Back in the 1980s when my family started acquiring and renting vacation homes, a majority of these rental properties were advertised in print ads or via real estate firms. But today, the internet is truly king. Virtually all rental home bookings originate from the web, whether it's a classifieds website, a real estate or rental agency website, a site dedicated to rental properties, or your very own website.
Even just a decade ago, relatively few vacation home owners developed and maintained a website dedicated entirely to showcasing their property. But in an increasing number of cases, property owners are finding that they need a website to maintain a competitive edge in terms of bookings.
Miami Beach is one example of a vacation destination that is extremely competitive, so you may find that you gain a serious advantage by building a website that can place your home in the same category as many of the local hotels. If you decide to go that route, your property manager can be a valuable asset, helping you target your market more effectively than if you were to attempt to build the site on your own.
Why Do I Need a Website for My Miami Beach Rental Property?
Miami Beach is a very competitive market for tourism and vacation rentals, so it's important that you do everything you can to help your property stand out from the crowd. By creating a website, you boost your online visibility in a significant way, while providing your property manager or marketing firm with a valuable marketing tool that can be showcased on social media and elsewhere on the web.
In short, your vacation rental's online presence is more important than ever before. So by having a website, you'll have a tool to help seal the deal, turning prospective guests into actual guests.
How Can My Property Manager Help Me Build a Website for My Vacation Home?
Your property manager has access to information, resources, and insights that can be extremely useful as you work with a developer to build an incredible website. In fact, many property managers work hand-in-hand with marketing firms that may offer website design and development services, so they may be able to offer a recommendation if you require help in this regard.
Here's a look at some of the many ways your property manager can help as you build your website for your Miami Beach vacation rental.
Your property manager can provide insight into your target audience. You cannot be all things to all people. So you must understand who your target audience is and how you can appeal to that audience.
Miami Beach sees a very diverse range of travelers, from college students to single 20-somethings, to married couples, families, and even retirees. Your property manager will have a good feel for the demographics of your vacation home's unique target audience, including their age group, earnings, and other important information that will help you refine your website content and approach.
Your overall website style will need to resonate with and appeal to this target demographic. If you go with something too modest, you may not appeal to the luxury travel demographic. If you go with something more upscale, you could alienate the “budget travel” or “family travel” demographic by leading them to believe that your vacation home is out of their price range. So your entire brand identity and website style will be dictated by your target audience, making this a very important piece of information.
Your property manager can offer insight into what tone will appeal to your target audience. Once you get a feel for your target audience, you'll need to understand what appeals to that demographic, particularly when it comes to the most popular features and amenities for these individuals. Your property manager will know your guests better than perhaps anyone else, making him or her a valuable asset in this regard. Your property manager can help you determine which tone is best for the content and the overall feel of the vacation home website, and also help offer ideas for the photography and staging -- our next point on this list.
Your property manager can work with your photographer to capture images that will appeal to your guests. Casual snapshots won't cut it in today's competitive Miami Beach tourism marketplace; you need to hire a professional photographer to capture your vacation home. To compete with the hotels and the dozens of other vacation rentals, you'll need to hire someone to perform staging, which presumes the use of various elements inside your home, making it look more inviting.
For example, instead of an empty dining room table, a home staging expert would stage and set the table as if you were expecting company for dinner. Or if you're taking a photo of the deck overlooking the beach, you might set out a pair of wine glasses, a book, and a couple of pairs of sandals, as if a couple momentarily stepped out of frame.
In addition, it's often best to include some actual people in your photos because this helps you sell more than just a place to stay; it helps you sell an experience, which is extremely key for a competitive market like Miami Beach. Your property manager can assist by making arrangements with your photographer, home staging expert, and models to provide access to the property. Your property manager can even help with choosing models who are going to be representative of your average guest.
Your property manager can gather testimonials from your guests. Testimonials and reviews are an important form of social proof. In fact, aside from price, testimonials and reviews are regarded as the single most influential consideration when making a buying decision.
Realistically speaking, you need every advantage you can get in a competitive location such as Miami Beach. Testimonials are very effective in creating a specific expectation for a visit to your vacation home while helping you to sell a travel experience rather than just a “place to stay.” Your property manager can assist by securing video testimonials or written testimonials from guests.
Your property manager can provide information on the most popular local attractions among your guests. Mentioning specific places and attractions can be extremely useful for online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), especially in a location like Miami Beach where there are lots of world renowned attractions in the region. So work with your property manager to determine what attractions, restaurants, clubs, and other hotspots are popular among your guests.
For example, if you’re targeting a younger adult demographic, you’ll likely mention the nightlife of Ocean Drive and the Art Deco Historic district. If you’re targeting families, it’ll be important to discuss family-friendly beaches like the North Shore Open Space Park beach, which has lifeguards on duty.
Miami Beach has so much to offer by way of attractions, so it's important that you know what's popular among your unique demographic. Once you get a better feel for what local hotspots and attractions should be mentioned, you can provide this information to the website developer and content writer.
Once your new website is built, you can even hire a blogger (or write yourself if you have a flare!) to write weekly blog posts on various Miami Beach hotspots, like the best nearby beaches, the hottest new shopping areas, the trendiest new bars, clubs and restaurants, and other local must-sees. If you can rank some of your website content for these key terms, you may be able to pull in tourists just before they make the decision to make travel arrangements to stay in Miami Beach. This means there's a good chance they'll already on-site by the time they're ready to start looking for a place to stay.
South Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations, There are literally hundreds of vacation homes, hotels, motels, and resorts to choose from. You can work with your property manager to build an incredible website that will maximize your chances of success.
If you're ready to find a property manager for your Miami Beach vacation home, sign up for a free account on Rented.com to get offers from local property managers. Many of the property managers on Rented.com offer a guaranteed income model that provides property owners like you with a set monthly amount regardless of actual bookings. Get started today.
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