Your holiday home and your area are intrinsically linked. 

Therefore, to be ensure your holiday home is more visible it’s important that you as an owner are seen to be visible in your area.

You can’t operate a successful holiday home business and be oblivious to your location. They work hand in hand.

It’s important to remember guests choose to holiday in your area first then stay with you. It doesn’t matter how amazing your offering is, guests will not stay with you just because of that (sorry!). They will book with you because of what you’re offering them in the area in which they want to holiday.

To get your holiday rental visible in your area you need to talk about your area online and start to establish yourself as an expert. You need so show off your knowledge and share it with guests and potential guests at every opportunity.  It’s also important to raise your visibility amongst local businesses and the local community.

Here are 5 ways to get your holiday rental visible in your local area:

1. Research and Brainstorm

What’s nearby? What’s to offer holiday makers in your area? Research online and in local tourist information offices and gather as many leaflets and information as you can. Or go online to research.  What do you know about already?  What do you and your family like to do in the area? What’s been recommended by guests? What gems have they enjoyed?

Once you’ve gathered all this information it’s time to filter it.  Have your guest top of mind. What are your guests interested in?  What local features, attractions, landscapes, events do they want to know about, to visit, to explore, to experience?  For example both Castle Howard country estate and Flamingo Land theme park are close to me.  My guests tend to be couples over 4o so their interest lies with Castle Howard rather than Flamingo Land. If I’m appealing to families with school age or teenage children then I’d put more focus on Flamingo Land.

Once you’ve filtered your list put together a top 1o list of places you will focus on.

2. Network and Word of Mouth

Establish yourself in your local community and increase your visibility as a result. Word of mouth advertising is free so the more people that can spread your word for you the better.  You need local businesses, people in the village and the local attractions to know about you.  What can you do to make that happen to get yourself out there?  If you live in the area this is easier, as you can attend local networking meetings and tourism workshops.  It’s mutually beneficial if other local businesses can recommend you and you can reciprocate. But do be selective with which local business you make links with. Choose one that has the same customer demographic as you and that you know your guests would be interested in.

Build relationships with local pubs and restaurants.  Make yourself visible to them and their clientele.  Make sure they’re places that hand on heart you would recommend. Go in and tell them about your holiday home, leave some postcards. Let them stay a night if need to so they can truly rave about you to their customers.

3. Take To Social Media

Make talking about your area part of your marketing plan. Talking about your area on social media helps you get found. And it also increases your credibility as a local expert.

On Twitter create a list of local attractions, businesses, national parks etc and comment on and retweet their tweets. This is a great way for them to get to know you and hopefully follow you back. and hopefully retweet some of your tweets in return.  Use hashtags too to search on and get found by.   Participate in Twitter hrs, such as #YorkshireHour.

In Google + you can create a Collection. For example I have a collection called Places to Visit in North Yorkshire and I save my posts to that collection. Collections come up in searches, helping to make you more visible and to get found.

On Pinterest set up boards about your area. Pin your own photographs onto these boards but also search for others’ images and pin those. Add descriptions to you pins which include the keyword that you want to be found on eg Cornwall cottage, Peak District self catering.

On Facebook consistently post pictures of your area, share events, share things to do, places to visit.  Add your own images too.  Also share posts from other pages that you like, for example your local tourist board or local attraction.

4. Start Blogging

You can get more eyes on your website when you blog.  Don’t worry if you don’t see yourself as a writer – you don’t have to be.   You just need knowledge on your topic and be able to put some sentences together. Write about what you did at the weekend.  For example about the walk you took that finished in a tearoom. Write down what was so great about the walk, where did it start and finish? What did you see, what was great about the tea room, what did you eat, were the staff friendly?

If you then tag this tearoom when you post on social media they are likely to share it, getting more eyes on you.

Each blog is written around a key word phrase, so again this gives you more chance at being visible on a Google search if someone enters the same key word phrase into Google.

Also blogging is a great way of positioning yourself as an expert in the area as you’re talking the talk!

5. Write a Guide

What better way to show off your knowledge, to build your credibility than to write a guide.  My guide is an A-Z of North Yorkshire’s Hidden Gems. In it I share my insider knowledge of the smaller places you wouldn’t necessarily find on a tourist website.

It’s my freebie.  This adds value to my guest and future guests.  I call them future guests as I have this guide available on my website to download in exchange for an email address. Even if they don’t book now, the guide has my branding on it and they make come back at a future stage or pass the guide onto friends.   I also email this guide to my guests when they book. Your guide could be about the top 10 list that you identified on your initial research and brainstorm (point 1).

The first step to getting a booking is to be found; to be visible.  Raising your visibility in your area will help you do this. 

Karen