Places to Market Your Vacation Rental Property Online

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Plans for a vacation, honeymoon, family reunion, or weekend getaway often begin online. Put your investment property in front of potential renters by advertising it online. While a website for your rental property can be a great idea – it sets your property apart from the many other options, and lets vacation planners get a good feel for what the home is like (check out my parents’ home – www.carolinabeachbreeze.com for example) it’s unlikely that someone will come across the site simply by finding it through a search engine.

Beach house

It would take a lot of time, money, and effort to have a single property site outrank one of the big players in the vacation rental market, and so it may be a better use to resources to have your home listed on one or more of the popular listing sites. Here are a few to consider (Prices listed are those posted on the websites at the time of this writing):
VRBO.com
Vacation Rentals by Owner(R) boasts more than 42 million visits per year. You list your property ($349.00 and up per year) and then communicate directly with potential renters and handle the booking from there.
MasterpieceRentals.com
Another site filled with great vacation rentals which focuses on higher end homes from around the globe. Annual listing fees are under $200/yr and there are frequently half off specials. Full Disclosure: some of the people who own ForTheBestRate.com also own MasterpieceRentals.com.
FlipKey.com
FlipKey listings are also displayed on TripAdvisor.com, one of the most popular online travel sites. After a 60 day free trial the cost of an annual listing starts at $299.99 or $34.99 a month.
PetsWelcome.com
If your rental allows pets appeal directly to the animal lovers with a listing on PetsWelcome.com. This site costs $150 per year (after a free first month.) Other similar sites include DogFriendly.com and BringFido.com.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your online listing:
  • Include lots of great pictures. Images make an emotional connection with the viewer – use them to convey what a great time a vacationer will have at your property. Include pictures of each bedroom so potential renters can see exactly what they will be getting.
  • Provide a ton of information. Fill out every field, and use the property description to the fullest. Talk about the home, location, town, nearby attractions, restaurants, and more. Give tips to help renters enjoy their stay, and help them figure out how to get there.
  • Respond as soon as possible. Anyone who contacts you has likely inquired about several other properties as well, and those they hear back from first will generally get more attention.
  • Keep good records about where your inquiries and bookings come from. This will help you evaluate where to best spend your money in the future.

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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