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Video for Vacation Rentals: 9 Video Tips and Tricks Every Property Manager Should Know

If you’ve ever researched a destination online, you’ll know that videos are the best way to get a sense of the place. Whether guests are looking for their dream beachside villa or a city center apartment, video is second only to being there in real life. 

Vacation rental property managers can use video to reveal details that you couldn’t capture in an image, and they can help you get more bookings.

In previous articles, we’ve mentioned how you can use video to market your villa rental, and we’ve talked about the importance of including different types of videos on your website as part of your direct booking strategy. Many of our clients have successfully included videos in their vacation rental website design.

Now, we’ll explain why video is so powerful, and give you practical tips on how to make amazing videos for your vacation rentals, even if you don’t have a large budget.

Distributing your listings is a strategy, not a task. Take our free 5-day email course for property managers who want new, creative strategies for distributing their vacation rentals.

Surprising stats about video in vacation rental marketing

People watch over a billion hours of Youtube every single day, and, according to a 2021 video marketing study, they are twice as likely to share a video than any other type of content.

The same study revealed some more surprising facts:

  • 87% of marketers said they get a positive ROI from video.
  • 78% of marketers said using video had increased their sales.
  • 84% of consumers said they had decided to buy something after watching a brand’s video.
the percentage of marketers who report a positive ROI from video
The percentage of marketers who report a positive ROI from video. Source: Wyzowl

It’s clear that you can increase your conversions with video, so how can you use it to your advantage?

Types of video for vacation rentals 

When it comes to making vacation rental videos, a good strategy is to test different styles and formats to see what works best for your real estate business.

Here are some examples of types of video that you can experiment with:

Listing video 

One of the most popular styles of video is a property tour or listing video that showcases all the best features of your property.

You can combine video and still images to give viewers a virtual tour around the property, and use drone footage to show off the outside space and surrounding area. Listing videos often feature a voiceover or background music to set the scene.

About me video 

An about me video is where you’ll introduce your company and explain to guests what your unique selling points are and why they should choose you over your competitors.

In this type of video, you can talk about your background, and let guests know what to expect when they stay in one of your properties.

Neighborhood tour

Give viewers a tour of your local area, featuring all the best attractions and natural beauty spots.

Your guests will want to know what they can do while staying in your property, so this kind of video can be full of useful advice. It will explain why people should choose to vacation in your area, and give them plenty of things to do and see when they book your property.

Customer testimonial 

Reviews are always persuasive, so video testimonials from satisfied guests will likely be even more convincing.

To make a customer testimonial video, ask one of your best customers if they would be happy to feature in a video. You can offer them a special offer, discount, or another incentive in exchange for their time. A vacation rental management system like Avantio will allow you to easily offer discounts and create promotional codes, as well as a host of other features to help you manage your short-term rental business. 

FAQ video

You might have a FAQ page on your website, so why not turn those helpful tips into a video? 

This video could feature text or a voiceover, and you can show people how things work in your property, familiarize them with the house rules, and address any other common guest queries.

Then, you can even send this video to renters when they make a booking, or soon before they’re due to check-in.

9 tips and tricks on video for vacation rental property managers

Now you know some of the different kinds of videos you can try, we want to share with you some of the most useful tips and tricks for making your videos stand out.

1. Stage the property

As a minimum, your property must be clean, tidy, and presentable if you are going to make a video. But why not go further and set an inviting scene?

You want people to be able to imagine themselves enjoying your vacation home. For example, you could:

  • Run a bath and surround it with lots of candles and dim lighting.
  • Set the dining table with appetizing food and an open bottle of wine.
  • Light the fireplace and show how cozy the living room looks in winter.

The staging you choose depends on what kind of property you have, and the kind of guests you’re looking to attract. 

Your goal is to present it as the best vacation spot and ensure your guests don’t have to rely on their imagination.

2. Make it look polished and professional

No matter your budget, you’ll want to make sure all your videos look polished and professional.

This is especially true for your tours of the property and local area. 

If you have the budget, you could hire a professional videographer and rent a drone to capture some truly impressive aerial shots.

However, even if you’re on a smaller budget you can still produce excellent videos with a smartphone or video camera. Invest in a gimbal to keep moving shots steady, and a tripod will help you take perfect still images.

To edit your videos, you can choose from professional paid tools like Adobe Premiere, or great free options like Apple iMovie, and Splice.

For a final professional touch, add your brand’s logo and website address as a watermark.

3. Be authentic

You want to present your properties in the best light without deceiving your audience. It’s important that what people see is what they’ll get, and you don’t want to mislead anyone.

Your properties have their own character and unique charm, so think about how you can best show this off and appeal to different types of travelers.

As we reported in our recent article about vacation rental statistics for 2021, more and more guests are traveling in large family groups and mixing work and travel. 

It could be helpful to consider the changing needs of travelers when you create vacation rental videos, and you may want to film multiple videos with different staging catering to various types of getaways.

4. Experiment with different video lengths

When you first start making videos you won’t necessarily know what the optimum length is.

It’s usually best to keep your videos short so that you don’t lose people’s attention. You’ll probably want to aim for 2-3 minutes, however, it’s a good idea to film a longer video that you can then trim down. 

Remember to keep a close eye on data. If you look at your Youtube analytics, you’ll be able to find out how long people spend watching your videos.

If you notice that people stop watching midway through, then you could try shortening the video by half.

On social media, shorter videos tend to perform better. Hubspot researched what the optimum video lengths were for social media channels, and here’s what they found:

  • Instagram: 26 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • Youtube: 2 minutes
infographic showing the ideal video lengths for social media platforms
The ideal video lengths for social media channels. Source: Hubspot

Use these stats as a guide, and remember to keep it short and sweet!

5. Keep up the pace

It’s not easy to keep people engaged online, and if your video moves too slowly, viewers may lose interest. 

Keep up a steady pace, don’t linger too long in the same room. Remember that you don’t have to show every mundane detail of your property. 

A good tour video should take the viewer on a journey, and move around the property as you would in real life. Start at the entrance, move from room to room and explore any outside space.

6. Try voiceovers and background music

Depending on the style of video, either a voiceover or background music could work best. 

Voiceover could be suitable for an FAQ video, or for a neighborhood tour where you explain what people can see and do in the area.

When you use voiceover, be sure to speak clearly, with confidence, and make it fun but not too cheesy. It’s good practice to add subtitles so people can easily understand your content while scrolling on social media.

If you decide to use background music, make sure it reflects the property and local area and also appeals to your target customer. You don’t want the music to be too bland, or too invasive. It should complement the visuals and not distract from them.

To avoid any copyright issues, use sites like Free Music Archive, Premium Beat, Filmstro, and AudioJungle to find royalty-free music that won’t be subject to any restrictions.

Don’t forget that sometimes sound effects can work just as well as music. For a beachside property, you might use the calming sound of the ocean. Birdsong could be a great soundtrack for a forest cabin, and for a neighborhood tour, you could include the noise of people on the street.

7. Promote your videos with ads

It could be difficult to get lots of organic traffic to your videos initially. So, to drive some extra views, you could consider setting up a social media paid ad campaign on your most valuable vacation rental marketing channels.

Ads could help you get more video views, and in turn, boost your followers and grow your audience on social media.

8. Reuse and recycle

It takes time to produce great videos for your short-term rentals, but the good news is you can get a lot of use out of them.

You can get plenty of value out of every video by sharing them on many platforms. Upload to your Youtube channel, embed them on your website, and then post short snippets on your social media channels.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to share property videos on Airbnb or Booking.com, however, you can embed a video in your listing on VRBO and other vacation rental listing sites.

You can repost and reshare your videos regularly, and you can even combine multiple videos to make a compilation. For example, if you have a group of properties in one area, you can combine short clips of each property into one video.

Whenever you upload a video to Youtube, make sure that embedding is enabled. This means others can share your content and can help you to get more views.

9. Use live video

While we’ve focussed heavily on pre-recorded videos, you can also include live videos in your marketing strategy.

Live video is popular on social media sites, with tools like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories.

You can experiment with going live on social media to give a quick property tour or talk about our company. 

Another strategy could be to encourage guests to tag your brand in their stories and live video, and you can incentivize them to do this by entering them into a competition or offering a discount on one of your upsells.

Successfully market your vacation rentals with video 

People love watching and sharing videos online, and that’s what makes it such an effective and persuasive marketing tool.

Videos are an excellent way to engage your potential guests and give them a tempting preview of what they could experience while staying in your short-term rental.

Even if you don’t have a big budget, you can still make beautiful, engaging videos by following these tips and investing some time in the process.

Remember to try out a variety of different formats and marketing channels until you find what works best for your property management business.

With Avantio’s vacation rental channel manager, you can diversify your portfolio and get your properties listed on as many booking sites as possible. We know that distributing your listings is a strategy, not a task.

Take our free 5-day email course for property managers who want new, creative strategies for distributing their vacation rentals. 

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