In just over 3 weeks, Guest Hook will be headed to Toronto for this year’s Vacation Rental Success Summit. We can’t wait to spend some time connecting and re-connecting with industry pros and vacation rental owners and managers.
Guess what? If you haven’t signed up to join us yet, you can register at a discount from today, Monday, April 17, until this Friday, April 21, using code GH200 for $200 off a single ticket or GH400 for $400 off a couple’s ticket.
We’ll be presenting about copywriting for vacation rental managers. As a sneak peek at some of the pro tips we’re offering, we’re revisiting our 5 reasons why property managers should care about copywriting. Read on below—and be sure to come see us in Toronto!
What is vacation rental copywriting for property managers?
When we say “copywriting,” we mean sharply written content that helps to sell your rentals. That includes:
Captivating and informative descriptions of the properties you manage.
Web content that convinces potential homeowners of your company’s expertise.
Blog posts that draw a new audience.
[Struggle with blog writing? Here are 5 ways to stop procrastinating your vacation rental blog.]
Newsletters that re-engage past guests.
Targeted pre- and post-stay guest communications.
But 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.
That takes a bit more skill, but the payoff can be significant, especially for property managers struggling to set themselves apart.
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 a different 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.
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!