It’s no secret: homeowners who venture into the world of short-term vacation rentals want
to make money. In order to make money, though, they have to make sure their property is discoverable to travelers. Put simply: maximize exposure, maximize revenue.
That isn’t a complicated formula!
Of course, executing that formula properly can be a daunting task. You can’t just open the door to your vacation rental and expect your booking calendar to fill up. What you can do, though, is list your home on top travel sites using a technique called multi-channel distribution. Let’s take a look at the advantages and strategies of listing your rental on multiple sites.
What is Multi-Channel Distribution?
The short-term vacation rental industry is booming, and the sheer number of travel sites in the marketplace is a direct reflection of that prosperity. Big names like Vrbo, Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com headline the crowded space, and for every major household name, there can be dozens of offshoots. The Expedia umbrella alone is enormous—it includes popular travel sites such as Orbitz, Hotels.com, Trivago, Travelocity, and others.
When you opt-in to a single travel site, you have ample opportunity to book loads of travelers and make some decent hay. Still, questions remain: Are you maximizing your rental revenue? What would happen if you listed your rental on two travel sites? Or three sites? Or four? How much money are you leaving on the table?
Data shows that homeowners who exercise a multi-channel distribution approach and list their property on four or more sites increase their revenue by 50% or more. Needless to say, that can be a substantial amount of cash; at the very least, it verifies the potency of maximizing your property’s exposure.
How to (Effectively) List Your Rental on Multiple Sites
Listing a rental home on multiple travel sites requires strategy. It also requires time, attention, and a certain degree of industry knowledge. But that’s not to say it can’t be done. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to implement this approach on your own:
- Every channel is different: Requirements vary from site to site. Just because your property meets the mark on one channel doesn’t mean it will on others. With that in mind, be sure to pay close attention to what each site is looking for at this moment, whether it’s a revised cancellation policy or updated cleaning protocols to serve an ongoing pandemic.
- Optimize, optimize, optimize: Content is king, and in the vacation-rental industry, it includes written descriptions, photos, amenities, and virtual tours. Here’s the catch: travel sites give your content a score, and that score dictates where your property pops up in search results. Because of that, your diligence in optimizing your listing and its content is critical—especially when you consider 75% of click traffic goes to the first 15 spots in search results!
- Positive reviews are paramount: The more positive reviews your property receives, the more bookings it gets; the more bookings it gets, the higher it ranks; the higher it ranks, the more bookings it gets, and—well, you get the idea. Positive guest reviews are the driving force behind this flywheel, so it’s imperative that you collect them and display them with every listing, on every site.
An Alternative: Partnering with a Full-Service Distribution Company
If you’ve listed your rental on one travel site, you know it can be a headache. But when you’re trying to maximize exposure in order to maximize revenue, and begin listing on multiple sites, it can quickly swell into a full-time job.
Partnering with a full-service distribution company can smooth out the process to the point where you hardly have anything to do at all. For instance, the online vacation rental experts at MyVacayHome not only place your listing on the top online travel sites, but they constantly optimize each listing for peak performance. In short: all the work is done for you.
MyVacayHome’s multilingual 24/7 contact center, meanwhile, ensures the needs of you and your guests are met no matter the time or day, and strong relationships with all the top travel sites lead to promotional and merchandising opportunities that aren’t typically available to solo homeowners.
True full-circle performance optimization like that can help you establish your vacation property as a legitimate, substantial source of income. And it all ties back to exposure: when you list your rental on multiple sites and take the necessary steps to maintain each listing, you’ll reap the benefits and maximize your revenue.