The vacation rental industry is fast growing and in order to stay ahead of the competition, owners and agencies need to utilize creative and out-of-the box marketing efforts to acquire guests and keep them happy for referrals.
Referral marketing aims at ensuring that past guests become your ambassador, and ensure you get a steady stream of bookings by referring your property and agency to their friends and family. The key to succeeding at referral marketing is to ensure you give guests an “above-and-beyond” customer service experience. Small and personal touches can make the difference between a repeat and referral guest and a one-time uninterested guest.
Here at Kigo’s vacation rental management and marketing blog we provide regular creative marketing tips to enable our readers to see the wide variety of available marketing tactics. This week we will look at creating personal Google Maps.
What are Personal Google Maps?
Personal Google maps allow you to send your vacation rental guests a personalized map that can feature a wide variety of places:
- Local tourist attractions,
- Local restaurants,
- Emergency services,
- Kid-friendly local attractions,
- and many many more ideas!
The key is to create a bunch of Google Maps and send the appropriate ones to your guests in your check-in or welcome email. An older couple will appreciate a Restraunts map while a family with small children will appreciate a Kid-friendly map. Realizing which guests would like which maps will ensure that guests feel you created the map to meet their exact tourist needs, increasing your chance of referrals.
How do I create a Personal Google Map for my guests?
Creating a personal Google map is both easy, and will take less and less time each time you create a new one.
Step 1: Go to Google Maps and make sure you have signed into your Google Account.
Step 2: Click on “My places” on the left side-bar of the Google Maps page:
Step 3: Click on the red “Create Map” button, write a title and description for your Map. Please note that guests and the general public will be able to see the title and descriptions. If you want to keep the map private, you can select the unlisted option, this will ensure that only guests you send the map URL to can see the map, not the general public. When you have finished your title and description press the “Done” button.
Step 4: Now that you have a map category you should start adding locations to your map. To do so simply search for the address/name of the restaurant or attraction in Google Maps. Once the location appears with the red-bubble labelled A. Click on the red-bubble until a box opens up. Here you select “Save to Map” and select the map category you just created.
Now a blue bubble with a black circle in the middle will appear on the map. Click on the blue bubble to see what information is readily available for guests viewing your map.
Step 5: If you would like to add more personal details to the location, you can edit the location details by clicking on “My places” on the top left side-bar. You will need to select the Maps tab here.
Click on the map you created, and then click on the red Edit button above the name of the map. Now you can click on the blue bubble of the location you would like to edit and place important information such as open times, contact details, transport options, website of restaurant. You can also edit the icon, so you can change the blue bubble into a restaurant icon.
Step 6: To Add more locations you can repeat steps 3-5. Once you have completed your map, you will need the URL of the map to share it with your guests. To get the URL of your personal map, click on the Chain button on the top left sidebar. This will open a box that gives you both the URL and the HTML code to embed the map in your website.
Hope you enjoyed this how-to-guide for creating a personal map for your vacation rental guests. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our creative marketing tips. If you have created a personal map on Google, be sure to share your experience with us in the comment section below.
Have a great day/evening everyone!
If you are looking for a new vacation rental website or a better vacation rental software solution to manage your booking inquiries, reservations and marketing, consider using Kigo. You can contact one of our vacation rental software experts at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030