Successful vacation rental management requires a different approach than long-term rentals. The following tips will help you find new quality guests, who will take good care of your property, and turn these quality guests into happy repeat customers.
Tip #1: Encourage Positive Reviews of Your Vacation Rental
Whether you manage your vacation rental yourself, or you use an Orlando vacation rental management company, the bulk of your guests will likely come from these four listing services:
Therefore, getting positive reviews on these sites are key to attracting the best guests to your vacation rental and keeping your place booked continuously. Always personally invite your happy guests to leave a review for your vacation rental. The tips below will help you create exceptionally satisfied guests.
Tip #2: Orlando Vacationers Will Type These Phrases Into Google
According to VRBO, more than ninety percent of all Google searches related to finding a vacation rental in Orlando will be one of the following:
- Orlando vacation rentals
- Orlando Florida vacation rentals
- vacation rentals in Orlando
- vacation rentals in Orlando Florida
- Orlando vacation rentals by owners
- Orlando Florida vacation rentals by owners
- Orlando home rentals
- Orlando Florida home rentals
Keep in mind too, that in these popular searches, Florida may also be abbreviated to FL. You can use this information to your advantage in the following ways. First, use one of these popular searches in the title of your home page and or on other landing pages. A landing page is a page you send people directly to other than your home page. For example, you may create a special landing page to send people to in your your advertisements.
Second, you can sprinkle in the other search strings across your website. Just be sure not to overdo it. Treat the search phrases like a pungent spice in cooking... a little improves the quality but too much can ruin the dish! In other words, Google will reward you for including these phrases, but flag you for spamming, if you use them too much.
Tip #3: Surprise Your Guests With Orlando Themed Gifts
In general, leaving your guests nice little surprise gifts can make your Orlando vacation rental go from nice to GREAT... and the reviews you receive will reflect this! You can carry this even further by leaving your guests Orlando themed gifts.
Why not leave a note on the kitchen counter that there's a pitcher of fresh squeezed Florida orange juice in the refrigerator! Alternatively, you could leave a "Welcome To Orlando" note beside a nice basket of Florida citrus. Discount coupons to Disney and other iconic Orlando attractions would also be a welcome gesture.
Tip #4: Provide Custom Made Orlando Visitor Guides
Custom made Orlando visitor guides, complete with tips and hints from you and other locals, will endear your vacation rental to your guests. They will appreciate the "insider information" that you provide! You can personalize these a great deal. For example, if you're reviewing nearby Orlando restaurants, you might say something like, "My mom likes ABC Restaurant because of the wide variety of choices on the salad bar but my kids prefer XYZ Restaurant because of the massive fish tank they have in the center of the dining area."
You can also supplement your custom made Orlando visitor guides with brochures and maps from the Orlando Visitor Center. This will give your guests glossy professional photos and detailed accurate maps, while still providing them with personal inside advice in your custom guides. The visitor center probably isn't going to tell them which bookstore just four blocks away provides the best free dog treats or which drugstore has the friendliest pharmacist in town and a hand drawn map on the "back way" to get there!
Put these custom Orlando visitor guides in obvious locations such as the living room coffee table or the breakfast bar. Be sure to update your custom guides as information changes, such as changes to local restaurants and other local Orlando businesses.
Tip #5: Offer Optional Perks
Optional perks can serve the needs and desires of some of your guests while not making everyone pay extra. For example, you could provide the option having a private driver pick your guests up at the Orlando International Airport. If you can negotiate with a chauffeur service a price that is on par with Orlando taxi service, this will be viewed as amazing perk.
You can team up with other Orlando businesses to offer other perks too. For example, you could provide a list of optional Orlando walking tours. These are fun and unique and some can be billed as "off the beaten path." How about a moonlight walk in a haunted Orlando cemetery or a historical tour of downtown? Private his and her massages could be arranged at your vacation rental too for couples wanting a romantic get away. Offerring these optional perks makes it easier for your guests to enhance their Orlando vacation.
Tip #6: Include More Amenities & Better Amenities
The best way to get glowing 5-star reviews is to make your guests absolutely fall in love with your Orlando vacation rental. Including more the amenities is one of the easiest ways to do this.
Make sure you have super fast and reliable WiFi. Provide full cable with local stations for weather reports, local news, etc. Make sure you have a Smart TV with access to Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix. A DVR would be a big plus too so your guests can record their favorite shows while their away sightseeing.
Don't just provide a coffee maker, provide an espresso machine too! Provide an iron, an ironing board, a clothes line in the yard, a variety of detergents and fabric softeners for washing and drying clothes, hair dryer, curling iron, extra toothbrushes (still in package), lots of extra blankets, and a well stocked kitchen with every kitchen gadget and small appliance imaginable!
Throw in some extras they might now have at home. Here are some ideas: Belgium waffle maker, popcorn maker, foot massager, massage chair, bathroom radio, fresh herbs growing (label them), berry buses, fruit trees, goose down comforter, leg elevation device, etc.
If you rent to families, make a special effort to cater to your young guests. Their parents will reward you for doing so! Here are some ideas:
- Put an antique fully functional rocking horse in the living room.
- Add a big cushy bean bag to your furniture and or a bright whimsical kid-friendly area rug near a hand painted toy box filled with all kinds of interesting toys.
- Put a cool gumball vending machine in your living room. You can find these on eBay and Amazon.
- Add a coo coo clock. Kids are totally fascinated by these and it will add eclectic charm to your Orlando vacation rental!
- Make sure you have a variety of kid friendly games on hand such as Twister and Pictionary. Anything related to Harry Potter is a big hit. You could even decorate one of the smaller bedrooms in a Harry Potter theme!
- Classic toys like Mr. Potato Head, Legos, Easy-Bake Oven, and Etch a Sketch are always popular with kids and nostalgic for their parents.
- Provide plenty of crayons and a wide selection of coloring books too!
Tip #7: Hire a Property Manager
Even if you are a natural DIY type of person, you may want to consider the significant benefits a professional Orlando vacation rental management company can offer. A professional management company can be on duty 24/7. If your air conditioner decides to go out on a hot humid July afternoon, an emergency call to the property manager can provide the quick turnaround service that will keep your guests happy.