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Holiday homes remain a staple of commercial hospitality for those who aren’t interested in hotels. With the significant market appeal, business owners running luxury residences can help improve their business through specialized web design. Holiday website rentals are a great way to attract tourists and holidaymakers.
Acquiring and preparing real estate for commercial purposes can be a time-consuming and costly process. Once that is done, however, you can start your business and turn a profit, provided that marketing and maintenance costs don’t become an issue.
Setting up a straightforward, business-oriented, and user-friendly website is as easy as it is productive. Even for rental services and luxury living space, starting an online business is cost-effective even if done yourself (albeit it’s not recommended that you do so, for reasons we’ll discuss later).
Advertising any property or commercial real estate gives visitors the impression that it is worth taking seriously and likely offers great service. It signifies that you are looking forward to accepting guests as soon as possible and allowing others to put some trust in your business through fantastic design.
While most people opt for luxury villas or five-star hotels, holiday home rentals offer a great alternative. The market is not nearly as saturated, which gives rental businesses a noticeable competitive edge. A well-designed website, allows your service to stand out and do well in a playing field that is stacked in your favor.
Having your businesses available largely through online travel agents and travel websites isn’t the ideal business model. By having a website, you can integrate and invest in your own booking mechanisms and communication scheme.
Larger websites that have their own substantial marketing mechanism already underway can immediately ditch third-party listings and manage bookings entirely by themselves. Plus, by optimizing content and programming, your site can even trump OTAs in online searches.
The core appeal of holiday home rentals and luxury cottages has to do with their amazing, cost-effective, and comfortable services. But while there’s a lot to offer, magazine ads or televised promotional campaigns are not the best options.
With holiday rental websites, property owners can list entire features, user reviews, social media stories, and price packages much more effectively than other media would allow. As a promotional medium, it is simply the better option.
With the round-the-clock booking, your rentals website would offer the fastest route to gaining sustainable customer impressions and confirmed reservations without having to rely on phone calls or physical meetups. Customers can finalize bookings based on automated availability settings to help avoid over-booking or clashing agreements.
Plus, automated bookings can be turned off outside of business hours if needed to make sure that you don’t confirm more reservations than you have rooms.
With site analytics, you can assess any commercial trends that your visitors are leaning towards and capitalize on the best, most desirable business practices. You can determine which rooms, services, and pricing options are the most in demand.
Alternatively, you can also get to know details about your customers like age groups, nature of stay, where they’re from, and more. This helps businesses strategize their targeting marketing tactics.
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While holiday house rentals have some market advantage thanks to their niche, their online presence still needs to pull all the stops. Website design, operation, and maintenance are all important aspects of running any online business.
Practically speaking, it is better that business owners themselves not take these responsibilities head-on. To save time and refocus valuable assets, the better option is to outsource these tasks to experts hired by e-commerce agencies. There are numerous firms (e.g., WeLoveWeb) that specialize in taking the digital burden off your already-occupied shoulders.
That being said, business owners are still obligated to take the right steps when it comes to running a professional and trustworthy online business. With that in mind, the following are important considerations in what your holiday home’s website must have to offer.
1. Make a Great First Impression
Quite often, people visiting online services have very little patience and frequently leave website after website after being constantly disappointed. By the time they get to you, their willingness to give you a chance is now at a fraction of what it once was.
Even if that isn’t necessarily true of all users, that should always be your mindset when crafting a business interface. A good-looking website is certainly a good sign to casual viewers, but they need to see actual proof that you are worth their limited time.
People aren’t always inclined to analyze a website in great detail to determine its suitability for their needs. Their main focus is generally centered around flashy headlines, sales pitches, and intriguing facilities.
Hence, your front page needs a combination of strategically placed features (buttons, menus, search bar, CTAs) and visually appealing, user-oriented front-end design (contrasting fonts, proper use of space, engaging features). Without piquing their interest, you have no chance of retaining traffic or promoting enough conversions.
Plus, your rental website needs to make it extremely easy for visitors to navigate across pages, fill out forms, view vacancies, and (if they’re interested) confirm booking and payment. The less effort THEY have to make while availing your service, the more likely you are to garner their full, undivided attention.
And speaking of CTAs, not everyone wants to open a website just to see huge, vivid buttons demanding that you waste no time when booking. Not everyone likes to be under pressure that way. Instead, if they have the time, they deserve the chance to view your gallery, ratings, location details, and other helpful site features.
Make their life easier too, by showing your phone number in the header and contact details on every page alongside a clear link to make a booking in as few steps as possible.
2. Have An Impact On Your Content
Since visitors probably won’t spend much time on your website anyway, it is important not to add more content than is necessary for newcomers. If it’s distracting and serves little to no purpose, you need to decide if it’s worth having or not (probably the latter).
Besides, too much-unwanted software and content aren’t great for your site’s performance either. If it has too many plugins or heavy media files, your holiday rental site might take longer to load, especially on phone devices. This discourages viewers and is not a great look for serious businesses.
As we’ve talked about in the last point, create and integrate content with the knowledge that whoever’s looking at it likely isn’t interested in a deep dive to your site. Limit the text and instead opt for experience-enhancing features and emphasize the conveniences and main facilities.
Buzzwords that are carefully chosen for uniqueness can be recommended here. But remember that we’re not making any hollow promises. What you’ve advertised must give users a glimpse of the actual business you’re running.
3. Text Quality Over Quantity
We’ve already mentioned how professional design is a sign of a reliable digital enterprise. That is true, as long as you’ve been careful with the said design. Therefore, be very careful with the descriptions you’re hoping to add to your sites.
Avoid long paragraphs and try to be as brief and clear in your messaging as possible. Save the stories for social media posts and blogs. The front page needs catchier content that makes a statement.
Before finalizing the design for your property or holiday rental website, double-check that what you’ve written makes sense and is free of grammatical or spelling errors. It also helps to supplement the stylish, easy-to-read text with colorful sophisticated graphics for maximum impact.
And don’t be too formal with what you’ve written. Toe the line between professional yet relaxed communication.
4. Grab Attention through Visuals
Rather than put all your energy through words, you can use imagery to your advantage. If you have faith in your accommodation, you can convey this trustworthiness to your potential customers through high-quality, professional snaps of your facilities, location, and rooms which you can use to market your service.
A gallery of promising imagery ensures more favorable clicks than any long-winded text description of what guests at your holiday home can expect.
5. Remarketing Can Work Wonders
Building trust in a business can often entail looking for others’ opinions, especially those who have had firsthand experience with service providers. Established businesses, even small ones, can take advantage of this fact through remarketing.
Attracting new customers is often more of a challenge than keeping the ones you have already satisfied. But if you have in fact catered to guests that enjoyed your service, their experiences are as great a marketing tool as any.
Online, connecting and sharing experiences is much easier than through most other forms of media. With that, people can share stories and recommend services in real-time.
Reviews, blogs, live streaming, and social media posts are just some of the ways that holiday rental websites can use the reliable testimonials of their own customers to attract and bring in more guests. As the number of clients increases, so do the marketing opportunities.
Plus, instead of relying solely on tourists or out-of-town guests, you can document the experiences of other locals to paint a picture for your viewers. Places to visit or grab a bite to eat when the scenery is just right, and the crowds are not as extensive are things they might want to know about.
By knowing what life in your neighborhood or holiday spot promises them, your guests can be even more interested in getting to know more about what you’re offering.
6. FAQ Sections
First-time visitors might have a lot of questions about your facility. Those can be included as part of your customer-friendly website features.
By soliciting questions from as many people, you can select those that are either more commonly asked or the ones that you think will provide the best answers to questions that most even fail to consider.
Things like the specifics of your location and surroundings, pricing, business hours, seasonal packages and openings, and other important questions like accommodation for children, multiple guests, or even pets can be made clear through FAQ sections.
Holiday home rental websites can even use these FAQs to link to mapping services or relevant pages to their sites or websites owned by neighboring businesses.
7. “About Us” Pages
To build trust among potential visitors, you can share your personal story and background as a business owner. This gives you a chance to offer a more personalized point-of-view to visitors who are not interested in the commercial hospitality offered in hotels.
An inspiring backstory, thoughtful anecdote, well-wishes, or tasteful imagery are all excellent options for introducing yourself to your clients.
8. Proper Site Maintenance
With some commercial websites, there is no need to draw millions of visitors if the aim is to cater to a limited audience. But for attracting long-term traffic, you need to make sure that your website is properly maintained.
Customers can find websites with outdated information, old media, dead links, and error page less than satisfying. If your site is a front for your currently running business, it needs to be just as active as a real booking office. Outdated sites lose performance, traffic, as well as the SEO rankings needed for a competitive edge.
Therefore, on top of making sure that the site is properly maintained from top to bottom, you need to keep updating flyers and announcements for openings, events, and new pricing options on a regular basis with no exceptions.
9. Efficient Booking Mechanism
Online bookings are the main public resource allowing travel and stay services to stay in business. Holiday home rentals are no different. Hence, to maintain the theme of a five-star user experience, your website must be equipped with a fully functional, responsive, and dynamic booking system.
State-of-the-art booking systems for e-commerce ventures are meant to be convenient and offer a great deal of flexibility to business owners. Meanwhile, on the client’s end, it must offer comprehensive and customizable booking options with email notifications and multiple payment systems like PayPal or credit cards.
When hotels and commercial living spaces become too predictable and uninteresting in the public eye, holiday cottages and residential property rentals offer a unique and desirable experience to visitors.
That same luxury experience must be felt through your holiday home’s rental website. Only by promising tangible results and the ultimate experience can you make use of your competitive advantage and bring in staying guests to enjoy your facilities.