Vacation Rental Best Practice Guide

Use these tips to increase conversion when selling vacation rental properties

User Journey Best Practices


1. Integrated Approach: Include vacation rental listings within a consolidated search experience, alongside hotels and other conventional lodging.

For travelers who aren’t explicitly looking for a vacation rental you should:

  • Identify traveler intent, e.g. searches for 3+ guests for 3+ nights, or searches that include children.
  • Boost vacation rental rank vs hotel within search results.
  • Provide a filter for hotels vs vacation rentals.
  • Provide teasers within search results which highlight the benefits of vacation rental, and filter results if user expresses interest.

Vacation rental integrated storefront

2. Create a separate, dedicated tab for vacation rental properties.

For travelers who are coming to your site knowing they want a vacation rental, it can be more effective to create a separate tab for these properties. For the best customer experience, we advise adding in vacation rental-friendly search filters such as:

  • Guest rating (vs property ratings)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Property type

Drive guests to your vacation rental shop experience tab:

  • Identify traveler intent, e.g. searches for 3+ guests for 3+ nights, or searches that include children.
  • Provide teasers within search results which highlight the benefits of vacation rentals when appropriate, and link guests into your vacation rental tab to continue their search.

Vacation rental dedicated tab storefront

Search Results

3. Help improve conversion by displaying trust indicators such as reviews and ratings.

4. Help improve the traveler experience by introducing fees earlier on in the booking process.

  • Include any property fees or service fees within search results, so the guest is not surprised when the total increases as they progress through property details to check-out.
  • Displaying the nightly rate and the total rate may also help to build awareness with guests.

5. Optimize search result display with the following considerations:

  • Vacation rental property names can be significantly longer than hotel names, so care should be taken when displaying in search results.
  • Clearly distinguish the property type and highlight the guest will have access to the entire property, e.g. apartment.
  • Remove urgency messaging (e.g. "We have 1 room left!") when Rapid Content returns statistics.52.value (Total number of rooms) with a small number.


"statistics": {
    "52": {
        "id": "52",
        "name": "Total number of rooms - 820",
        "value": "820"

Property Details

6. Display the vacation rental property details using a vacation rental-specific template.

  • Display host information, when available.
  • Display amenities relevant to a vacation rental shopper.
  • Display recreation nearby attributes.
  • Clearly describe the space, including surface area, max guests, bedrooms, bathrooms, and bed types.
  • Display full rate detail when the property only has a single rate (common with single-unit vacation rentals).
  • Display property registration number and private/professional host explanation.
  • Vrbo properties:
    • Display property and host descriptions.
    • Display a calendar showing nightly availability for the property, including minimum stay requirements.
    • Use Rapid Content's Unit Configuration to graphically display bed types per bedroom within the unit.

7. Display requirements for vacation rental properties differ from conventional lodging, and may be subject to additional local jurisdictional requirements and reporting.

  • Property registration numbers must be displayed as they are a legal requirement in many local jurisdictions. This value can be found in the EPS Rapid Content response element registry_number.
  • EU regulations require vacation rental properties to display if they are managed by private hosts as opposed to professional property management companies. EPS Rapid Content response element attributes.general.1073745102 will be returned when the property is managed by a private host.
  • When you see the obfuscation_required=true tag, you must only share with travelers the, address.state_province_name, and address.country_code of the address before a booking is made. You must also obfuscate the map property pin when you see this tag. Your site can display a circle on the map to help customers to understand the surrounding area of the property, instead of a map pin. The circle should cover a random location 500-1,000ft from the property’s latitude and longitude returned in Rapid Content element location.coordinates.


8. Highlight top amenities that are popular with vacation rental shoppers such as swimming pools, washer/dryers, air conditioning, parking, and internet.

Optiimize with top amenities


9. Clearly display any special check-in instructions on the check-out page, booking confirmation, and email confirmations to the traveler. It is critical that the customer understands that the property may reach out via email or phone to provide arrival or access instructions.

Special check-in instructions


10. Clearly educate guests on what to expect after their booking is made.

  • The property host may send emails to the guest to arrange arrival (e.g. schedule to meet upon arrival or provide door access codes), provide a welcome guide, or answer any questions the guest may have about the property or the stay.
  • Vrbo properties:
    • Vrbo communications to the guest (e.g. booking confirmation or scheduled payment reminder).
    • Refundable damage deposits.
    • Card-on-File for damages.
    • International transaction bank charge, where applicable.

Vacation rental communications

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