Improving Your Listing
In Rentalo we offer you a set of user-friendly tools and features you can use to improve your listing. The more information you provide about your property, the higher you will rank among your competition in Rentalo and in search engines.
Travelers are demanding and when looking for a perfect lodging, they prefer to have complete information about every property we offer. If you describe your vacation property well, provide prices and pictures and update your calendar, you have more chances to rent it.
Travelers in Rentalo often refine their search for properties by specifying their budget, number of bedrooms and travel dates. If you do not have this information, you will simply not appear in their search and decrease chances to rent your property. That is why we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this section and learn how to improve the quality of your listing completing its each and every element. Complete and attractive looking listing is one of the secrets to receive more bookings.
Basic Elements of Your Property Listing
It is absolutely crucial for you to provide basic information about your vacation property. This information is like your business card and will tell travelers all they need to know about your vacation rental.
1. Provide a Powerful Property TitleA property title is one of the first things travelers see when looking at properties in Rentalo. That’s why it is important to make it catchy and original.
First of all, conduct your own competition research and look at other properties in your location. Make sure your title stands out and highlights the most important attributes of your vacation property. Is it ocean front, spacious or offers excellent mountain views? Include it in your title! Try to avoid generic titles and think of features that distinguish your property from others.
Also, always try to incorporate keywords (phrases that people use to find you in search engines) in your title, e.x.: Orlando vacation villa, Mont Tremblant vacation condo, etc.
Learn how to add/modify title of your property listing. See tutorial
2. Create a Compelling Property Description
After providing your property details such as number of bedrooms and sleeps, it is time to describe your vacation property. Travelers want to find out about more about it by reading your description, so make sure it provides all the necessary information and convinces your potential renters to book your property.
We recommend using 400 words or more, it is the optimal length for a description. Here are some tips on what to include in it:
- Think of unique features of your place and use them as your most powerful weapon. Is your villa waterfront and offers gorgeous sunsets? Is it spacious and sleeps large parties? Write down all the attributes and elaborate on them in separate paragraphs.
- Use details. Travelers like to picture their future vacation house and plan what to pack and what to leave behind so be specific and provide a short description of each bedroom, amenities and extras (ex.: beach towels, bikes, linens )
- Write about nearby attractions as well. Most travelers like to plan their vacation activities and they greatly appreciate such information. Provide them with a mini guide of things to do in the area. How close it is to the beach/hiking trail? What other great attractions can be found nearby? (Ex. Amusement Parks, nature trails, museums and art galleries)
- Add a personal touch to your description. Don't be afraid to show emotion and inject a little feeling to your text. Let travelers know who you are and how long you own the house. Also, relate to the experience of your previous guests, for example: "Our guests enjoy gorgeous sunsets from our lakefront deck and love watching movies from our wide DVD collection". Emotion sells.
- Last but not least. Keywords, keywords, keywords. Think of the keywords that travelers use to search for vacation homes in your area. What would you put in search box when looking for a vacation rental? You can also use numerous keyword research tools that are available on the Internet for free. Make your list and try to insert keywords to every paragraph of your description. This will help travelers find your property in search engines. Examples of keywords are: Orlando vacation rental, Orlando condo, Orlando villa, Orlando short-term rental, Orlando accommodation, Orlando lodging, Orlando vacation home, etc.
WHAT TO DO
- Put yourself in the shoes of travelers and think of what they expect to find out from your description
- Prepare a plan and divide your text into paragraphs
- Keep your text simple and concise. On the Internet people only scan text
- Check grammar (use programs that perform a spell check)
- Proofread your description before you publish it
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Avoid listing amenities or things to do. Describe them
- Avoid very long sentences with commas. Keep it simple
- Do not use caps. It does not look professional
- Try not to repeat the same word several times. Use thesaurus or dictionary for help
Learn how to add property description to your listing. See tutorial
3. Upload Unlimited High Resolution Pictures
High quality and attractive pictures are another essential element of a good property listing. You have probably heard the old proverb "A picture is worth a thousand words". It means that with one picture you can communicate what it would take pages to describe.
Our modern slideshow helps you showcase unlimited amount of photos and include their titles. We recommend you include at least nine high resolution photos of your vacation property showing not only your bedrooms and property inside, but also the view from your windows and your house from the outside. Here are a few tips:
- Hire a professional photographer to take excellent pictures of your property. Look at several options before you commit to one photographer. Look at their portfolio and go with the one whose pictures impress you the most.
- If your budget is tight, get a digital camera. It doesn't have to be fancy and expensive camera. Any camera with a resolution of 3.0 mega pixels or more would be perfect for the job.
- Look at other properties in your area or in other cities and see which ones catch your attention first. Look at the angles and the best lightning. Small details go a long way.
- Use free software to enhance your pictures. Nowadays you don't need to be a photoshop expert to edit your pictures. You can simply download such free program by Google as Picasa which allows you to quickly organize and make simple changes in your images. You can download it at http://picasa.google.com
WHAT TO DO
- Turn on all the lights in your vacation property. It gives your house a special warm atmosphere.
- Wait for a sunny weather or a nice sunset to take pictures of your property from the outside.
- Put flowers, candles, nice sheets and fresh fruit in your house. Those look lovely on pictures!
- Try to use a tripod to avoid blurry pictures.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Do not use scanned and low resolution (pixeled) photographs
- Try not to include people on your pictures
- Clean your property before taking pictures not to capture a messy kitchen or swimming pool with guest stuff by it
- Do not take pictures of dark rooms against the light
- Avoid uploading pictures of hallways, narrow spaces and nothing specific
- Try not to include badly cropped or zoomed photographs
- Do not place pictures of nearby activities as your main photo
Learn how to upload pictures to your listing. See tutorial
4. Update Your Availability Calendar FrequentlyTravelers in Rentalo have the option to enter their travel dates right on our home page. If you have your calendar updated, you will benefit from being displayed as one of the first options for travelers. Your potential renters need to know if you are available or not, otherwise many won't even take time to contact you.
Updating an availability calendar is very easy and fast. The important thing is to make a habit of keeping it updated after every booking. Owners who have their availability calendar up to date have higher chances of renting their vacation property.
Learn how to update your availability calendar. See tutorial
5. Add a Complete Pricing InformationPrices are equally important as other property listing elements mentioned above. Many property owners chose not to display prices thinking it will scare away potential renters. Showing your prices, however, will only safe traveler's time and give them all the information they need to know. Travelers have different needs. If your prices are high, present your added value and explain why it is worth to rent your property.
If your prices vary depending on the season, you can place all of them in our flexible pricing table specifying dates and even the currency.
Learn how to add prices to your property listing. See tutorial
Additional Elements of Your Property ListingAfter you have completed basic information about your property, you can increase your listing's attractiveness by adding the information below.
6. Add a Link to Your Property VideoVideo says more than 1000 pictures and is a great marketing tool to highlight the value of your property.
You can have the video of you vacation rental professionally done for you, but you can also do it yourself. All you need is a digital camera with a video option and a free program that every computer has such as Windows Movie Maker to edit it. In such program you can add music and subtitles to your video and convert it to a .avi or .mov file that will make it possible for you to upload it to YouTube. Instead of shooting a video, you can also prepare a slideshow of your best property pictures with subtitles and music.
Uploading a video to You Tube is simple and doesn't require any special skills. After you do it, you can include a link from You Tube in you Rentalo listing and vuala!
7. Enable Your Property MapThanks to this feature travelers will be able to locate you on the map, so make sure you provide your property address.
8. Encourage Traveler ReviewsTraveler reviews and comments add credibility to your listing and create trust in your potential renters, who prefer to relate to experience of your previous guests.
Gathering feedback is an important part of the renting process. Let your guests know you always strive to meet their needs and value their opinions. It only shows your commitment to maintaining high standards. Encourage your guests to post their comments and feedback on your Rentalo listing. Such real testimonials are very valuable for travelers.
If your guests sent you nice testimonials in the past, you can also add them to your listing. All you have to do is find your property in Rentalo as if you were a traveler and scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says: See all comments/Add a comment. You can post travelers' comments there and they will be shown after our approval. If you prefer your guests to write testimonials, explain them how to post a comment for your listing.
9. List and Describe Your Features and AmenitiesUse our check boxes to choose amenities guests will find in your vacation property. If your amenity is not on our list, you can always list it in an empty space provided in additional check boxes.
After listing all your property amenities, you can use the space below to include an enticing description. If there is something you haven't mentioned before, describe it below as well. Try to highlight the value of your property by describing its most prominent and unique amenities.
Learn how to add amenities to your property listing. See tutorial
10. List and Describe Nearby AttractionsTravelers like to plan activities during their vacation. Help them with that and list all the things to do and nearby attractions travelers will find in your area. You can choose them checking our check boxes and use the space below to describe them. If there are any museums, aquariums, hiking trails or amusement parks, include them in your description as well. Travelers will highly appreciate this information.
Learn how to add nearby attractions to your listing. See tutorial
11. Add Payment MethodsIn payment methods you should provide full information about deposits, taxes, extra fees, cancellation policies and other conditions of renting your property. Do not hide any costs from your potential renters! You should also list payment methods you accept in your property such as checks, money orders, paypal or credit cards.
Learn how to add payment methods. See tutorial
12. Provide Contact InformationWe recommend you to provide at least one phone number and a contact name. Many travelers like to call you immediately after seeing your listing and if there is no phone number, they move on. Providing a contact name makes your listing more personal and travelers know who to ask for when they contact you.
Learn how to add or modify your contact information. See tutorial
13. Choose the Theme and Background For Your ListingOnce your listing is complete, you can also customize your page choosing one of the 7 different themes that best represents your property or the season you want to promote. It will make your listing more attractive and professional.
Our themes include: Summer/Beach, Sports, Spring/Fishing, City/Metro, Autumn/Mountain, Winter/Ski and Rentalo skins. Choose the one that best fits your property!
Supplementary Elements of Your Property ListingOnce your listing is fully edited and provides all the basic and additional information about your property, it is time for you to take advantage of our extra features that can help you receive high quality booking inquiries and market your property more efficiently.
14. Inquiry FiltersJust like travelers can filter out properties that fit their requirements, you can also decide what kind of inquiries you would like to receive. This applies to destination-based inquiries we send to all the properties that match traveler's requirements. For instance you can select:
- the minimum and maximum number of guests you will be willing to accommodate
- the number of bedrooms you offer to travelers
- the minimum rate per night you want to receive inquiries for
- the nearby destinations for which you DO NOT desire to receive inquiries
- keywords you DO NOT wish your inquiry to contain
Learn how to set up Inquiry Filters. See tutorial
15. Auto OffersIf you receive numerous destination-based inquiries daily and find it hard to respond to each of them individually, use auto offers. When you enable this feature, Rentalo will send and automatic offer to travelers with calculated pricing and availability. If you want to take advantage of this tool, please remember to update your calendar at least every 60 days and specify at least 1 price range.
Learn how to enable Auto Offers. See tutorial
16. Special Offers
Special Offers is an excellent proactive marketing tool to receive more bookings. You will not only be more visible to travelers in your destination, but you will also be included in our home page and featured in our Best Value Accommodations Newsletter sent to opted-in traveler database bimonthly.
In order to set a Special Offer you must show a minimum of 10% discount from the regular price you have listed with us. It is a great tool for you to broadcast any last-minute offers, off-season promotions, special packages or weekend specials. Here's your chance to make your offer more attractive and appeal to those looking for special deals.
Learn how to enter Special Offers. See tutorial
Congratulations! You Have now Learned how to Complete your Property Listing!
See our Example of a Complete and Attractive Property Listing with Comments and Tips! (link to visual tutorial)If you have other questions or doubts, contact our friendly staff for assistance here .