Within the vacation rental industry we are encouraged to promote to an international level because our clients reside out-of-town. We create websites, digital ads, work with channel managers and optimize websites for search engines, however these efforts often make us overlook a good marketing opportunity : local promotions.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, marketing on a local level can set you apart from your competition and allows you to market your properties and agency without breaking your budget. Below we have outlines 3 ways in which you can market your rentals on a local level for free:
Google Places for Businesses:
When you Google a key phrase such as “Vacation Rentals in London” you will notice that the coveted top spots in Google (beneath the ads) are reserved for a few select rental agencies which include their URL, address and location on a Google map. If you are ever wondering how these agencies got their website listed in the map, the answer is simple: Google Places for Business.
Google Places for Business (sometimes known as Google Local) is like the yellow pages of the digital world. For free you can register the address of your business and when a user does a local search such as Vacation Rentals in Paris, your business will appear on the map, and if there is low compeitition, at the top spot of Google.
Once you register with Google you will be able to add photos and videos of your business, along with showcasing reviews. Best of all if you are a Google+ user, you will be able to link your account to your local listing.
Promote to relatives and friends:
Local publicity can be just as important as international publicity if you take the standpoint of marketing to the relatives and friends of locals. If London local Mike is going to have relatives come visit in the near future, his ears and eyes will be perked up when he sees accommodation options for his family. Networking events, whether it is hobby-based like wine tasting or business-based like a seminar, are a great way of getting in front of local people.
The key is to explicitly tell people “If you ever have friends or family coming into town, be sure to contact me so I can set them up with the perfect apartment”. You can even write a personal note on your business cards when you give them to locals you network with. This personal interaction with create a personal bond so that the first agency they look at when they are looking for an apartment is you.
You can also contact your local newspapers to give them a news tip about the state of the vacation rental industry and provide interview options. Remember to feature that you are a vacation rental agency or owner, and that locals should contact you when they have out-of-town guests.
Local Classified Websites:
Every country has a free classified website that is their go-to for accommodation or owner-purchases. For Americans it is Craigslist, for Eastern Canadians it is Kijiji, for UK residents it is Gumtree, and for the French it is LeBonCoin. These classified websites often feature a Travel or Accommodation section where you can feature your agency or properties for free.
Again the key here is to make sure you are featured on classifieds that are popular in other countries as well as yours. To reach American visitors you should feature yourself in Craigslist, even though it may not be popular in your local country.
We hope you found these tips useful. Do you have any other local marketing tips you would like to share with us and fellow vacation rental professionals? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Make the most of your local marketing efforts and instantly convert website visitors to property bookers with Kigo’s Vacation Rental Software and Channel Manger solutions. Contact us today and one of our experts will guide you through an interactive Demo. Reach us at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030