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from the vacation soup blog

Vacation Rental Marketing – The Benefits Of Local Listing Sites

There is always a lot of chatter about the pros and cons of local listing sites.

I’m asked about them all the time, so I thought that I would share my thoughts with you here in this short article.

Owners ask me, “Should I list with (my location)vacationrentals.com”? or “(mylocation)VRbyowner.com”? or something similar.

In general, my answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why…

First off, it’s simply a numbers game

Let’s take Florida as an example

Depending where you look there are over 365,000 rental properties in Florida. Most of the big listing sites list well over 100,000 properties in Florida so if you list your property the odds of you getting a booking are somewhere between 100,000 to 1 – 365,000 to 1.

Those are pretty long odds.

Now take  https://www.floridarentalbyowners.com/ (FLARBO) as an example of a local site

They specialise in Florida rentals (obviously) but they only list 1,000 properties so the odds of getting a booking are only 1,000 to 1.

So, you are 100 to 365 times more likely to get a booking with them as opposed to your listing on Hometogo, Homeaway or Airbnb, etc.

Now some will argue that the big listing sites get more traffic but if you search for Florida vacation rental, FLARBO are on the first page of Google so they are getting a good amount of traffic

UPDATE – Some owners were unhappy with my use of the word “odds” and with my math(s). In many ways they are right. This is a complex issue and there are many variables – The quality of the site, the number of site visitors, the quality of your listing, rates, reviews and more. My point was that the ‘odds’ of someone seeing your listing are as I stated and if someone doesn’t see your listing they can’t book your property. The bigger the crowd, the harder it is to find someone in that crowd. I’m sure you’ll agree.

But the benefits of local sites don’t stop there.

In general, a lot of these local sites don’t charge ‘service’ fees, they allow direct communication with the guest and they don’t handle the transaction fees or implement their own cancellation policies.

In short, they provide leads and you control your business.

Another advantage is that if and when you need to talk to the company you get to speak with a local expert, not an overseas service centre and we all know how frustrating they can be.

In general, these local listing sites were created by owners for owners because of the frustrations of dealing with the big online travel agencies (OTA’s).

These local sites have your back and you can’t say that about the OTA’s.

The Takeaway

Google the search terms that potential guests use when looking for vacation/holiday accommodation and look to see if any local sites show up on the first pages of the search results.

Sign up with them (they are often cheaper than the OTA;s)

The advantages are manyfold.

And the odds of you getting bookings far outweigh the huge listing sites.

Do you use any local sites?

Have you had any success with local listing sites and if so which ones?

Please share your experiences in the comments section at the bottom of this page.


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