How to Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out

Find out how to make your rental different from all the others, so you can attract more bookings and give your guests an unforgettable stay.

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When you have to compete with millions of other listings for guests’ attention, finding a way to stand out becomes a priority. 

The great thing is that you don’t need to have the most luxurious rental in your area or spend a bucketload of money on a themed house. All it takes is a smart strategy and a deep understanding of the market and your target audience.

So, join us as we share proven tips and techniques for setting your vacation rental apart and winning over those potential guests.

Personalize Your Guests’ Stays

Making a lasting impression on your guests is about going the extra mile to make them feel special. 

Before they even arrive, gather information about their preferences and requirements. You can send them a pre-arrival questionnaire or survey that covers aspects such as dietary restrictions, favorite activities, special occasions they might be celebrating, and any specific amenities they would appreciate during their stay. 

For example, if they’re passionate about wine or share that they want to go on a vineyard tour, you can welcome them with a local wine in the rental. Also, small gestures, like handwritten welcome notes or locally sourced welcome baskets add a personal touch that sets the stage for a memorable stay.

Spoil Your Guests

If you want to stand out, you need to do more than just meet expectations; you need to surpass them. Raising the bar for your Airbnb guests means going above and beyond the norm.

You can greet them with a slice of luxury, such as top-of-the-line toiletries, cozy bathrobes, and a pantry stocked with gourmet goodies. You can also throw in some surprises like complimentary massages or tickets to local attractions. 

Vacation Rental Guidebook: Here’s How to Create One

By treating your guests to these unexpected perks, you’re creating an experience they’ll remember fondly and share with others, whether that’s raving about it in reviews or recommending your rental to friends and family.

Be a Local Expert

Become the go-to expert for your guests by sharing insider tips and recommendations about the local area. When guests travel, they see it as an opportunity to break away from their everyday lives and get lost in a new environment. With a simple guidebook, you can help them do exactly that.

Put together a guidebook with top-notch restaurants, hidden gems in your city, and must-visit attractions nearby. If you’re rental is family-friendly or typically hosts outdoor adventures, you can tailor these suggestions to your guests’ interests.

Creating a digital guidebook doesn’t need to be a hassle if you use intuitive platforms like Touch Stay and Hostfully’s Digital Guidebook. You can also take a look at our guide on how to make your own guidebook

Optimize Your Listings

Boost your rental’s visibility and appeal by optimizing its online presence. 

Start with your rental’s title. It should include relevant and descriptive keywords that will make guests stop scrolling and click on your listing. Our guide can help you write a title that stands out, and you can also give this Airbnb Title Generator a try.

The next step is to write a compelling and SEO-friendly description that highlights key selling points and underlines the advantages of staying at your rental. Don’t forget to add strategic keywords, but don’t go overboard and cram every keyword you can find into your description as it’ll sound forced and awkward. 

You should also keep potential guests in the loop by regularly updating your listings with accurate availability and pricing information.

Make It Pet-Friendly

Around 53% of travelers bring their pets on vacation, so the demand for pet-friendly accommodations is a rising trend. By welcoming pets into your rental, you can boost your booking potential and attract a larger pool of travelers.

Don’t stop at just allowing guests to bring their furry friends. Make them feel right at home with pet-friendly perks like bowls, beds, and a fenced yard or outdoor space. 

For an extra touch, share info about nearby pet-friendly spots, dog parks, and pet shops. 

We would recommend, however, setting clear policies for pet owners to prevent any misunderstandings. This can include guidelines for pet behavior, additional cleaning fees, and rules regarding noise and outdoor areas.

Set Competitive Rates

If your pricing doesn’t keep up with the market demands and competitors’ prices, you will miss out on bookings and lose potential guests to other options. But, with the right pricing strategy in place, your rental will be the preferred choice of many. 

Do some research to figure out how much similar rentals are charging in your area. When things get slower and your pricing is similar to competitors, you can give discounts or run special deals to attract travelers who are watching their wallets. 

Setting competitive rates is a combination of competitive analysis and dynamic pricing, and pricing tools can streamline those processes. Tools like Wheelhouse and Beyond give you access to market insights and pricing strategies that will automatically adjust your prices.

You can also use  Airbnb’s Smart Pricing Tool, but one drawback is that Airbnb’s goal is to give guests the cheapest price, which may not always be what you want.

Hire a Professional Photographer

Investing in professional photography can give your property a real edge in a crowded market, helping it to grab potential guests’ attention the moment they set eyes on your listing.

A skilled photographer can make your rental look irresistible to potential guests and boost its perceived value. They know exactly how to stage the room, what to highlight, and how to evoke the ambiance that will draw people in.

Some of them do drone photography as well, so they can capture stunning aerial views that show your property’s surroundings and add an extra wow factor.

This investment pays off in many ways since you can also use those photos for your social media, website, and marketing materials.

Analyze Your Competition

You can learn a lot from your competitors, and they can actually help you make your rental stand out.

Make it a habit to check out similar properties from time to time to see what amenities they have and what guests are saying about them. You can use tools such as AirDNA to spy on your competitors. 

Find out how to make your rental different from all the others, so you can attract more bookings and give your guests an unforgettable stay.

Be sure to read guest feedback carefully since they’re packed with valuable information on where your competitors are excelling and where they’re falling short.

Once you identify the gaps in the market, you can adjust your strategy to better meet the needs of your guests and stay ahead of the competition. 

Check out our list of the best comparison tools for your Airbnb.

Provide Memorable Experiences

Guests may forget about the specifics of their accommodations, but they will remember the experiences they had during their visit. Helping them create lasting memories will make you unique among the sea of rentals that focus only on giving them a place to stay.

You can plan and arrange themed events, cooking classes, guided tours, or workshops that will teach guests about the local culture, food, or traditions. If you don’t have the time to organize these experiences yourself, team up with local businesses and offer your guests special discounts.

Final Thoughts

Creating a standout vacation rental isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. It all comes down to personalized touches, exceptional guest experiences, and keeping up with the trends. 

Just remember, this is an ongoing endeavor. You should never stop looking for ways to improve and go the extra mile for your guests.

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