Vacation Rental Marketing

Why market listings?

Distribution channels and low-cost website building tools have allowed property managers to effectively market their properties. Property managers with a strong marketing presence that have their own website and use a variety of platforms are able to connect with a higher number of consumers.

Vacation rental marketing distribution is a method PMs use to amplify different booking sources and reach by sharing properties across a variety of platforms.

OTAs and Channel Distribution

OTAs have changed the landscape of booking vacation rentals. OTAs are consolidating their dominant position within the short term rental industry as property managers and guests become increasingly dependent on them. As this pattern continues, property managers are directly competing with more listings, making it more essential than ever to adopt a distribution strategy.

According to the European Vacation Rental Survey 2018, which surveyed more than 500 European property managers, 60% of property managers’ bookings are concentrated in Airbnb and, which is more than double their direct channel bookings (26%).

Channel Distribution

European Vacation Rental Survey 2018

European Vacation Rental Survey 2018 Report

Why should you list your property on an OTA?

The most effective and efficient way to market a vacation rental home is by listing it on a variety of online travel agencies (OTAs). By using a variety of channels to advertise your property, you will increase free traffic. The more vacation rental channels that your property is on, the more visibility your property will get.

Some online travel agents target a particular audience within the vacation rental industry. Ensure that your properties are also advertised on these. For example, if you manage apartments, make sure you check out online apartment travel agencies.

Strategies to increase your Direct Channel Distribution

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is essential to drip feed the “what to see and do” posts, spark imagination and grab attention.

Digital marketing continues to improve and it has reached a point where property managers can be creative and offer promotions that reach a wider audience. Content is shared across independent websites, social media and online travel agencies and engages with customers in a powerful way across a variety of platforms.

Key digital marketing strategies:

Have an online website. Although it is important to be featured on OTAs and drive bookings through them, you must be able to differentiate yourself as an independent business by having your own website. Branding your business and having a web address for your email and business cards will increase awareness. Make sure it looks professional with high-quality images and a detailed description of the property and the surrounding area. Examples of good vacation rental websites are those of Vacation Rentals Secrets.

Key tips:

High-resolution photos.

  • Professional photos are key to drawing in potential guests
  • Make sure your default photo presents the most attractive quality of your property

Detailed description

  • An in-depth description of the property, its amenities, and the surrounding area will attract more customers

Email marketing is an important strategy to directly attract your client base. Remember, it is important to grasp your clients’ attention and lead them into visiting your website. Email marketing can include newsletters to re-engage past and potential visitors, offers, such as low-season discounts, and/or news about upcoming local events.

Content marketing is an excellent marketing strategy for a number of reasons

  • It reaches guests at all stages of their research. It not only addresses holidayers that are looking to rent, but also those that are planning or daydreaming about their next trip.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a keyword optimization technique that incorporates commonly searched words into a website. Keyword research can boost your rankings on Google, effectively driving organic traffic.
  • Writing a compelling blog post about the destination is an excellent way of engaging with your target audience. Don’t forget to include a link for booking your property :)

Social media has become a crucial element of any marketing strategy. There are two key strategies to take into account in your social media campaign to increase traffic: advertising and content.

  • Advertising allows you to target your audience directly. However, it requires trial and error so it is best to start off with small investments and gradually increase your budget.
  • Using content to promote relevant news about the area, share blog posts, interact with travelers and share your property is a great way to increase interest. When sharing your own property, it is essential to have high quality photos of your vacation rental property.


  • Strong partnerships with local businesses and your tourism bureau can increase your exposure.
  • Public relations campaigns are also an effective way to market your property. Magazines and influencers can spread the word of your vacation rental property to a direct audience, reaching new markets and attracting targeted and quality leads.

Cheatsheet - what makes a good vacation rental listing

A good vacation rental listing is essential to ensure you are optimizing the highest possible occupancy.

Customers must choose between a wide range of different properties. Marketing strategies must answer some or all of the following questions:

  • What is different about this vacation rental property?
  • What amenities make it stand out?
  • Where is it located?
  • Can I get a deal?

In order to maximise occupancy, you must ensure that your property stands out from the rest, paying attention to:

  • The title and description - be descriptive and punchy, focusing on the target audience
  • Key features - what will draw customers to your listing?
  • Photos - upload professional photographs

For more information on ‘what to list’ and ‘how to list’ your property, please check out the article ‘What Makes a Good Vacation Rental Listing?’.


Although it is important to spend time focusing on a marketing strategy and the distribution of your vacation rental listings, a correct pricing strategy is of paramount importance.

By keeping a constant eye on the prices of your competitors and the immediate market you are competing with, you will be able to make more informed decisions on how to price your listing.

Transparent’s Dashboards allow you to monitor your competition to ensure that you are optimizing your rates and staying up to date with market trends. It gives you all the data you need in one place, so that you have more time to focus on your marketing strategy.