You probably list your rental on one of the big sites, or maybe even all over the internet anywhere you can. The sites are just vehicles for booking and reaching potential guests; they aren’t going to promote or “brand” you. Airbnb has its own brand. VRBO has its own brand. And guess what? You can have your own brand, too. A brand gives your rental purpose, a reason to exist. It fills a need that can’t be filled anywhere else and creates desire in your potential guests.
When you have a strong brand, guests will be able to:
- Find you more easily
- Notice and remember you
- Engage and connect with you
- Easily give you repeat business and referrals
Done right, a unified brand makes a lasting impression on your rental audience with the goal of generating more business with less effort.
Here are a few initial steps to get your brand off the ground.
1. Name it
This is where your purpose lives. Choose a name that makes a statement. You want it to be descriptive and unique. “Urban Oasis” sounds much better than “City Unit 1B.” The good news is most hosts aren’t doing any of this, so you’ll really stand out among your competition. You can highlight a specific feature, name it after a common activity, or give it a descriptive vibe like “Lisa’s Luau” (but only if your name is Lisa and you’re in Hawaii).
2. Logo it
The idea of a logo is to put it on all of your promotional stuff. It creates consistency and makes an imprint every time someone sees it, so they go, “Ah, that looks familiar, I must know that brand from somewhere. I think I like it. I think I want to stay there!” You could pick your favorite typeface and call it a day. Or, you could make a bigger, more impressionable impact. Consider hiring a designer or look online for reasonable services that do this, like 99designs.com.
3. Secure a domain
Make sure the name you choose matches your web address. In fact, secure the URL first because the one you want may be taken or cost a lot of money, and you don’t want to have to rename your property. So if you choose Urban Oasis as your name, first check to see that urbanoasis.com is available. (It isn’t. But stayatmyurbanoasis.com is available for $8.99. I might just go buy that right now.)
4. Build a website
Intimidating? Maybe. Difficult? Not really. There are a lot of template websites available that are pretty much plug and play. Just write what you want and choose photos, and the template will do the rest. Wix and Squarespace are popular. There are also some that are specific to rentals like Lodgify.
5. Get social
You can drive traffic from your social media platforms to your website as well as promote deals, post gorgeous photos of your place, and engage guests.
Once you have your purpose and you’ve brought it to life through your name, logo, website, and social media, you can build on that. Incorporate your brand throughout your marketing and in your home to really solidify it and create a consistent experience. If your listing is named Mountain Momma, give your rental an outdoorsy style with photos and other decor. If your logo is orange and purple, put orange and purple on your guest book or choose those colors for pillows and linens. (Something to think about before choosing orange and purple as your colors, perhaps. Maybe gray with a pop of red?) You can really take this all the way with embroidery on towels, T-shirts for sale, coffee mugs—sky’s the limit.
Having your own brand makes it easier to get bookings during the slow season, stay in contact with guests for repeat visits and referrals, and create a buzzing, vibrant community around your brand.
Elevate your side hustle into a money-making machine that self-generates with a self-made brand. Before you know it, you’ll be an entrepreneur with a profitable business!
Whether you’re just getting started or already have an amazing rental property, be sure to keep it protected with Progressive.