There’s a lot that goes into managing multiple vacation rental properties. Whether it’s a dozen, a hundred, or a thousand units, your plates are full. We understand!
And when it comes to marketing your vacation rentals, you’ve already been told that you need professional photographs of the units. You need search engine optimization. You need a social media presence, a sharp professional website, a monthly newsletter.
The truth is, most of those vacation rental marketing “musts” actually are important. And we have another to add to the list: copywriting.
Breathe easy. Relax. Don’t stress yourself with the prospect of another “must” to add to the list! The great news about copywriting is that it’s not rocket science. No software to learn. No coding skills required. No mastery of the dark arts required (read: SEO!).
Best of all?
The rule of “little and often” makes vacation rental copywriting a snap to manage. But more on that in another post. Right now we want to recap why copywriting for vacation rental property managers even matters.
What is vacation rental copywriting?
When we say “copywriting,” we mean sharply written content that sells. Here’s a sample of where we use copywriting for vacation rentals:
Captivating and informative descriptions of the properties you manage. This could be your own vacation rental website or aggregator sites like VRBO and Airbnb. Typically those descriptions are 300-400 words in length, with the right balance of punch and depth.
Web content that sells homeowners on your company’s expertise. Note the subtle shift from direct selling of units, to selling of your unique service offer: your expertise and, very often, your story.
Blog posts that draw in a new audience. Potential guests will browse beyond your vacation rental listings, looking for engaging content. It’s an opportunity to showcase your expertise and provide your guests a sense of place, key factors in creating that emotive holiday feeling.
Newsletters that re-engage past guests. Many guests visit the same destination every year. They value reliability and familiarity. It pays to keep your past guests engaged with interesting and relevant updates throughout the year.
Simply creating the website, the blog, the newsletter, isn’t enough: you have to fill it with content that people will devour like warm chocolate chip cookies. And that takes skill.
Not that you have to hire us, by any means; we just want to convince you that implementing pro copy (or at least paying close attention to the words that represent your company) can give you a serious leg up!
1. Your competition isn’t doing it.
As of right now, the field of vacation rental copywriting is pretty new.
Within the last few years, VR industry professionals have established how absolutely critical great photographs are. Those who jumped on the pro photo bandwagon first saw great returns. Now, anyone who doesn’t have pro photos finds themselves lagging behind.
Copywriting is like that. Right now, most property managers are getting by with some limp copy that informs people of property amenities but doesn’t excite anyone. Your guests are looking for a spark.
If you have targeted, thoughtful, sensory words that people actually read, you’re well on your way to setting your company apart.
2. Copywriting will impress your property owners.
When you (or a trusted outside party) write fetching-yet-honest copy that points to the key things that make a rental stand out, those who own the property will feel a renewed sense of pride in it.
We’ve seen it a lot; owners develop a sort of love/hate relationship with their property… it’s been a bigger investment than they imagined, or it’s under-performing, or they’re just tired of looking at it.
With some new copy that applies a creative eye, they can see their property through someone else’s lens. And if your copy is factual yet glowing, they’ll be reminded that their property is actually pretty great.
And they’ll have you to thank for the new view. Which leads to…
3. It’s a selling point for your company.
Pro copywriting is a service sites like HomeAway and VRBO aren’t providing (yet), so it’s a specific advantage you can point to when selling homeowners on why they should choose you to manage their rentals.
After all, the major hotel brands use professional copywriters. They wouldn’t dream of not using them. Imagine a description of a Ritz-Carlton property that’s full of grammatical errors… or even just bland copy. The horror!
What’s good for multi-million dollar hospitality brands is good for you—and for your potential property owners, too. Strong copy shows them your marketing toolkit is full of options…and it doesn’t have to come at a Ritz-Carlton price, either!
4. It hits travelers where it counts.
Not only does strong copy sell property owners on your management, it sells potential guests on the properties. Photos go a long way, but they can’t capture everything.
Like how it sounds when the kids are splashing joyfully in the pool. Or how it feels to collapse into a pillow-top king-sized bed knowing you can sleep late the next morning. How the sunset looks when you’re hand-in-hand with your partner on the oceanfront deck.
Vacation rental copywriting can do that! And not in an obvious way. With the magic of words, you can allude to these feelings and experiences and hit travelers where it counts: their hearts.
5. It helps with SEO.
When a lot of people see “SEO” and “copywriting” in the same sentence, they think of keywords. And yes, keywords do help, insofar as they let travelers know who you are and what you do. It would be a serious mistake to not include the name of your destination and the words “vacation rentals” on your front page.
At the same time, gone are the days where saturating your webpage with the same phrase over and over and over (and over) moved you quickly up the ranks.
Now, the key is building an audience, which is why social media, blogs and newsletters get so much attention. These endeavors are built to draw people to your website to learn more. And the more visitors you get, the higher you rank. The higher you rank, the more visitors you get…and so on.
But like we said above, simply having the blog infrastructure and throwing up a couple blog posts every 6 months isn’t going to be an SEO magic bullet. Even updating weekly isn’t a magic bullet.
If your content isn’t great—if it doesn’t tell a story or hook people with info that’s relevant to them, and language that’s engaging and easy to understand—then your blog and newsletter won’t be a powerhouse and your SEO ranking won’t benefit.
So where do you start?
You might be wondering: can I do my own copywriting? Why pay someone else?
Great questions. And the answer is, yes, you can do your own copywriting. If you decide to take it on, though, we recommend doing some research.
Copywriting resource sites like Copyblogger offer excellent advice. So does Matt Landau over at the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (search his blog and “copywriting” for some excellent tips).
Or, if you’re short on time and need a helping hand, take a look at Guest Hook, the first vacation-rental specific copywriting agency. We understand travel marketing and can write copy that reaches your target audience!