Investing in your own short-term rental (STR) business can seem overwhelming. To add to it, most of us shell out a lot of time and money acquiring, furnishing, and listing it. When you do get your property listed, it feels like you’re at the mercy of the platforms and their ever illusive “algorithms” for visibility. I’ll touch baseon improving conversion rate in a later post. Today I want to focus on a few free methods of getting more views on your short-term rental listing. Even with your current conversion rate, more views has the potential of increasing your overall booking volume. The best part about most of these is that they’re super easy to set up and come with little or no cost. Check out five free ways to get more views on your short-term rental listing below!
Free Ways to Get More Views on Your Short-Term Rental Listing
Get a Google Business Listing
Getting a Google Business listing is a great way to get some new eyes on your short-term rental. This is a free way to promote your home that is highly targeted and geographic. Our Google listing for The Ollie Scottsdale is currently getting about 250 views each month. The best part is that people can click right through to your website or to Airbnb. While we don’t currently encourage guests to leave reviews on our Google page (we stick to Airbnb), it’s also an option.
When creating your Google business page, be sure to include lots of photos and a brief but compelling description for your property.
Create Your Own Website
Creating a mini-website for your short-term rental property is another great way for extra exposure. There are many free or inexpensive website options out there. We currently use a paid version of Squarespace to host theolliescottsdale.com. It costs us about $25 bucks per month but we’ve had guests specifically tell us they booked because they found our website and felt that we were more credible because of it. If you’re looking for a free web hosting solution, WordPress is a great place to start!
You don’t even need to offer a direct booking service. Simply link off to your Airbnb, VRBO or other booking platform. In 2020 we had 640 visitors to our website and nearly 250 of them clicked off to our Airbnb page.
Be sure to include lots of local keywords for your property which will help it rank better in search engines like Google or Bing.
You Should Really Have An Instagram
Instagram is a highly visual platform. If you are trying to sell the experience of your short-term rental property, it’s a great idea to start an Instagram account.
Our Instagram, @theolliescottsdale has over 500 followers and we’ve even had guests inquire directly through the platform. It’s an awesome way for guests to see the angles and aspects of your property that might not be readily apparent on your listing.
Another fun idea to increase exposure is to create a unique hashtag for your short-term rental. Ours is #attheollie and we get a lot of guests posting photos or stories and tagging us.
Search Travel Forums and Post
Travel forums are a really great way to tap into your guest’s future trips. Explore Travelocity’s forum and find forums by state and city to engage with people looking for people to stay. Another great source is Facebook groups relevant to your area.
Make sure that you’re not just spamming these groups and that you’re actually helping people out. Even if they aren’t looking for a place to stay – replying to questions you can respond to is a great way to build trust and relationships for future bookings.
Try to Get Featured
While this one takes a little more effort, it’s still a great source of free marketing! Try to get you and your listing featured on local blogs, in local magazines or on podcasts. We were lucky to have The Ollie featured on the podcast The Richer Geek early on. Additionally, we were shared on an area top short-term rentals list . Lastly, we got spot in a local magazines blog! Keep your eyes and your ears open for any opportunities. Keep in mind, an opportunity to share your expertise is a great opportunity to plug your listing too.
Remember, when it comes to making people aware of your short-term rental listing, the more places you can share it the better. Get creative and don’t limit yourself to the options I’ve mentioned above. There are a lot of free ways to get more views on your short-term rental listing so get started and get going. You will not regret it!
Want more short-term rental tips and tricks?
Tune in to The Habitual Host on my YouTube channel for tips, tricks, + habits to help you and your short-term rental business!