It’s time to focus on your real estate online! I’m referring to your website. Your website should be the headquarters of your rental operations. You should allow direct bookings on your rental website. Don’t let it become an information site or a gallery of photos for your prospective customers. Here are three great reasons why you should be investing heavily on your rental website this 2019!
It’s all about the brand. Riann Aggenbag of MoreClicks Online Marketing wrote an excellent article on why brand matters in SEO. He says that Google looks to rank brands higher than the others because they know that brands are unlikely to share fake news and low-quality information because that would diminish their brand.
Building a brand also takes a while so it’s critical that you invest heavily in your HQ (your website) this year. Make it optimized. Your visitors will have an easy and great experience navigating it and booking directly through it.
Make sure your site has its own domain. A simple WordPress driven site can do robust activities like rental transactions. Syed Balkhi of wpbegginer wrote this great article on why WordPress should be your choice of website domain.
Have a webmaster that will make sure that your website is enticing and not cluttered. Visitors don’t like a cluttered website and a site that is slow.
Invest a bit in visual branding so that you have a great logo. Your brand name should have a good typeface that is visually attractive. In this brilliant article, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing outlines the importance of your visual elements in your branding strategy. Sonia Gregory of Freshparks mentions in her excellent article that a good website is also mobile-friendly. Your site should look great and function well when people use their smartphones to access your site.
Rather than relying on third-party sites to promote your rental properties, it’s time to become more profitable and get more direct bookings. This is done by collecting the full amount from your customers. No more affiliate commissions eating away at your profit. All of these commissions and payments to external travel agencies take a big chunk of what should really be yours.
Another reason why you’ll be making more profit is that you’ll be able to price your rentals cheaper. The reason your rentals are more expensive when letting affiliates do the selling and transactions is that it has to be priced higher to accommodate their commission fees. This time around, it’s all you. No more commissions. All payments go to you through your website and so you can now price more competitively which can effectively raise demand for your rental properties. Win-win for you and your customers!
Another reason your customers will benefit is that through your website you can offer instant confirmation of reservations and flash discounts. They will surely love these perks of reserving through your website. You can have a real-time calendar on your site to show clearly which days your properties are available for rent. You wouldn’t want your customers emailing back and forth with an affiliate before a reservation can be confirmed.
Having your own site offers flexibility. It means you can dictate the policies related to your rental properties. This includes prepayment, cancellation, property rules and regulations. You’re in command of your website and your customers will have to abide with this. As a result, you’ll get reliable customers and they are most likely to behave in your properties. This is because you have laid out the information for them right at the onset. Going forward, your website can also adapt to the changes in the property market. Amanda Hemingway of UPANUP says in her article that the website you build should be flexible enough for changes that come along with technological and industrial changes.
The rental property business is a long-term game. You need staying power and therefore you have to build a strong brand to make your business sustainable.
By investing in a well-designed website and making it the core place to get rental bookings done, you’ll be setting a good foundation for your brand. It will be easy for your satisfied customers to direct their friends and contacts to the site instead of them remembering third-party affiliates where they booked your property.
It’s a win-win proposition for all parties as you become more profitable. Your customers get to save some money through lower fees.