Marketing Your Vacation Rentals: The 5 Most Expensive Mistakes

July 11, 2019 |

Running a vacation rental business can be both fun and hugely rewarding. Due to the nature of the job, it’s easy to think you can stray from traditional business models, but if you’re serious about success, you’re going to want to be strategic about the way you market your business and ensure you adhere to some core marketing principals.

Here’s a look at five of the most common marketing mistakes that you need to avoid for your vacation rental business.

1. Not defining your target audience

It is vital to have a clear understanding of your target audience, as this will influence all of the marketing and advertising content that you publish. The choice to target families, couples, or groups of friends can make a huge difference in the points that you emphasize in your marketing descriptions.

Think about the different ways that your vacation rentals could potentially suit the needs of specific target markets, for example, its distance to the beach and local amenities, or particular features of the property such as a large kitchen that would be suited to large groups. Once you’ve determined which kinds of travelers your rentals are likely to appeal to, you can focus your marketing efforts on this specific group.

2. Not utilizing enough marketplaces

Many property managers make the mistake of limiting their pool of marketplaces, believing that it would be too challenging to manage multiple listings across multiple platforms. Though advertising your rentals in more place may demand more effort,  it is important that you take advantage of the many online channels available in order to maximize your revenue, and not just the big names like Airbnb and, but also more niche sites.

The more websites that your rental is listed on, the more likely you are to get increased exposure, and as a result, bookings. Plus, thanks to advances in technology, listing on multiple sites is easier than ever before.

Utilizing a property management software like Guesty will ensure that all of your calendars are synced, helping you avoid double bookings. It will also allow you to seamlessly distribute your listing(s) across major OTAs and vacation rental sites, so that you don’t have to spend hours filling in the same details on every single site.

3. Not establishing unique selling points

The vacation rental industry is a tough, competitive marketplace. Potential customers not only have a range of options on the sites you’re listed on, but could also go elsewhere. You really need to sell your rental by explaining exactly what makes it stand out from the crowd.

You can start by identifying the unique selling points (USPs) of your property, remembering that these can take on many different forms. Perhaps your vacation rental is situated in an idea location with plenty of public transport links into the local town, or maybe it’s located next to a dog-friendly beach, which would make it ideal for travelers who want to bring their pets along.

Rather than trying to present your vacation rental as one-size-fits-all, it is much better to be specific and highlight your USPs within your listing description.

4. Not taking regulations seriously

As with any business, it is essential that you follow all of the relevant rules and regulations. While some might be more obvious, like insuring your property, there are some you may not be aware of that could impact your marketing approach.

There are still some holiday rental managers who operate without complying properly with data laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is relevant to any property manager dealing with European guests.

Failing to familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations could result in hefty fines that can significantly damage your business.

5. Not taking advantage of social media


The value of social media cannot be overstated. Platforms like Facebook, Instragram and Twitter enable you to engage with your holiday guests and show off what makes your rental such a fantastic getaway.

However, it is important that you use social media in the right way. You shouldn’t just be on Facebook and Twitter for the sake of it – make sure that you are posting regularly and maximizing your SEO in order to turn your social media profiles into significant marketing resources for your vacation rental business.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Marketing plays a pivotal role in the success of any short-term rental management company. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your property gets the attention it deserves.