4 Reasons to Second-Guess Vacation Rental Website Effectiveness

Think twice before creating one. Find out more about vacation rental websites' shortcomings and what are the better alternatives for hosts.

If you’ve been searching for a way to promote your vacation rental listings, you’ve probably come across services that offer to build a vacation rental website for your business.

These companies often advertise the fact that you can take bookings directly and you’ll be able to make your own rules.

You might think that you’ve hit the jackpot, but this might be very far from the truth!

Here are 4 reasons why vacation rental website is not necessarily the best direction and why using it won’t be as effective as you might think.

vacation rental website shortcomings

1. Vacation rental website services can be costly.

Almost every site that tries to convince you to build your own website wants you to share a part of your Airbnb income. You’ll need to pay the platform for creating your booking website.

These services are nowhere near free and it’s not a one-time fee either. Typically, they charge around 3% of your bookings. That means that every time you get a new booking for your property, you’ll have to shell out some cash.

2. You’ll have to spend time customizing your website.

With vacation rental website services, you’ll have to spend time customizing your website. Not only does this mean playing around with the site yourself or hiring some specialists, it also means that you’ll have to take care of your own property photos and any other images that you want to feature on the site.

In addition, you’ll probably actually still have listings on platforms such as Airbnb because it will be impossible for you to get business from your new website if you are still working on it. When it comes to vacation rental management services, your website won’t come with those services built-in. As a result, you’ll be unable to completely manage your business from your new website without adding on additional third-party tools, driving up your costs even further.

3. You’ll need to do your own marketing.

These days, the old adage of just build it and they’ll come is totally outdated. In fact, just making a custom-built vacation rental website for your property is likely to get you nowhere. Your site won’t automatically rank highly in Google, which means few to no random visitors to your website.

As a result, you’ll need to spend money and time on SEO and pay per click (PPC) advertising. This might cost you around $1,000 per month if you aren’t in a hot market. However, if your property is located in a big city like Los Angeles or Vancouver, you could wind up spending, even more, every single month.

With so many established platforms and services already out there for vacation rentals, it is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to get your vacation rental website to rank in the first 10 results in Google even with the help of an SEO agency.

Big platforms like Airbnb and news websites will always have the top positions. If you don’t believe it, try typing in a keyword like “vacation rentals LA” right now on Google and see what pops up.

4. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

vacation rental website tips

If you’re spending all of your time trying to get your own vacation rental website ranked in Google, you’re missing out on something that is guaranteed to bring you real bookings and profit. It is a proven fact that 90% of vacation rental business transactions take place on giant platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. Therefore, the best strategy is to pay attention to managing your listings on these established vacation rental platforms.

If you’re planning to get started with a vacation rental website, it is a good idea to think twice. Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for months of headaches with little to nothing to show for your efforts.

If the reason why you want to migrate to your own website because you are having trouble managing your vacation rental business, consider what you could change about your business that would make things easier. Most vacation rental business owners can benefit from using vacation rental software such as iGMS. With this kind of software, you can automate communication, reviews, and even cleanings. Consequently, you will have more time to spend on actually growing your business.

So instead of trying to go against the grain with building your own vacation rental website, start paying more attention to your business and fixing the real problems at hand.

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