Every once in a while, I run across a short-term rental that radiates professionalism.
Not only do they have the interior design and customer service down, but they’re doing a little extra ‘something’ that makes you trust them.
They’ve got ‘that thing.’
A certain professionalism.
They have branded their property in such a way that they rise handily above their competition and sit on par with the best hotels in the world.
Let’s face it: when we book at the Four Seasons, we know we are in for a top-drawer experience – heavenly mattress, beautiful decor, fluffy white towels, and impeccable room service; when we book a vacation rental, on the other hand, we cannot absolutely count on the same. Even if the reviews and interior design are stellar, we know we’re still taking a risk.
It’s a small risk, but still a risk.
So how do you make your Airbnb or vacation rental seem less risky and more trustworthy? Or in short, more professional?
You have to understand how to brand yourself.
FOUR BRANDING ESSENTIALS FOR MAKING YOUR VACATION RENTAL MORE PROFESSIONAL
Vacation rental branding always incorporates four key elements.
- Seamless, cohesive interior design.
- A well-designed website that clearly conveys who you are and how much you care about your guests.
- A logo
- Media exposure
Let’s take a look at three short-term rentals killing it in all four departments. These vacation rentals are crushing it in professionalism; in fact, they are on par with the best boutique hotels in the world.
Let’s do some dissecting and learn a thing or two….
I discovered House la France via Remodelista, my go-to interior design blog. This is the first thing in House la France’s favor by the way – publicity. If you get featured in a design blog or paper publication, your reputation takes a huge leap forward.
But I’m putting the chicken before the egg, so let’s start out with the things House la France did in order to get such publicity.
House la France’s motto is ‘Simplicity, Elegance and Calm,’ and they endeavored and succeeded at creating that feeling in their brand. The website, logo and interior design all blend seamlessly together to shout out the motto.
The logo is crisp, elegant yet casual; its message is literal, so everyone understands; there are no misunderstandings about what this house is about.
Both the interiors and exteriors were furnished with this motto in mind – simple furnishings with elegant lines juxtaposed against a neutral color palette.
Merely looking at these relaxing spaces makes me feel like I’ve just finished 60 minutes of yoga. Without the yoga part.
The website is fabulously easy to navigate and reflects the aesthetics of the interiors. The graphics successfully incorporate the psychological messaging – simplicity, elegance, calm – as well as the interior design of the house.
Everything House la France conceived – website, logo, and interior design – seamlessly went into its brand. People can wrap their head around what’s in store for them. It all looks like it goes together. No wonder there’s some publicity aflutter!
Indulgence Divine, a 16th century restored vacation townhouse in Vittoriosa, Malta, is one of those holiday rentals that makes you think of excuses to go to Malta, even if you’ve never heard of it. Art director and producer, Gattaldo, has masterfully conceived a perfect 10 in vacation rental branding.
The design concept is probably the most unique I’ve ever encountered. Homeworks 53 describes it as ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Vittoriosa,’ and I would agree. The interior design, logo, and website all infer, “Indulge, let your free-spirit out!”
The hot pink logo emanates ‘Indulge,’ and at the same time, the crosses are a salute to Vittoriosa’s medieval past.
Because of the smashing success of both the interior design and the fabulous website, Indulgence Divine has garnered quite a lot of media attention. The Observer, GG, Homeworks 53, Lonely Planet, Flair, Irish Independent, and Luxury Magazine, to name a few have all featured the townhouse in their pages. In fact, there is a ‘Press’ tab on the website listing them all, a brilliant idea for marketing in and of itself.
I discovered Farmhouse Oasis recently while browsing Instagram. The bright white walls combined with the bleached oak floors and crisp clean furniture caught my eye instantly. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Looking at the Instagram comments, many vendors, such as West Elm, are already re-gramming this chic Sonoma cottage.
Yes, re-gramming counts for media exposure, folks (read this post on how to master vacation rental Instagram marketing)!
Their Instagram page features a link to their website – nice!! – which is superbly designed.
Luxury, luxury, and more luxury. That’s what owners Trinette and Chris are going for in their beautiful Sonoma cottage. The two are professional commercial photographers and have traveled the world extensively, staying in some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts. They sought to translate the same hotel-like luxurious experience into Farmhouse Oasis.
And they are succeeding. In spades.
Their ‘About’ page states,
Trinette and Chris are passionate about design and architecture and have high standards when it comes to accommodations. They care about the details and truly value customer service. Their goal was to create a boutique hotel experience in their vacation rental. They are always striving to continue to improve their vacation rental and enhance their guest’s experience. They live in the house next door with their rescue Greyhound and two Chihuahuas and are available to assist as needed to make your stay more enjoyable.
It’s obvious that Chris and Trinette have taken their fine arts and commercial photography background and poured it into their branding. They have literally thought of everything! Not only have they mastered chic interiors and exteriors, but they have the little things down as well.
Like spa amenities….
And a hammocked, Tiki bar (wow!!!)…
And business cards with their killer logo…
And a custom owner’s manual….
Trinette and Chris are professional owners – they know what they’re doing. At this exact moment in time, they don’t yet have media exposure, but I predict within the next 6 months, we’ll see them in some publications.
Are you doing all of the above? If so, awesome! Please share your wonderful abode in the comments section below.
If not, now is the time to seize the day. The vacation rental business is only getting more competitive, not less. Gone are the days of listing your property on a big listing site and sitting back.
Be proactive. Be professional. You CAN compete with those chic boutique hotels, you just need to brand for it.
And those same folks who might have chosen the Four Seasons? Once they see your presence, they might very well choose you. After all, you offer way more square footage and privacy. It’s kind of an obvious choice.
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