Beyond your properties themselves, there is nothing more important to your business than your website. It’s your face to the public, boosting bookings and improving the guest experience. But it can also eliminate the heavy lifting of management, acting as sales and marketing staff, booking agent, even accounts receivable. No matter how much you depend on partner websites such as Airbnb to drive bookings, your own website should be playing a critical role in building your business.
The bad news is that effective vacation rental websites are very complicated to build. But the good news is that today, you can use a pre-designed template to create a world-class website without any expertise at all – one that works just as well as a site that would cost tens of thousands to develop from scratch.
Here are six of the features and capabilities a super-professional website template brings to your business to help you attract more renters and convert them into bookings, while making your life as property manager infinitely easier:
1. An elegant, professional look
Potential guests rarely can check out your properties in person. Your website is all they have to form an impression. Naturally this means you need enticing, hi-res property photos (and videos, ideally), but that’s not all: the site design itself must radiate professionalism and elegance. Even the most alluring property will lose bookings when presented on a mediocre site, and lackluster properties have a much better chance when showcased beautifully. Templates such as Kigo’s that are pre-designed by talented, experienced website designers give you a huge advantage.
2. Mobile device optimization
This year, for the first time, over half of vacation rental bookings were executed on mobile devices. Bottom line: your site should look just as good, and work just as well, on a cell phone or iPad as on a desktop. Prospects will bail if a website is a confusing mess when pulled up on a mobile device.
3. Easy navigation
Navigation simply means “getting around the site.” It’s amazing how many websites in the travel business still make it difficult to find the information you’re looking for due to poorly thought out tabs and submenus that can lead you down a rabbit hole. Along these lines, the site should also have a powerful search feature with filtering, so prospects can search based on whatever criteria matters to them (number of bedrooms, pool, cost, beach view, whatever you choose to include). And cross-selling (which Kigo sites offer) presents alternate accommodations if what they’re looking for isn’t available.
4. Effortless booking
The dirtiest word in online sales is “abandonment” – which happens when you’ve gotten a prospect to the point of wanting to make a purchase, then lose them during the process. When it comes to online booking of vacation properties, it’s all too frequent. Something just doesn’t look and feel right. Or there’s no logical progression between steps. Or the data input fields are confusing. Let’s face it: how much patience do you have with clunky website transactions? Exactly . . . we all expect a smooth, straightforward process in the day of Amazon, Netflix and Uber. The right website makes booking a no-brainer – like Kigo’s sites, which feature no-hassle, quick booking.
5. Social media and SEO
Before someone books with you, they first have to find you. We won’t go into the incalculable importance of social media and search engines here, because you’re already aware of it. But be sure your website has built-in social media links (Kigo sites do) and is search engine optimized. They’re a given these days, but amazingly, there are plenty of property sites that still ignore them. And while you’re at it, be sure to include a blog on your site and update it regularly, for the purposes of both SEO and sharing useful information with appreciative vacationers. You want to be their trusted friend, not a robot.
6. Specials and featured properties
Your website should be designed so that when time’s running out to get a property rented, or you want to showcase a certain property, it’s easy to pop a special or “featured property” into a highlighted position on your site. This is the kind of thing that’s very hard to do on your own unless you’re an experienced website designer – but the right template makes it easy to drop the special right into place.
7. Easy communication
The easier you make it for prospects to get answers quickly, the less likely they are to move on to other properties and the more bookings you’ll get. Your website should enable both email and phone calls, and support should be provided long after normal business hours. Kigo sites do all of this.
There’s more to great vacation rental websites than what we’ve looked at above, but take care of these and you’re way ahead of the pack.
New website packages from Kigo
We’re proud of how Kigo websites are taking so many vacation rental managers’ businesses to the next level, featuring all of the advantages listed above and many more. Here’s some of what they deliver:
- Clean, elegant, professional layout
- Simple three-click booking
- Easy payment options
- Mobile device optimization
- Multilingual support (up to seven languages)
- Super-simple set up, customization and maintenance
- Dashboard for fast, easy updates and content changes
- Seamless integration with Kigo reservations, Channel Manager and listing portals
- Highlighting of featured properties and special offers
- Cross-selling for alternate accommodations, so you don’t lose customers
- SEO-optimization for improved search results
“Our experience with the new Kigo website has been nothing short of impressive. The simple and functional design is in keeping with today’s trend. We really like the property search feature, which is fast and easy to use. Property search results are clear and eye catching, similar to what you’d expect in popular website portals for holiday rentals. Performance has been consistently fast. One priority we always had when evaluating Kigo Websites and other similar technology offerings in the market was mobile responsiveness, knowing that a growing number of our clients are accessing our website from mobile. Very early on we realised Kigo Websites have a remarkably mobile responsive design. And we can tell the team behind it are committed to improve on this even further from the constant updates to the platform, with each update resulting in the website looking even better on mobile. The CMS is very easy to use and makes updating the website a pleasurable experience, as you’d expect with a WordPress website. There are a few improvements we would like to see with how special offers are presented, and how quotes are displayed on property pages. We’ve requested some minor changes regarding these features and we’ve been advised the team understood our concern and are working on improving them. We’re happy with our decision to go for a Kigo Website and would definitely recommend it to anyone considering a new website for their holiday rental business.”
-Ishmael Portelli, Operations Manager, Gozo Village
Starter and Premium packages give you a choice
Are you fine with a standard template, or do you want to customize things like layouts, fonts and buttons? The Starter Package is just right for some, where those who want more customization choose the Premium package. The Premium package also adds advanced marketing and search features.
Kigo vacation rental websites give you the sophistication and effectiveness of the top websites in the industry, without the arduous and expensive process of building them yourself or paying someone to do it or you. And our experts are here to help you every step of the way. Schedule a demo to and learn how Kigo can help you create a website that grows your business like never before!