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5 Tips to Increase Your Vacation Rental Bookings

Increase Vacation Rental Bookings

Popularity among travelers choosing a vacation rental over a hotel continues to grow exponentially– and this is great news for property owners looking to turn a “side hustle” into a full-fledged business. According to GlobeNewswire, the US vacation rental market was valued at $14.32 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach up to $21.53 billion in 2026. These numbers are not surprising, especially when it comes to areas like Destin or 30A where a majority of travelers prefer vacation rentals over hotels. 


In this blog, we will focus on how travelers can benefit from a vacation rental as opposed to a hotel and how we can drive those travelers to book your vacation rental property over others. 

Why Travelers Choose Vacation Rentals over Hotels

While hotels tend to provide a higher caliber of service: daily housekeeping, room service, and concierge, vacation rentals on the other hand provide big advantages.



  • More privacy and space for small and large groups


Vacation Rentals offer overall more privacy than hotels. Homes, villas, and condos offer fully equipped kitchens, entire living spaces, and multiple bedrooms. This is especially great for those who are traveling in large groups who have access to private sleeping accommodations under one roof. Not to mention, they don’t have to stress over strangers walking up and down the hallways or housekeeping stopping by unannounced. 



  • Better Private and Community Amenities


Private community and home amenities like a pool, park, or beach access in the Destin and 30A area means visitors can enjoy their vacation without interruptions. Many RealJoy vacation rentals also come with community amenities like volleyball courts, pickle ball, and basketball courts so families can enjoy all the activities they desire on vacation.



  • Lower Cost


In many cases, Vacation Rentals are more economical than hotels. Having fully equipped kitchens and amenities can help travelers stretch their vacation budget in other ways than eating out or paying for already included amenities. 

Targeting Travelers to Book Your Vacation Rental

A great starting point in securing bookings is ensuring your property is comfortable and enjoyable for a guest stay. From investing in comfortable beds, to offering a fully equipped kitchen, or even going the extra mile and putting in a game room can set your vacation rental apart from others.

1. Optimize Your Property Listing

When travelers are searching between hundreds of vacation rentals, photos of the property can be the difference in attracting interest or not. Pictures of homes taken by professional equipment will stand out from all others. Use a high-resolution camera to capture the essence of the interior and exterior. Consider the layout, the angle, highlighting the best features within your vacation rental. If you have done some renovations or improvements to the property, make sure that you update the profile and show the potential guests what changes you have made.

When it comes to the description, update regularly to include recent updates, amenities, bedrooms, and bathrooms. We also recommend including nearby attractions, locations, and beaches within the Destin and 30A area.  It is important to provide potential guests with a clear visualization of what they can expect.

At RealJoy Vacations, we provide designated teams to write in-depth descriptions and photographers to capture high-quality images of vacation rentals.

2. Equip Your Property

Equipping and furnishing your property is essential in creating a successful vacation rental for not only attracting new travelers but attract returning travelers. Consider the needs of your guests: Think about what your guests will need during their stay and make sure you have those items available. 


Kitchen: The kitchen provides an opportunity to cook at home over spending money to eat out regularly. Invest in quality appliances with a long lifespan. A good stove and a fridge are a must. Having a quality coffee machine will attract more tourists who enjoy freshly brewed coffee.


Living Room: When traveling as a family, the kitchen and the living room end up being the centerpiece of a vacation rental where families will kick back, relax, and enjoy quality time together.  Make sure your vacation rental is furnished with comfortable and stylish furniture. Consider the size of your property and choose furniture that is appropriate for the space. We also recommend offering entertainment options such as a TV or board games for your guests to enjoy during their stay.


Bedrooms: Providing comfort in bedrooms should also be a top priority. If the average person is sleeping about 8 hours a night, that is nearly 56 hours a guest is spending in one place during a week-long vacation! In other words, making sure those 56 hours are spent comfortably is a must. Providing a thick comfortable mattress, soft sheets, and plush pillows can leave a guest waking up feeling well-rested and ready to take on the day.

3. Market Your Property

Marketing a vacation rental can be a challenging task, but it is also an essential part of running a successful vacation rental business. As we touched on before, optimizing your listing is the first step in a marketing journey. Once your rental listing is ready to go, we can then move forward and marketing it in other ways. 


Travelers searching for a vacation rental in the Destin and 30A area are already interested in a rental. Online booking engines like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO can be a great way to reach a wider audience of potential guests. These platforms often have a large user base and can make it easy for guests to book and pay for their stay. Property management companies like RealJoy Vacations, provide dedicated teams to write and photograph for property listings on these booking websites and on our independent website,


RealJoy Vacations also offers dedicated marketing teams that use email and social media to promote properties. RealJoy keeps in touch with thousands of potential travelers as well as past guests, sending them updates about availability, specials, and local events. Furthermore, RealJoy regularly promotes properties on social media, including the RealJoy Facebook page which has over 140,000 followers. 

4. Word of Mouth

Word of mouth marketing, also known as referral marketing, is a powerful and effective way to promote vacation rentals. When a satisfied guest tells their friends and family about their positive experience at a vacation rental, it can lead to more bookings and increased revenue. Here are some reasons why word of mouth marketing is good for vacation rentals:


  • It’s cost-effective: Word of mouth marketing is a free way to advertise your vacation rental. You don’t have to pay for ads or marketing materials, and you can reach a large audience through the power of personal recommendations.


  • It’s credible: People are more likely to trust the recommendations of friends and family than they are to trust traditional ads. When someone has a good experience at a vacation rental, they are more likely to share that experience with others, which can lead to more bookings.


  • It’s easy to implement: All you have to do to start using word of mouth marketing is to provide a great vacation rental experience for your guests. This means keeping the property clean, well-maintained, and stocked with the amenities that guests need. When your guests are happy, they are more likely to tell others about their experience.


  • It’s ongoing: Word of mouth marketing is an ongoing process. Each satisfied guest becomes a potential advocate for your vacation rental, and their recommendations can lead to more bookings down the road.


Encouraging satisfied guests to leave reviews on your website or on your online listing, and to recommend your vacation rental to their friends and family, can be a very effective way to market your property.

5. Offer Added Value

Consider offering added value to your guests, such as a welcome basket, discounts on local activities, or special perks for repeat guests. These little touches can help set your vacation rental apart from the competition and encourage more bookings. 


RealJoy Vacations offers a Wow the Guest and Wow the Owner program. These programs go above and beyond to give our customers and our owners, a sense of warmth and welcome. These programs provide personalized gifts for special occasions, just because, or as a token of gratitude after resolving a conflict or problem with a rental or unhappy guest. 

Let’s Get Started

We Take Care Of Everything From Start To Finish

Renting your vacation rental property has never been easier and more profitable than it is when you partner with us. Helping owners grow and protect their vacation rental investment is our top priority. Our process is simply less stress and more money!


Call 1 (850) 204-3041 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.


Get a free revenue estimate by visiting Grow with RealJoy!

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