Everything You Need to Know to Rent Your Cottage Online

Renting a cottage property to make extra income, as a long term investment or even going into the cottage rental business can be a viable financial situation and even a lot of fun, as long as one does not sink all their time and money into it. That's why a simple, sustainable marketing strategy is best planned ahead of time.

Content marketing is all the rage right now in ad agencies and the business world, and that's because this approach allows one to establish contact with the target audience rapidly and measure its impact with ease (i.e. views, likes and comments). Content marketing's goal is to reach business objectives through online content, notably photos, stories, and social media posts. This strategy to stand out on the web is particularly efficient for renting cottages online. We have prepared for you a practical guide to develop and implement such a strategy.

1. Promote a key concept

Use a strong, catchy headline from the get go to make your cottage's key concept clear. Is your cottage near a body of water or an urban area? Is it rustic or modern? Small or spacious? And bear in mind, a small cottage does not imply it is not attractive; on the contrary, it may be an invitation to focus on the essential, bring your customers closer to nature, and so on. Turn its characteristics into selling points.

To achieve this, you first need to determine what your cottage's main characteristics are. Next, focus on the emotions a stay in your cottage bring up in people. Here's a tip. Answer the following question: when you think about your cottage or a stay there, how do you feel? Calmness, bustling activity, just leaving everything behind? Is it a place of gatherings and rejoicing? All marketing specialists now this: emotions trigger a desire to buy. This is why your concept needs to be articulated around a few key words that highlight your cottage's potential while enticing your target customers to think about vacations.

So, for example, if your cottage is rustic, located near a forest and is perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking, a title similar to this one would be a great selling point for your concept: Rustic forest refuge to recharge your batteries. With such a concept as the basis for a short and descriptive title, the longer description will become easier to flesh out and the information you need to convey easier to prioritize according to your intentions.

2. Prioritize your information in the description

Remember to prioritize the information, making sure that all of your cottage's selling points are enumerated in the listing and that the description is seasonally appropriate. In order of importance:

  • A physical description of your cottage—room by room, number of rooms;
  • Its indoors amenities and equipment;
  • Its outdoors amenities and equipment;
  • A description of seasonal specificities and advantages;
  • A list of useful services nearby;
  • Information on your region's tourism offerings.

Everything that will make your customer's life easier and take them away from their daily routine should be highlighted in your description, from air conditioning to a four-season spa.

3. Organize the photo shoot your concept deserves

According to real estate specialists, 95% of people who look at a sale or rental listing spend at least 20 seconds looking at the featured picture. Just as your title, the featured photo must perfectly convey your concept. All of your photos should sync with the overall tone, meaning the same photo style, lighting and colour palette. Thanks to the countless tools available to us and the increasingly high quality of our smartphones, one can create quite an enticing result. You can also call a professional. The investment is worth it, especially for cottages located in outstanding environments. Here are a few efficient ways to create the desired effect:

  • Do a bit of interior and exterior home staging—put away superfluous or personal elements.
  • Use a wide-angle lens to convey the full size of your cottage's rooms.
  • Take photographs of the surrounding natural environment—lake, river, mountain, trails.
  • Use a drone to capture an aerial view of your site—as a professional, a family member or a friend who owns one. Drones are increasingly accessible.
  • Normalize your pictures using photo retouching (hue and brightness).
  • Use the HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode—which snaps 3 or 4 pictures at a time with different exposures to create a perfect one.

To learn more, especially concerning the techniques, software and other tools available to you, read this article: RENTING YOUR COTTAGE: 5 MUST-HAVES FOR YOUR PICTURES

4. Place your listing on a site that is well referenced on Google

The notion of "referencing", when it comes to a web site, means how well they score in search engines like Google. If a cottage rental site comes up in Google's first results page, it means it is well referenced, and therefore will yield the desired visibility so that your listing is seen by as many people as it possibly can. As a matter of fact, RSVPChalets consistently comes up in Google Top 3 results for a majority of searches related to cottage rentals. Other factors need to be considered in choosing your rental site, notably the site's usability, a quick and simple access to the information, and a bilingual platform.

5. Advertise on social media

Being active on social platforms such as Facebook allows to increase your listing's visibility. Social media is like the web's word of mouth. As such, you should always share your listings on your personal networks, advertise last minute friends and family rebates, share an even that will take place in your region or even create an email-based marketing campaign!

6. Offer extras

Extras often are the little...well, extra!, that will convince your future customers to rent your cottage over another. Investing in recreational and outdoors equipment is an especially winning strategy. Here are a few extra ideas that will set you apart from the competition:

  • Having kids' games in a toy chest, a high chair and other amenities that facilitate a family stay.
  • Having a dog house or a similar space for pets.
  • Offering rebates during the low season—for example a free third night.
  • Having an outdoors dining area—terrace, patio, picnic table.
  • Offering ultra-comfort mattresses.
  • Offering high quality bedding and towels.
  • Offering outdoors equipment such as snowshoes, bikes and the likes.
  • Offering access to nautical equipment such as canoes, paddleboats, paddleboards or kayaks.
  • Offering a high quality coffeemaker or espresso machine.
  • Equip your cottage with a four-season outdoor spa. Besides being a selling point, a spa allows you to ask for higher rental fees.

And don't forget to mention all those extras in your listing! Finally, don't forget to proof your listing, share it with family and friends to get their feedback and make sure the language is flawless. Then, go ahead and share it on your network and let the rental site do its job of reaching the biggest possible network of renters in Québec, Canada, and abroad. Canada is a particularly popular destination during its 150th anniversary, so take advantage of this to get into the cottage rental business or to improve your offer!

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