How to best present your Cornish holiday let online
In today’s digital age the vast majority of people looking for a self-catering break do so online. They also book via the internet. This means your property’s online presence has never been more important. It naturally makes for a very competitive marketplace. Presenting your Cornish holiday let in the best possible way online is therefore paramount both to stand out in the crowd and to attract potential guests.
In this article, we look at the best ways of showcasing your Cornwall holiday house on the internet. We cover what you should include in your online presence and how to shine brighter than all the other holiday homes through your pictures and words.
Choose your online presence
Depending on your marketing strategy (and perhaps your budget), you have three choices for presenting your Cornish holiday rental online: via a DIY listing portal, a self-catering agency, or your own bespoke website.
Holiday rental listing sites
One of the most popular options is to advertise your property on a holiday lettings portal. This could be location-specific, i.e. one specialising in holiday lets in one particular area such as Cornwall or South West England, or one that has a wider scope and includes properties throughout the UK or even internationally.
Using a holiday rental listings site allows you to take advantage of the portal’s online presence. On the other hand, advertising may be expensive and competition is stiff within the portal itself.
Listing with a self-catering agency
Self-catering agencies have dedicated websites promoting their portfolio of holiday homes. They tend to be destination specific and therefore backed by a team of destination experts. They’ll work with or have in-house professional photographers, writers and property managers to best present your property online.
They also have a shop front. That provides a face to face opportunity for holiday home owners and guests as well as a source of offline guest enquiries.
Your own portal
You also have the option of setting up your own website. This allows you to showcase your holiday let in your own style and to include as much information as you like. On the other hand, individual websites don’t have nearly the same online clout as larger portals and may find it tough to compete in the search engine rankings. Creating a website can also be expensive especially if you want to include booking and payment features.
Top tip: Many holiday let owners advertise on portals and have their own website, a marketing tactic that increases your reach and offers the holidaymaker more information.
Whichever option you choose to advertise your holiday let, you still need to bear in mind the same principle: your web presence should compel the holidaymaker to book your holiday let (or at least to enquire further). To do this your property must stand out against all others. And it has to continue to do so, i.e. the work isn’t over once the website or listing is created, they require regular revisions.
Bottom line? This is a hard sell!
Stand out from the very beginning
Decide your holiday let’s unique selling points (USP) so that the holidaymaker instantly has an idea of what to expect. You can include nearby attractions too, to help guests understand more about the location and what’s on nearby.
Top tip: less is more when describing your property – think punchy, factual and fascinating bites of information.
Writing holiday home descriptions
We do this all day every day, but we work with our owners to ensure we’ve encapsulated the very essence of the holiday experience they want guests to have.
We create short paragraphs that tell the holidaymaker why they should book their holiday at your Cornish holiday let (and no other). The summary is perhaps the most difficult part to write so we bear in the mind:
- what type of holidaymaker books your property (e.g. young families, dog owners, couples, large groups, etc.) and write about the elements they seek in their holiday accommodation
- the property’s USPs (all of them)
- location USPs (listing them according to your target holidaymaker)
Keep the description real while stirring the emotions of the reader. That’s not as easy as it sounds! We try to avoid using subjective words such as ‘luxury’, because everyone has a personal expectation around those kinds of adjectives. Instead we endeavour to describe the feature. For example, instead of writing “luxury bedding” we might write “600 thread count Egyptian linen on king-size beds”. Or rather than “panoramic views”, say “views that stretch from one end of Porthmeon beach to the other”.
The same applies to location descriptions. We might combine phrases like “on the doorstep” or “within walking distance” with specifics such as “it takes 15 minutes to walk to the beach” or “St Michael’s Mount is 10 miles away”.
Top tip: if you’re writing your own summary, get someone else to read it and ask them if they would book your holiday let. No pressure!
Be picture perfect
Every picture tells a story and first impressions are lasting. That’s why photos are so powerful in holiday home marketing.
Taking photos has never been easier, but just because we all have cameras on our phones and tablets doesn’t make us good photographers. In fact, most of us probably take very average shots and bad photos or even those that don’t “sell” a property can put holidaymakers off and ruin your chances of a booking.
To ensure your pictures do their job and compel holidaymakers to book, remember the following tips:
- Set your camera on the highest quality resolution possible. You can always reduce the resolution later
- Take photos on a sunny day. We all know sunshine isn’t a given in Cornwall but your holiday let will glow in full sunlight at least in the pictures!
- Make sure the property is tidy and clean
- Stage the property with fresh flowers throughout, tables set for dinner, towels neatly folded on the beds, wine glasses on the balcony table…
- Take photos of all USPs and of all rooms and outside spaces
- Take photos of nearby locations and attractions
Which photo first?
Once you have your selection of high-res, quality photos, choose the one that best sells your property to lead your picture gallery. It might be a room with a view out to idyllic countryside or a secluded cove, the property’s pool and gardens, the sumptuous sleigh bed in the master suite, or your perfect farmhouse kitchen. It all depends on your target audience – give them a picture of what they want to see.
We have decades of experience showcasing Cornish holiday lets. If you’d like some help and advice on how best to present your property in Cornwall and stand out in the crowd, do get in touch. We’ll be only too pleased to help!