Vacation rental hosting has become increasingly popular, and with it, the need to list properties on multiple platforms to maximize exposure. You’ve likely seen slogans like “We publish your listing on the top 50 platforms” or “Vacation rental management across hundreds of sites.”
While the idea of listing on numerous platforms may seem enticing, there are compelling reasons why you should consider a different approach.
II. The Downsides of Listing on Multiple Platforms
1.Dilution of Reviews
Reviews are the lifeblood of your vacation rental business. They build trust and credibility among potential guests and significantly impact your search ranking. However, when you list on multiple platforms, your hard-earned reviews get distributed across various websites.
Example: Let’s say you have a stunning property with 50 glowing reviews on Airbnb. If you also list it on three other platforms, those 50 reviews may now be divided, with each platform showcasing a fraction of your impressive feedback.
2. Mediocre Listings
Managing multiple listings can be time-consuming, and it’s challenging to maintain the same level of quality across all platforms. Rather than creating one well-optimized listing, you may end up with several mediocre ones.
Example: You might have crafted a compelling property description on Airbnb, complete with high-quality photos, local recommendations, and a personalized touch. However, replicating this effort across multiple platforms becomes increasingly difficult, leading to less engaging listings.
3. Short-Term vs. Long-Term Strategy
Listing on multiple vacation rental platforms can offer short-term benefits, such as filling in unbooked gaps in your calendar. However, as time goes on, having reviews spread across numerous platforms disproportionally affects your search rank.
Example: Imagine you specialize in hosting on Airbnb and diligently focus on building your reviews there. Over time, your Airbnb listing accumulates more reviews than your listings on other platforms, giving it a significant advantage in search results.
III. When Listing on Multiple Platforms Makes Sense
1. Utilizing Secondary Platforms for Short-Term Bookings
There is a scenario where listing on a secondary platform can be beneficial. If you want to fill last-minute openings within the next 15 to 30 days, using additional platforms strategically can make sense.
Example: During the low season, you may have unbooked days on your primary platform, Airbnb. Listing those specific dates on a secondary platform for short-notice bookings can help maximize occupancy.
2. Consider Peerspace
While the focus has been primarily on vacation rental platforms, consider expanding your horizons to include platforms like Peerspace, known as the “Airbnb of professional event rentals.” Peerspace offers opportunities for hosts to rent their spaces for various events and gatherings.
Example: If your vacation rental property has unique features, such as a spacious backyard or a beautifully designed interior, it could also be an ideal venue for events, workshops, or photoshoots. Peerspace allows you to tap into this market.
IV. Practical Tips for Hosts
1. Using Secondary Platforms for Immediate Bookings
If you decide to utilize secondary platforms for short-term bookings, ensure you allow reservations only within the next 15 to 30 days. This approach can help you fill in last-minute gaps effectively.
Example: A guest contacts you three weeks before their desired stay dates. Instead of exclusively relying on your primary platform, you direct them to your secondary listing where they can book immediately.
2. Staying Informed and Updated
Managing multiple listings across different platforms requires continuous effort. Each platform evolves with updates, changes in policies, and shifts in algorithms. To stay competitive, you must keep yourself informed.
Example: Let’s say one of your secondary platforms introduces a new feature that enhances guest experiences. Staying updated allows you to leverage this feature and attract more bookings.
V. Final Considerations
1. The Pareto Principle in Vacation Rentals
The Pareto Principle, often referred to as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 20% of your efforts result in 80% of your outcomes. In the context of vacation rentals, it means that focusing on the most effective platform can yield significant results.
Example: Suppose you discover that Airbnb generates 80% of your booking revenue. By concentrating your efforts on optimizing your Airbnb listing and guest experiences, you can achieve exceptional results without spreading yourself thin.
2. Listing on Multiple Platforms: A Regional Perspective
While the general advice is to focus on one platform, there are exceptions based on regional dynamics. In some areas, Airbnb might not be the dominant player, or there may be a specific clientele that prefers alternative platforms.
Example: If you operate in a region where Airbnb has limited reach, exploring other platforms catering to local preferences can be a strategic move.
In conclusion, the allure of listing on multiple vacation rental platforms is understandable, but it’s essential to consider the long-term impact on your business. By concentrating your efforts and reviews on one platform, you can improve your search ranking, enhance guest experiences, and ultimately achieve greater success.
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