rental website, HalalBooking targets halal-conscious travellers and offers handpicked accommodations that suit their needs. 

HouseStay

In response to the growing travel trend of digital nomads, HouseStay offers a curated selection of fully furnished turnkey apartments and homes available for rent starting from 30 nights. 

SportiHome

SportiHome targets outdoorsy sports enthusiasts by offering properties near the world’s top sports destinations. They pride themselves on creating unique low-season opportunities for property managers. 

WhimStay

Micro-stays and spontaneous trips are a growing trend and WhimStay is riding the wave. They allow property managers to sell their unsold nights (10 days out) last-minute, so they never have to worry about expiring inventory.

Enjoy Apartments

One of the biggest travel trends this year is socially responsible and sustainable travel. By giving away 1% of its earnings to charity, Enjoy Apartments attracts a group of travellers who want to give back. 

BUDandBREAKFAST

Did you know that cannabis travel is a growing trend across the globe? BUDandBREAKFAST offers a selection of rentals for travellers who wish to spend their holidays in marijuana-friendly lodging.

These are ten of the top thirty niche vacation rental websites that we’ve highlighted for you. 

You can find the remaining twenty, as well as lots of exciting details about all thirty channels in our new ebook, The Who’s Who of Short-Term Rental Listing Sites. 

Click the button below to get your free copy:

What does the ebook contain?

The Who’s Who of Short-Term Rental Listing Sites is a directory of the world’s top 30 niche channels. It’s a treasure trove of information that has never been published in one place before.

Property managers can find all the details they need to choose the best niche vacation rental websites for their business. We have done all the research for you!

The ebook contains invaluable data on 30 niche listing sites, such as: 

  • Average booking value 
  • Average nights booked 
  • Number of listings 
  • Traffic sources 
  • Fees for property managers 
  • Guest fees

… and more company information.

Get your free copy now!