The place to get your property noticed is, of course, the internet, but the presentation of your holiday home needs to have something that makes it stand out. Read on to find out more about how to advertise on the web.
Creating a good online impression for your holiday property
Good quality images are essential, especially the main photograph that shows as a thumbnail in search results. This really needs to appeal to the browser instantly. In general, aim for clarity and pleasing composition to tell the story of your property in pictures. If all your guests exclaim, “This is really nice, your advert didn’t do the place justice,” then your presentation is failing, so you’ll need to act to make it better!
Quantity of photographs is also important. Remember that holidaymakers want to see what to expect, imagine themselves already there and feel safe to book without risk of disappointment. That’s what prompted us to display large format photographs and up to thirty images for each property. We’re also first in our field with professionally edited two-minute video tours of holiday homes – and adding a specific search option for properties with video. Not everyone is using video so you’ll stand out from the crowd while giving your potential guests exciting information in a fun way.
Make your property description informative and articulate, giving your page an eye- catching title and using colourful adjectives to draw the reader in. Then wax lyrical about the history, atmosphere or special qualities of your house or gite and describe the holiday experience. Finally explain accurately the practical details of what’s on offer, both at the property and in the local area.
Give Internet Browsers Something Extra
Browsers love suggestions of What to Do and Where to Go, so to give yourself an edge, add a month by month calendar of ‘what’s on in my area’ to encourage guests to book specific dates according to their interest. Say when your village has its annual ‘fete’ and include a photograph. Give examples of routes and places for one-day and half-day outings and say that other ideas are available on request on arrival.
If you run multiple properties and are present on site, then arrange a themed evening like wine tasting or a barbecue as a get together one night a week for those guests who like to socialise. Also look at special activities that you can offer – classes, therapies or sports. If you don’t have appropriate skills yourself, then bring in a teacher or therapist and make bookings for local sports facilities on behalf of your guests. You can then target specific markets by sending information to specialist groups, journals and websites. Spell out all the local activity options in your property listing and make sure you can deliver exactly what you promise.
We all love a bargain or offer. Usability tests have shown that many browsers search special offer properties first - and some will look only at these listings. Consider seasonal or early booking discounts, a free extra night, meal or gift such as wine.
Should you build your own holiday property website?
If you can do this yourself or easily afford to have a really good quality one built, then go ahead. But do not settle for a bad site as it can actually be a disincentive to bookings. Expect to use it as a support tool rather than your main marketing strategy as you’re unlikely to attract sufficient traffic independently. You can use the site as a click-through support from your French Connections listing and a source of news and information for previous and return customers – but it’s not essential to start with, especially if your budget is limited.
Finally, remember that you must keep managing your property presentation. Look at your competitors, comparing like with like to make sure your prices are commensurate; review your advertisement regularly to keep up to date with changes and improvements; add extra photographs of the property and local area. Once you start getting noticed, then it’s good to use feedback from your customers to generate even more success.