You may have been tempted to get an instant, ready-made vacation rental website. If you have recently started letting your property on Airbnb or another listing site, you might come across a vacation rental software option that offers a free website. As tempting as it is, think very carefully before you sign up for any offer like this.
No matter what the software provider may tell you, you do not absolutely and definitely need a website in order to list your property. You do not need a vacation rental website in order to grow, either. In reality, a website is just another tool that you can use to list your property. If you invest in comprehensive short term rental marketing and put thought into your listings, you won’t need a website as well.
Vacation Rental Website or Vacation Rental Manager
The danger of blindly saying yes to a pre-made, free website is that you will essentially be purchasing a cookie cutter website that looks much the same as every other website, including your competitors. Having a website will not automatically ensure that you get bookings. What will, however, help you get ahead, is a vacation rental manager. Here’s how the two compare…
- A vacation rental website gives you a generic website. You may also be able to use the software that comes with the website. But you will be limited to only the most basic marketing features. You will still have to manage your property yourself, hosting guests, keeping your rental clean, handling day to day management, and actively working to bring in more bookings. You will not suddenly get bookings when you have a website. Your website may eventually be found in online searches, but this takes time and effort. With this approach, you will need to handle your own marketing and management.
- A vacation rental manager, on the other hand, manages all aspects of your rental. From day to day tasks to bookings management, guest concierge, and active marketing across a variety of channels, a good manager will run your property like a business. This means that you will not have to worry about being there to deal with guests. You will also have the advantage of professionally written listings that are crafted according to best practice. Some managers may also create websites on your behalf, as an added benefit.
As you can see, the primary differences are significant. Instead of trying to take on the role of host, marketer, manager, and booking agent, you can focus on your other responsibilities with full peace of mind. Your manager will handle all the admin while helping you get the best results. Because managers are experienced in short term letting trends, they can also help you improve your occupancy rates, which no website is able to do.
Before you agree to that generic website, sit down and think carefully about what you want to achieve. If you are simply looking to make a bit of extra pocket money, a website may be an adequate solution. If you are serious about seeing results in this industry, a short term vacation rental manager will always be a better choice than an instant, ready-made vacation rental website.