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How To: Improve your search ranking for your vacation rental

Travelers want an easy way to find their perfect vacation rental, and you want to book the

travelers who are best suited to your property. One thing that you can do to remain in the top search results for available rentals, is to make sure your listing is set up for success. Most ranking systems look at all the properties in the area, comparing amenities, number of bedrooms, location, reviews, and other criteria. Then, it ranks all properties — including yours — based on how well it fits the traveler’s needs.

This ranking is combined with an individual traveler’s preferences — including stay dates, search

filters, and other personalization factors — to determine where your property shows up in their search results.

By combining what the systems know about your property and what they know about a traveler’s preferences, they’re able to display your property at the top of the search results of the travelers who are most likely to book it. Here's what you can do to stand out in search results:

  • Create quality content. First impressions are critical! How travelers respond to your photos, amenities, and descriptions affects your rank. We always suggest hiring a professional photographer to capture the true essence of your home. For your description, you can never provide too much detail. The more information you provide, the less likely it is that guests will have to reach out.

  • Set competitive rates. Your rank is also informed by how competitive your rates are in your market. This doesn’t mean you need to set rock-bottom prices; rather, it means you should set prices appropriate for your property, area, and goals. A simple way to do this is to create your own search on booking platforms to properties that are similar to yours. You can also use platforms like AirDNA to help with this.

  • Be strategic when charging fees. The number of fees you charge impacts your ranking, too. An ideal strategy to drive bookings is to charge minimal fees and keep them lower than your nightly rate.

  • Accept and honor bookings. Responding promptly to inquiries and booking requests, accepting bookings or enabling Instant Booking , and a low cancellation rate will also help boost your market rank. These actions show the ranking system that you’re committed to creating great traveler experiences even before a guest books.

  • Earn great reviews. Positive reviews help travelers know that you take pride in your property and that their vacation is in good hands. Four- and five-star reviews show you’re committed to your guests and can influence your rank.

If you find these helpful hints useful, take a look at our other blogs. We have multiple Short Term Rentals posts!

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