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As I was browsing HomeAway tonight looking for a vacation rental I noticed one ad in particular that caught my eye over all of the other ads.  This ad was nothing special but it had three things going for it that most of the others did not. If your vacation rental ad on HomeAway or VRBO doesn’t already consist of these three things than I would advise you to consider implementing these tips into your ad and you will most likely notice a higher click-thru rate in 2010.

1. Accept Online Payments
The very first thing I noticed about this ad over the others was that it accepts online payments.  I don’t know about you but I’m a creature of convenience and love to keep things as simple as possible.  If a customer can quickly and easily pay online for their vacation rental and does not have to deal with calling a management company  or owner to arrange payment than they will be much more likely to book your property over one that makes them jump through the hoops to make payment.  Many owners don’t implement this concept for many reasons.  Some of the most common reasons are they either don’t know how to set it up or they don’t want to pay the fees that are assessed when accepting credit card payments.  It takes about 2 minutes to set up a Pay-Pal account and start accepting credit card payments.  If you decide to start accepting online payments be sure to list it on your ad!

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2. Reviews
The second reason I clicked on this ad was because it had more reviews than the other vacation condos listed on that page.  No matter how happy your customers may be after they leave your vacation home, getting a testimonial from them is sometimes one of the hardest things to do.  It’s not because they didn’t think your place was great but in most cases it’s just plain inconvenient for people to go to your website and leave feedback or send you an email with feedback.  There are many methods you can implement for getting more feedback from your guests and I will go into that in another post but it’s important that you get as many of your guests as possible to leave you a review about your property.

 

Don’t forget to join the waiting list for The Pink Flamingo’s up and coming e-book “Everything You Wish You Knew BEFORE Buying a Florida Vacation Rental Home

3. Great Cover Photo
The subject of what makes a great vacation rental ad photo is debatable by many but what I loved most about this particular ad was that it didn’t have the same picture of either the kitchen or living room as all of the other vacation rentals did.  This photo showcased exactly what I was looking for and that was an amazing view and a great location.  The photo that you put on the front of your ad is going to be the first and in some cases the only picture that prospective renters are going to see, so make it count!  If your home is in a tropical location like Florida it’s great to show a picture of the ocean view or the pool and spa area.  Take into consideration what you are trying to sell and that’s a vacation not a house. People make purchases based on emotional reasons so learn to push those emotional buttons in your ad and watch the click-thru rate and bookings sky rocket!

Here’s to 2010 and all of the bookings you will be getting for your vacation rental!

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