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Improving your holiday rental advert (Pt 2)

This is the second part of our guide to improving your advert, you can read part 1 – Get the most out of your holiday rental advert.

Look good under scrutiny.

Once a person has clicked through to your property advert, they will scrutinise your advert. Different customers care about different aspects, you should give each customer the information they are after – here are some key points to bear in mind.

Calendar management and rental rates.

Rates and Availability Calendar

There is nothing more frustrating for a holidaymaker than inaccurate availability so with this is mind we reward owners who update theirs on a regular basis by putting them nearer to the top of the search results.

Also, given that the “last updated by owner” date is shown to the holidaymaker, the more you update the calendar the more engaging your advert appears as it is clear that you will be showing actual availability which will encourage more booking enquiries.

Video.

We were the first mainstream site in our sector to introduce video content for owners – and the only one to offer it for free. Video content of your home or the area can dramatically enhance the appreciation of your proposition. If you don’t currently have your own video of your property then we recommend searching YouTube and see if you can find a good touristic video/s which can be added easily to your advert. It is estimated that by 2014 there will be more daily searches on the internet for video content than for conventional information searches and so we really encourage you to create and upload video to your advert as soon as possible.

Photos.

Take time to photograph upload the best quality original pictures, and to change them with the seasons. Also consider adding images of local attractions, be it golf courses, beaches, local villages or landmarks. You are entitled to 20 images at no extra cost and we recommend that you utilise your full allocation. It’s worth reading this article from a professional interior photographer – Get the most from your property photographs.

Map.

When creating your advert you can place a marker on your map, our research shows that people zoom in, and click to ‘satellite’ mode (see “heat map” of visitor habits below), to get a better view of the property and surroundings. If the marker is in the wrong place you could lose the customer – You can zoom in and set the marker, try to make it as accurate as possible.

google maps heatmap

'Heatmap' showing how users interact with the map.

Points of interest.

You can list nearby points of interest, and the corresponding distance. This is useful to help a customer bridge the gap between browsing and planning their holiday. Nearest airport, train station, beach, theme park, city centre, etc.

Encourage people to enquire.

Finally when somebody is satisfied your property is ideal for their stay, they will need to enquire. This is where all the elements pull together – if your ad looks good, has superb images and descriptions, a spot on map, an ID verified badge, good rates, up to date availability and description (no good mentioning “New for 2010” somewhere in your description when it’s now 2011!) then the enquiries should come.

Competition for enquiries can be fierce and it doesn’t take much to put a potential customer off, so keep your advert up to date and as good as it can be. http://www.pureholidayhomes.com

Get the most out of your holiday rental advert – Part 1

Your advert on pureholidayhomes.com presents your property to our huge audience of holiday makers – we’ll do everything we can to bring people to the site and encourage them to search and enquire for properties, but there is a lot you can do to enhance and improve your advert, to get the most out of listing with us.
There are four stages to consider in generating an enquiry.

  1. Show up in search results.*
  2. Look good in search results.
  3. Look good under scrutiny.
  4. Encourage people to enquire.

In this first blog post we look at part 1 and 2 – Appearing, and looking good in search results.

Show up in search results.

This could probably be rephrased ‘show up in the most relevant search results’ because this is where your potential customers will be searching – So by getting your details as accurate as possible you will show up to the right people, rather than being an irrelevant property in the wrong search results.

Make sure you’re number of bedrooms, sleeps, location, theme, suitable for and rates are accurate.

Other factors affecting your appearance in search results are how up to date your advert is, and if you have rates set. If you’ve not set rates for a period that someone is searching for, you’ll not show up in search results at all.

Keep your rates up to date, and set them for far into the future, at least a rolling 12 months in advance.

Another benefit of updating your advert will be that your advert will be automatically returned to the top of the search results; therefore you are rewarded for updating your advertisement. Any simple update which is then “saved’ will be enough to do this but the best update will be one to your calendar which states the date of update for all to see.

Look good in search results.

Your ideal customer has run a search and you’ve appeared – you’re just one of many results, how can you get viewed?

Again, relevance plays a part – your property might be relevant but unless it’s clear in the search result you may get overlooked. Your property needs to look and sound appealing, and also provide assurance as to quality and authenticity. Take a look at what we show in search results.

Seatrch results example

  1. Photos – your 4 ‘cover’ photos are shown, with the main image being cover image 1. Pick 4 photos that summarise the 4 key aspects of your property – the first image should probably be a well taken shot photo of your property or other eye catching image that is going to wow the viewer. (Read our article – Get the most from your property photographs)
  2. Title – This is the descriptive title of your advert, it should sell your unique selling points and also be distinct and memorable if the customer comes back later. There is no need to use a location if the location is correctly set for your advert.
  3. Rates – accurate pricing is fine, competitive pricing can help give you an edge, prices from ‘£1’ won’t look like a bargain but instead look untrustworthy.
  4. Reviews are hugely important and are clearly indicated in search results. Statistics show that properties with 5 or more reviews generate 33% more enquiries than those without. If you have reviews from previous guests on other sites please feel free to upload these yourself.
  5. The short description for your advert appears in the results and should provide a succinct idea of what is available.
  6. The ID verification badge shows that pureholidayhomes.com has independently verified the identity of the person listing the advert. Owners with the VERIFIED badge will provide a potential holidaymaker with the comfort that they are dealing with an owner who has successfully proven their identification and authenticity. If you haven’t yet been verified then call +44 (0)1753 728 730 to go through the process.

So now please go and take a look at how your property appears in search results, and consider the points above and if you could potentially make improvements.

*Showing up in ‘Search Engines’ is a different matter but equally important. – We’ll come back to this!

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