Features of a Perfect Vacation Rental Website

Website Design

Features of a Perfect Vacation Rental Website

Many people have asked me what are the most important aspect of a vacation rental website. In this article, I would like to share our experience and knowledge of these important features. I have seen hundreds of websites, the good, the bad and the ugly.  So, let’s take a look at what drives customers to browse you site and make a direct booking.

Visual and Professional Presentation

Visual and professional presentation is the most important aspect of your website, especially on your homepage. This includes everything from great photos of your home and surroundings, logo, branding and even your domain name.  Your branding should be professional, your logo simple and your domain name as short and straightforward as possible.  Your property needs to stand out of the crowd and be presented differently then your competitors.

With domain names that are too long and hard to spell, guest will not be able to find you online.  The name that you give your home should be something memorable and unique so that just be entering the name, guests will be able to find you online.  So, to summarize, presentation and professionalism is everything when attracting and trying to make the best first impression.

Website speed, performance and mobile-responsiveness

Even with a great design, professional photographs and stunning presentation, if your website load speed is slow and inadequate, guests will not stay long.  If your potential customers feel that your website is not up to todays standards, they will most likely leave after just seconds.

Having a total mobile-responsive website is more important then just being able to view your website on your mobile phone.  Google will rank mobile friendly pages better in their search engine.  By having a mobile friendly website, your business will grow easier and faster.  Worldwide statistics say that more and more people are searching for and making direct bookings through there mobile devices.  By making your website mobile friendly and allowing your guests make direct bookings through their mobile device, your chances of success are much higher.

Instant booking option and Promotions

Allowing guests to instantly book your property without having to send enquiries is a definite plus.  Potential guests hate waiting for responses from owners and will most likely book a property that they don’t have to wait for.  A call to action button shows professionalism and should be accompanied by credible payment logos to show what credit cards you accept.

Having promotions and discounts is a great way to entice your visitor to book.  By offering promotions and seasonal deals, you may be able to persuade guests to book your vacation rental over others they have recently visited.

Proof of quality

Just by saying you are great does not resonate well with potential customers.  But by using testimonials, digital badges and external rating systems, you can convince your guests that you really are the right choice.

Testimonials are reviews left by prior guests.   People love reading these reviews as it gives great insight on other people’s actual experiences staying with you.    The better you are as a host, the better your review will be.

Digital badges are a great way to show your connection to the rental industry such as showing the logo of the local tourist board or other organization.  If you received good reviews or rewards on other sites such as TripAdvisor, it is also great to show those on your website.  The more credibility you appear on your website, the better change you have at turning that looker into a booker.

Personal and Social Media Touch

Potential guests like to know a little bit more about there host.  By adding contact information and a about us page, you will make your rental more attractive.  It will give guests comfort to know that the host is just a phone call or message away to answer all of their pre-arrival questions.

Social Medial will show guests how dedicated you are and will also help you SEO rating.  With sites such as Facebook and even google maps, you can persuade your guests to upload pictures and leave comments.  This is a great way to generate followers and encourage other people to engage with your posts.

Activities and POI (Points of Interest)

Guests love to know what they can do when they arrive at you home.  Give as much information as you can on local restaurants, museums and activities.  Giving you guests good information and making them feel like locals is a great way to get not only good reviews but word of mouth advertising.


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