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How to Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out: 7 Tips from a Brand Designer

Vacation rentals can be an amazing source of income for you, but there is a lot of competition. In order to create a successful rental, it is key that you think about how to make your vacation rental stand out. 

Yes, there are things that you can do to your property to make it stand out, like a unique feature to the home or certain design elements, but that doesn’t mean those are the only action steps you can do to separate your property from the sea of other rentals. 

If you are ready to take your short term rental to the next level, here are my top 7 tips on how to make your vacation rental stand out. 

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Name your Airbnb/property 

A good name for your property is key. The name is going to be one of the first things people see about your property, and a bad name can make people scroll past it, even if it is exactly what they are looking for. 

There are a couple of key factors that go into naming your Airbnb

  • Consider the location of your property
  • Think about key features of the surrounding area 
  • Highlight architectural or unique elements of the property 
  • Keep your ideal guest in mind 
  • Mention any upgrades or renovations you have made
  • Use abbreviations when you can

Keeping all of these tips in mind can help you curate a name for your property that catches potential renters’ eyes right off the bat and gets them to click on your listing. 

For example, if you have a log cabin in the mountains, a name like “2 Bedroom Cabin in the Mountains” isn’t going to stand out or make anyone stop the scroll. But something like “Quiet Couples Retreat Near Rocky Mountain National Park” will catch the attention of your ideal client while mentioning where the property is located and what is in the area that they may be searching for. 

Get professional photos taken of your property 

Let’s be honest, photos can be the dealbreaker when it comes to someone choosing your property or moving on to the next one. We are past the days when iPhone pictures are going to cut it. 

If you are trying to figure out how to make your vacation rental stand out, professional photos can do so much for your property. They are going to:

  • Show off your property in its best light
  • Give potential guests a better idea of what they can actually expect 
  • Highlight the interior design or exterior design in your rental
  • Give your property an overall professional look and feel 

Since the pictures are most likely the only representation of the property that potential renters are going to see before booking it, it is vital that these make a good first impression. These can help draw more people to the listing where they can learn more about the property and why it is the perfect fit for them! 

Not only will professional pictures help make your listing stand out, but they can also be used for other things (that we will touch on in a bit) like on your social media, on a website, or in other marketing materials. 

small rectangle pool in between two luxury houses with lounge chairs on one side of the pool and plants and trees along the other

Brand your Airbnb/property

Branding your property is not only a great way how to make your vacation rental stand out, but it also creates a professional and luxurious feel for your potential renters. There are a few different aspects that can go into your short term rental property brand: 

  • Brand strategy – A brand strategy will help you nail down who you are, who your ideal clients are, and what they are going to be looking for in a property. 
  • Brand design – This can include brand assets like primary and secondary logos, icons, color palettes, and a type suite. 
  • Brand collateral – Brand collateral is a great way to make your rental feel even more luxurious. This can be things like custom designed guest books, custom gift baskets with your logo on them for your guests, and branded items throughout the property like welcome mats, umbrellas, picnic sets, etc. 

While you may not think of your rental as a brand, it absolutely is. A full brand design can help take your rental property to the next level and show potential guests that this is not just another property but one that you have put thought and effort into at every point. 

Use your brand to provide new and memorable experiences 

Yes, your rental property is where people are going to sleep, but it is so much more than that. It is where friends are going to come together and take time out of their busy schedules to reconnect with each other. It’s where families are going to spend their vacations and make memories that will last a lifetime. 

People choose Airbnbs over hotels because they feel like home and allow you to spend more quality time together so why not use your brand to make that time even more meaningful and memorable? Brand collateral is a great way to do this!

A small gift basket with some snacks and maybe a bottle of wine or chocolates with your brand on the label can help bring everyone together right off the bat to sit down and enjoy each other’s company for a few minutes. 

If you are by a park or the beach, you can get a small picnic basket set with your logos on it that your renters can use during their stay for a nice lunch together. You can also get things like beach towels and umbrellas with your logos on them for them to take out to the beach for the day. 

There are so many small details that can be added throughout your property using your brand that won’t cost you a lot of money but will make the experience unforgettable for your guests. 

Use your brand to provide ‘Insta-worthy’ moments in the home 

This is a great way to get your property out there without having to do much extra on your end. Everyone is on social media today and we are always in constant communication with each other. So, why not take advantage of that? 

A great place to start is finding areas throughout your property that you can transform into ‘Insta-worthy’ places for people to take pictures in during their stay. People love capturing photography details and logos of where they are staying for their stories and TikTok so take advantage of this! 

These can be additions like bright signs, colorful walls or paintings, giant pool floaties, string lights outdoors, aesthetic furniture, and vintage pieces. 

It is important that you understand your brand aesthetic before trying to create these moments. For instance, if your brand is bright and colorful, vintage pieces may not always match but bright pops of colors in artwork or outdoor lights will. If you have a modern and minimalistic apartment in the city, you may not want it too colorful but aesthetic furniture positioned in front of a window with a view of the city will match your brand. 

log cabin elevated in the woods with a wooden deck leading to the front door

Use keywords in your listing and descriptions 

Keywords are such a beneficial tool when it comes to SEO and driving traffic toward your listing. This is something that can really give you a leg up on similar listings in your area that aren’t using these keywords that renters are searching for. 

Now, when I say use keywords, I mean to use them naturally throughout your listing. You don’t want to throw every single keyword you can find in your description and make it so that it is clunky and hard to read. 

If you have never done SEO research before or don’t feel super confident about it, that is where an SEO expert can be really beneficial to you. They will be able to take a look at your rental property, where it is, who would be looking for it, and give you a list of keywords that you can include in your listing that your ideal clients are actually going to be searching for. 

While descriptions are generally on the shorter end and there may not be that much room to add in any keywords, websites have plenty of room to add in more keywords or secondary keywords to help drive even more traffic to your listing. 

Build an online guestbook with your own website

A separate website is a great way to not only show off more of your property but it is also a great place to use SEO to increase traffic to your listing. Keep in mind, this is not going to be a place where people actually book your property, but where they can learn more about it. You can then link to the rental site you use for them to officially book. 

Whether it is a one page site or a full site, this is a great way to give potential guests an even broader overview of your property. You can include a full gallery of images showing off the home, the surrounding area, any fun things guests can do, testimonials from past guests, and more detailed descriptions of the property. 

If you own multiple rental properties, you can also create a portfolio of all of your properties that people can look through. While they are most likely going to be looking for a specific location, a great experience at one of your properties can create a returning customer and they may book another property of yours when they are on vacation next. 

Pro tip: With your website, be sure also to create an email list with a newsletter and encourage past guests to sign up for it. Whenever you have last-minute openings at your property, or you have an opening you are trying to fill, you can email that list. Your past guests are likely to rebook, especially if you offer an incentive like a small discount.

Now you know how to make your vacation rental stand out!

When it comes to having a stand-out vacation rental, it goes so much deeper than just having a nice home. Your guests’ experience starts from the moment they come across your property and each step in the process is just as important as the next. If you are ready to take the next step in making your rental stand out from the crowd, check out our custom brand packages tailored to vacation rentals!