Digital marketing for vacation rentals that drives bookings

How to market your vacation rental property to attract guests

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The battle for bookings can get fierce. Digital marketing is crucial—it can make the difference between losing out to competitors or keeping your vacation rental booked year-round. Our approach to marketing your vacation home is both tailored and targeted. Instead of getting your home in front of the most people, we aim for the right people, in the right places, at the right times.

There’s one thing that ultimately sets our vacation rental marketing apart—our focus on local. No two destinations are alike. So, we tailor our digital marketing to every place we serve—from desert communities to lake villages to beach towns. Our approach to marketing Lake Tahoe, CA vacation homes varies from how we market Pigeon Forge, TN. As a result, Vacasa’s digital marketing strategy is one of the industry’s most successful.

There’s a lot that goes into marketing short-term rentals and building your home an effective online presence.

Take a look.

Why digital marketing for vacation rentals is vital

Today’s travelers spend hours researching online. Digital marketing is the prime way to meet and interact with your potential guests where they’re at—on their cell phone, email inbox, or social media feed. There is more at stake than just increasing bookings (though there’s plenty of that). Here are the top benefits that come with digital marketing—especially with a local focus like Vacasa’s:

  • Wider exposure to potential guests in target markets
  • More opportunities to lure repeat guests
  • Real-time results and data
  • Ability to target specific demographics
  • Optimized marketing budgets
  • Increased awareness of your vacation home and its unique amenities

Why going local matters in digital marketing

No one-size-fits-all marketing here. From Canada to Colorado to Costa Rica—our destinations are as unique as the guests who travel there. That’s why we customize our marketing on every front, understanding every destination’s distinct audience and what drives them to book. Some ways we do that:

  • Working in tandem with the local Vacasa team in each destination (many who were born and raised locally) to create custom marketing campaigns.
  • Understanding the local vacation rental landscape, average market performance, competition, high/low seasons, and more.
  • Understanding the local tourism market, including what attractions, activities, and events that draw visitors.
  • Partnering and engaging with local tourism bureaus for more visibility.
  • Analyzing previous guest data, giving us insight into booking behaviors so we can create personalized, targeted marketing experiences.

How does Vacasa market your vacation home?

We have a mighty army of storytellers, strategists, creatives, analysts, and local staff constantly working behind the scenes to bring Vacasa vacation rentals in front of millions of potential guests.

Here’s a peek into our tailored and targeted strategy—included with our full-service vacation rental management services—to give your vacation home maximum exposure.

Vacasa marketing equation: Channel Partners + Direct Marketing = Revenue Optimization

More visibility = more bookings. The equation sounds simple, but listing your vacation home on various listing sites is anything but. That’s why it’s important to make sure all your home’s details and availability are consistent from Airbnb to Vrbo and everywhere in between. Here’s how we set up your vacation home’s listing description for success:

Create the perfect vacation home listing

Our vacation home listings are deliberately designed to boost bookings, complete with expert copywriting and vacation home photography. Most importantly, we make sure visitors know about nearby attractions and how to best enjoy the local experience.

Place your home on the top booking channels

For maximum exposure, we publish your home where guests are looking and booking, including:

  • Airbnb
  • Vrbo
  • Booking.com
  • Google
  • HomeToGo
  • Our own platform, Vacasa.com.

Select properties are also listed on Homes & Villas by Marriott International, American Express Select Homes+Retreats and AmericanSnowbird.com.

Sync calendars and rates across all channels

No more double bookings or inconsistent rates. We keep every detail accurate and uniform, platform to platform.

Maintain tight-knit channel partnerships

Thanks to key connections, Vacasa properties can get more visibility, are often listed at the top of the search results, and are guaranteed dedicated support.

Search engine optimization

Every stay starts with a search. SEO works behind the scenes to help you organically secure top spots on Google and Bing searches—meaning more clicks to our website, and more bookings for you.

Our Vacasa team continuously finetunes our SEO strategies, evolving them to keep up with the latest Google algorithm and search result updates (hint: Google likes to change things up, a lot). This means Vacasa homes garner more visibility than their competitors time and time again.

Some ways we achieve that:

Keyword research

We start with deep diving into the exact terms that guests are searching for when looking into vacation homes in your area. Then, place those terms strategically throughout our site and your listing—giving you a higher chance of being seen.

Leveraging local lingo

We tailor different pages on Vacasa.com to over 5,000 different keywords, from “Panama City Beach condos” to “Cape Cod cottages,” so our marketing reflects the popular lingo in your area.

Local Google business listings

Vacasa manages and optimizes hundreds of Google business listings (with the help of Google My Business) to market our local destinations. Every local Vacasa Google business listing:

  • Provides a direct link to vacation rentals in that area on Vacasa.com.
  • Boosts exposure by incorporating local keywords.
  • Promotes open communication. Potential guests can engage directly with Vacasa’s local teams by including a local telephone number and address.
  • Builds trust. Guests are allowed to post photos and leave reviews after their stay.

Continuously create fresh local content

Google loves fresh content. So, we feed it with a steady stream of blog posts promoting travel to our regions—all built around local search terms that travelers are currently looking for. People often search for the best Highway 101 road trip route. So we wrote about it, featuring our vacation homes along the way. When people wonder where to stay for Mardi Gras, they’ll find our recommended vacation homes in New Orleans.

Paid advertising and PPC



Have you noticed how some links at the very top of Google results say “Sponsored” next to them? We do those, too. Vacasa invests heavily each year on search engine marketing (SEM) to purchase pay-per-click advertising and draw visitors to our website. Some ways we achieve that:

Aiming for specific local keywords

We start by understanding specifically what terms travelers are using in their searches for a vacation rental property in each of our destinations and only delivering ads matched to those terms.

Targeting specific audiences

We don’t believe in marketing to everyone and anyone. We narrow in on those travelers who are most likely to book a stay in your specific destination. Platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads allow us to narrow in on target audiences based on their web history, search behavior, past bookings, and demographics such as age, gender, household income, interests, and more.

Working with multiple platforms

We place our PPC ads everywhere that matters and everywhere your target potential guests are. That means our Vacasa ads will pop up at the top of Google searches, on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and more.

Email marketing

Short clip of an email from Vacasa

A well-thought-out email marketing strategy has the potential to build relationships with future guests and drive repeat bookings. We send over 1 million emails each week, all targeted to specific audiences or marketing specific destinations relevant to the user. For instance, we can show guests vacation homes within driving distance of their address, or a last-minute weekend getaway idea that’s near where they’ve stayed before.

The result? Our vacation homes collectively earn tens of millions of dollars each year. There are strategies behind every email, including what we write about, when we send them out, and who we send them to. Some factors include:

  • Seasonal themes, such as ski season, spring getaways, or shoulder season deals
  • Local events and holidays, from Christmas to sports to concerts
  • Guest’s previous booking behavior
  • Guest’s recent Vacasa stays
  • Demographics, including where our email subscribers live, how old they are, and their activities and interests, and more.

Our team also manages an automated series of messages to help guests along before and after their stay, including emails that suggest local activities and post-stay emails encouraging guests to leave a review.

Social media

Your potential guests are already on social media looking for inspiration for their next getaway. By joining them there, we interact with them directly and build meaningful relationships, while also showcasing the Vacasa experience. Our main aim: To keep our audience intrigued, engaged, inspired, and informed.

Here are some ways we achieve that:

  • Consistent flow of content that keeps Vacasa destinations and vacation homes top of mind.
  • Daily engagement with followers on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter).
  • Becoming a source of inspiration and travel tips, positioning Vacasa and our local team members as regional experts.
  • Focusing on the experience and special moments of a Vacasa vacation rental, and the amenities and services that make it all happen.
  • Diverse and entertaining content to engage with a larger portion of our audience and accumulate more followers.
  • Engaging with the media, as well as diverse influencers and content creators to highlight in-home experiences for new audiences.

Blogging

Dog holding a frisbee at the Oregon Coast.
7 pet-friendly vacation rentals: Oregon Coast
5 best ski-in/ski-out resorts
Winter ski getaways: 5 best ski-in/ski-out resorts
Costa Rica vs. Belize for a Family Vacation
Costa Rica vs. Belize for family vacation
Best cities in the U.S. to celebrate Oktoberfest
Best Bavarian Villages in the U.S.

Vacasa vacation homes—including yours—have stories to tell. Our frequently-published, well-written travel blog delivers plenty of benefits for Vacasa homeowners, including:

  • Enticing people to travel to your destination by offering local insider guides and tips.
  • Improving your rankings in search engines like Google and Bing, so your home is likelier to be seen in search results.
  • Building trust with travelers, positioning Vacasa as a more reliable alternative to self-managed short-term rentals.
  • Drawing in potential guests to Vacasa.com, leading them to explore our vacation rentals.

Remarketing

One glance is all it takes. With remarketing, we can target a specific ad to someone based on their browsing history. So if a guest has viewed your home on Vacasa.com, or other homes near it, we market your home back to them repeatedly across the internet and social media. On average, our remarketing ads across the web and social media channels produce double the rate of guest bookings than other forms of online advertising.

Why work with Vacasa?

It’s undeniable: Digital marketing can be complicated and overwhelming. There are endless moving parts, marketing channels, and technologies to manage. Yet, it’s crucial for attracting as many guests as possible to your vacation rental.

At Vacasa, we make it effortless for you. Our in-house digital marketing team is dedicated to enticing guests to Vacasa.com, encouraging them to book a stay at your home, and ensuring guests come back to Vacasa when they plan their next vacation.

When you trust us with your home, we’ll make sure it’s everywhere your target guests are online. The result? A steady stream of bookings year-round.

Vacation rental marketing FAQ

There are seemingly endless areas to advertise your vacation home and get it in front of a wide audience. At Vacasa, we like to think creatively, while also leveraging tried and tested marketing strategies. Some tips for DIY vacation home owners:

  • First, narrow in on the audience who would most likely be drawn to your home.
  • List your property on several vacation rental and travel sites (such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and more), instead of relying on just one platform.
  • Use social media to promote your home and your destination.
  • Write listing descriptions and blog posts with keywords in mind so your vacation home shows up at the top of searches in Google and Bing.
  • Invest in pay-per-click advertising on sites where your audience already spends time researching travel options, such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

If your capitalization rate—essentially the rate of return on a real estate investment—is greater than your mortgage interest rate, you’ll generally come out ahead. Overall, a “good” cap rate (or good ROI) really varies based on the vacation destination where you’re buying—based on factors like demand, home prices, and property types. In some areas, you’ll be looking at 5% to 8% cap rate, while others range from 3% to 5%.

No, Vrbo and Airbnb do not offer digital marketing services (beyond allowing you to list your vacation home on their own platform). When you list on Vrbo and Airbnb, it’s up to you to make your listing stand out and get more visibility. Some suggestions:

  • Take every opportunity to tout what’s unique about your home, from amenities to location.
  • Keep descriptions snappy and short.
  • Make your headline count by mentioning your best amenities upfront.
  • Invest in a professional photographer who understands how to shoot attention-grabbing images for vacation homes. Don’t forget to stage your home beforehand to present it at its best.

Vacasa incorporates local insights into every level of our digital marketing strategies. That’s what makes Vacasa stand out from other vacation rental management companies—we’re a global company with a hyper-local focus. Some ways we include local insights into marketing our vacation rentals:

  • First, understanding every destination’s unique nuances, including seasonality, average guest type, top attractions, and more.
  • Using local lingo in messaging and keywords, drawing visitors to specific pages on Vacasa.com.
  • Routinely creating fresh content dedicated to specific destinations.
  • Targeting a lookalike audience—people who share the same traits as guests who have visited vacation rentals in your area before—in ads and social media.
  • Sending tailored marketing emails to guests likely to book a home in your area (for instance, guests within driving distance or who have previously booked a nearby home).

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Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.