Even though online travel agencies are a good means for spreading the word about your property and bringing in guests, they are not sufficient, and relying solely on such methods is not a good idea.
Having a good independent website for your vacation rental properties is very important for potential guests to book their stay with you directly. It is essential for the growth of your business to have a vacation rental website that attracts more and more guests.
There are some basic features that every vacation rental website should have. Having a website that looks good and is easy to use attracts guests and adds to the satisfaction that they receive from the vacation experience.
Having a website with a good design, sharp photographs, and a user-friendly interface makes so much of a difference in how potential guests will consider purchasing your services.
11 Must-Have Features for Your Vacation Rental Website
1. Professional and Elegant Look
The first thing you should keep in mind is that everybody appreciates a website that looks professional and elegant. The face of the website gives the first impression to the visitor of your services, which motivates them to explore what you have to offer.
If you do not have a beautiful interface and homepage that has too many advertisements and poor-quality images, it will demotivate the visitor from considering scrolling ahead. So the page should be simple and classy with fonts, images, and colors that are pleasing to the eye.
2. Responsive Website Template
The website should be easy to use on all kinds of devices, laptops, tablets, or phones. Since many visitors will use their phones to visit your website, it is a good idea to ensure that it is mobile-friendly and has an attractive layout for it too.
It is also important to ensure that the page is responsive. Since a slow website will annoy and discourage potential guests from exiting your website, the website’s loading speed should be minimal. Also, it should be designed such that all the buttons and links work efficiently.
3. User Friendly 3 Click Navigation
Another very important thing to keep in mind while designing your rental website is the 3-click rule. The visitor of your website should be able to move around and explore everything that you have to offer within three clicks.
The less the users have to click on buttons and links to access your information, the better. A good website has a layout that is easy to use and allows users to find what they are looking for without any hassle. This also includes having features like filters on the website, making it easier for users to look for the criteria they like.
4. Proper Organization of the Listings
The property listings that you want the visitors to see must be listed out in an organized manner. They should be easy to view and relevant to the criteria that the user is looking for. Having a messy order of listings and showing irrelevant results is not good at all.
The listings should be easy to understand and should give all the relevant information to the user in one go. If the listings are organized properly, it will be easier for users to book their stays quickly.
5. Recommendations to Help Travelers Plan Itineraries
It is a good idea to have recommendations that the users may appreciate and find helpful. Your website could have information about the lesser-known surrounding areas that the guest could explore or some activities that they can take part in in the local areas.
Such information can help the visitors plan their trip better and know more about the attractions and monuments they were unaware of. The visitors will surely enjoy such a feature, and they will repeatedly return to the website to explore more of this information every time they plan a vacation.
6. Display High-Quality Visual Image
Visitors are usually attracted to your website if you use large, beautiful, and captivating images that capture the beauty of the rental listings. The images should be identifiable and should be a true reflection of the vacation rental property.
It is important to note that the page’s responsiveness should not be affected by the quality of photos. Slow-loading high-quality images cause the highest bounce rates. Users are more likely to stick with a website with a picture gallery with real photos taken by visitors. Stock photos can occasionally also be used.
7. User Feedback and Reviews
Vacation rental websites should incorporate customer feedback on their page. In today’s world, travelers are aware of hospitality scams, and therefore they must stay on the lookout for them. Having honest reviews from visitors that have been there help other travelers to feel safer about their visit.
At the same time, it is important to make sure the ratings and reviews are one hundred percent real and reliable. Genuine reviews of the listings speak louder than anything else about the authenticity of the website. First-time users benefit from reviews and ratings that establish the authenticity of the advertised place.
8. A Well Placed CTA Button
After having done everything right on the display of your website, the most important part of the design is the Call to Action button. It decides whether your website brings you bookings or not. Call to Action is the fundamental component of the website.
It is especially important for a vacation rental website to strategically place the Call to Action buttons to avoid getting lost in the background. They should also not overshadow the main site design. It is a good idea to add messages regarding the limited availability of the listings, if possible, to encourage bookings as soon as possible.
9. Contact Us, About Us Pages
Another important thing that any website should have is the pages where users can get to know you and the motive behind your website and services. Having an “About Us” page is where the user can get to learn more about you and the services you offer.
It is also essential to have a “Contact Us” page so that the user can connect with you personally and get to trust the genuineness of your services even more. You can have a few contact details here and a text box where the users may send their queries and questions to you.
10. Discounts, Offers, and Coupons and More
Nothing motivates users to opt for a service more than an exciting discount. Having attractive discounts and coupons on your website is a great idea that will lead to more people opting for your services.
Furthermore, discounts, special offers, and other promotions can be valuable to show your loyal customers you appreciate their trust and promote brand loyalty.
It is possible to spur recurring visitors to your site by offering great service and offering special offers. Also, these offers should be placed in such a place that the visitors easily view them.
11. Trusted Payment Gateway
Secure online payment gateways must be available for your guests to use debit or credit cards and other recognized payment methods to book your property. An essential part of securing payment gateways is certifying their authenticity.
Having a safe gateway also adds to the trust that the users place in you. Payment gateways for both local and international transactions should be integrated.
This will make things easier for you as well as the user. Also, you need to offer localized versions of your site so that payments can be made via the Internet using the local currency to complete transactions more quickly.
Every vacation rental website should keep these features in mind as they will make a good impression on those who visit the website and motivate them to look around and explore some listings. A website that is simple to look at but is also designed well is very helpful to the user and allows them to stumble upon exactly what they were looking for.
A satisfied user will always come back to try your services again and recommend your website to their friends and family and increase your sales. The tips mentioned in this list are sure to help you design a top-notch website that attracts lots of visitors.
Having an SEO-optimized website does improve the performance of the business wonderfully. Get a boost in the number of bookings you get by using the vacation rental SEO guide by Magnetic Strategy.