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Vacation Rental Tips: Standing Out From the Competition

  • 2017-03-03

For any would-be property investor searching for vacation rental tips, the short term rental market can seem overwhelmingly crowded at times. Just about everyone is sharing advice on how to increase bookings, rent out your spare room, and generally capitalise on the many opportunities offered by the market. With so many properties competing for a slice of the pie though, you may be wondering how you can reap the rewards that vacation rentals have to offer… while staying ahead of the competition.

Vacation Rental Tips - Standing Out From the Competition

The thing to remember is that competition is ultimately a good thing. It means that there is a huge market for vacation rental. For investors, this is hugely important. It is far harder marketing a rental in a far out place compared to a busy city, after all. The trick is to work on establishing yourself as a property that stands out from the crowd. How do you go about doing that? Let’s have a look.

Vacation Rental Tips for Standing Out in the Crowd

In Cape Town alone, there are many, many short term rentals. Open Airbnb, and you will find pages upon pages of listings, all vying for the same guests. How do you make sure that your listing seals the deal? These vacation rental tips will help you position your rental so that it gets the best chance of booking.

  1. Invest in professional management services. In a crowded market, it is always the consistently excellent rentals that shine. Without fail, the listings that consistently bring in high booking numbers are the ones that are expertly managed. Independent, small, unknown properties are not always able to provide the same level of assurance that professionally managed properties do. Likewise, they may lack the features of a professionally managed rental, whether that is concierge, branded welcome packs, round the clock assistance, free WiFi or any other luxury guest service. When you are able to provide your guests with a guarantee that they will have a stay that is nothing short of perfect, you will quickly generate positive reviews. As a result, your vacation rental reputation will start to grow.
  2. Take professional photographs. Another advantage of managed vacation rental is that it typically includes professional grade photographs of your property. Photographs are downright essential. Many guests rely on photographs to help them make a final decision. If your competitor has amazing photographs, and your properties are more or less on a par, guests are likely to choose the property that looks the best. If your photos are outdated, taken in poor lighting or otherwise unappealing in any way, it can make your entire property look unattractive. For vacation rental tips on taking better photos, read our short term rental photography guide.
  3. Analyse and update your listings. Are your listings enticing guests or leaving them rather uninspired? If you are not a wordsmith by trade, or you don’t have the budget to hire one, it can be hard to know whether your listings are getting enough attention for the right reasons. One way to see whether your listings need work is to take a look at some of the top performing rentals to see how their listings are written. This does not mean copying listings in any way. Instead, look at the structure, wording and tone. You may find that simply changing the language you use could help your listings stand out more effectively.
  4. Ramp up your marketing efforts. It’s all very well to improve your listings, but if you are not putting your property out there, you may as well be shouting into the wind. Even if you are not making any effort to get your property out there, you can be sure that your competitors are spending a lot of time and effort on their promotion strategies. Marketing is yet another serviced offered by vacation rental management companies. By actively promoting your property across a wide range of channels, you will have the best chance of competing against other properties in your area.
  5. Maximise the wow factor. Last, but not least, the thing that can help the most is to focus on providing your guests with the wow factor. Following on from what we said about investing in a dedicated property manager, it is vital to provide your guests with a consistent level of excellence. When you are able to wow your guests each and every time, you will very quickly start to stand out from other rentals. Everyone has stayed at an okay or even a mostly-fine-but-could-have-been-better place. Many have had a bad experience. But not very many guests are genuinely wowed from the moment they book to the time that they check out. When you are genuinely the best at what you do, the competition cannot help but fade into the distance. How can you ensure that your guests are always wowed?


Interested in learning more about renting out your property? As an experienced short term rental management specialist, Totalstay provides a start-to-finish solution that includes marketing, concierge, bookings management and day to day management. We aim to help our property owners get the most from their efforts, with invaluable vacation rental tips and assistance provided at every step of the way. To learn more about what we do, or to arrange a free evaluation of your property, simply contact us today.