Who do you want to visit your vacation rental?
That’s an easy question, right? For many owners, the answer is “anyone that can pay for it.”
But, in reality, that should not be your answer.
Motel Six doesn’t care who stops by as long as they have the cash.
But, you are not Motel Six.
You are a vacation rental.
You are building a brand around the quality, comfort, and uniqueness of your home and the amenities, location, and hospitality you provide.
The guests you want to host are the people who are most likely to enjoy their vacation, appreciate your home, share their experience and return in the future. Better yet, they write amazing reviews.
Why? Because your vacation home is absolutely perfect for them. It’s like you were thinking of them when you created this amazing space.
Who Is Your Vacation Rental Target Market
Think about when you first started building your vacation rental business or renting your property. Who did you “envision” would feel most at home? A small family enjoying their summer vacation? A couple celebrating an anniversary weekend? A group of guys on a fly fishing trip?
I call those specific people your “Perfect Guest Avatar.”
By creating a perfect guest avatar (some people refer to this as buyer persona, customer avatar, or target market), you will know who will be most interested in renting your vacation home and how you can target their specific interests with your marketing message.
Naming and knowing your perfect guest and creating specific marketing messages to appeal to her or him is a business-building key that should be central to your overall vacation rental marketing strategy.
And even if you are just starting out or just plan to keep your listing on Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor, and other listing sites, it is important to know and understand how to attract these guests and respond to them – using messaging that is created specifically for them.
For many owners, generic listings, images, advertising, and follow-up messages are used in an effort to appeal to and encourage anyone and everyone to book with you.
However, the more you narrow your target audience to just a few different key buyer personas and appeal to each buyer persona directly through personalized messages and amenities, the easier it will be for your perfect guests to find your property and book it.
Creating Your “Perfect Guest” Avatar
The more you get to know your perfect guest, the more content you can create that appeals to them directly.
Give this person a name and get to know them. How old are they? What do they do? What are their interests? Where do they hang out online? What are their vacation specific priorities and concerns?
IMPORTANT: You can have more than one “Perfect Guest” – the key is using your various avatars as a guide to creating highly related copy and images.
- One of your Perfect Guest Avatars may be a mom with a young family who is planning a summer vacation at your beachfront home with a pool. She’s concerned about how safe your property is for her kids. Is the pool gated? Is there a high chair for the baby? Are their board games or video games for evenings in?
- Another is a group of couples planning a long weekend on the coast. They want fun things to do after a day at the beach. What restaurants and bars are in the area? Do you have a blender for making margaritas? Private balconies for each couple to have a romantic evening alone?
As you see from the examples, you create a different Perfect Guest Avatar that will be attracted to different amenities, seasons, local activities, and have different pain points.
Using Your Perfect Guest Avatars
Once you have determined your vacation rental target market, you will understand better to use them in your marketing.
For your young mom with kids, you can share a short video on your website, Instagram, or Facebook page that speaks directly to her showing all of your family-friendly safety features (gated pool, socket covers, baby gates in front of stairs, etc.)
For couples looking for a fun weekend getaway, create a Facebook ad with images of a couple enjoying a sunset view from the balcony and be sure to target the ad to that specific audience.
Do you have a dog-friendly property? Write a blog post about dog-friendly things to do in your destination and share it on Pinterest. Add photos of dogs playing in the yard and dog bowls in the kitchen to your AirBnB gallery.
You may even want to wow your guests even more by adding amenities. Do you find that many of your guests ask where they can rent fishing gear at your riverfront property? Why not buy a few fishing poles and tackle to store in the garage. Start your listing description detailing a day of fishing and mention the gear you provide.
As you can see, in today’s competitive vacation rental market, having an idea of the specific type of people you are marketing your property to will help you in every stage of building your vacation rental business. You will be able to write better listing descriptions, create more relatable content such as blog posts, social media posts, and ads and even provide amenities and decor specific to the people who will appreciate it the most.