Marketing Your Home as a Luxury Property

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    how to market your vacation home as a luxury rental Although owning a vacation home is a luxury in itself, not every second home is truly a "luxury property." Coining your property as “luxury” could lead to disappointed guests upon arrival if they've conjured up a different image of what luxury means to them.

    If you choose to market your home as “luxury,” travelers will have certain expectations. The “L” word tends to be pretty overused on vacation rental sites, and there are tons of truly high-end options to which travelers can compare your home, making it all the more important to stay on top of your game and actually prove your luxury status.

    Here are some tips for equipping your home and updating your vacation rental listings to portray a luxury image:

    Don’t just call it luxury – prove it! Instead of adding generic adjectives to your headline and descriptions, call attention to the luxuriousness of your home by including specific details about the upscale amenities you offer. Take full advantage of all free text fields in your listing to include high-end brand names or the designers of your lavish furnishings.

    Decorate with high-end furnishings and fixtures. Many owners go the Ikea route for the practicality and durability of the furniture, which is great. However, if you have decided that you want to splurge, go ahead and hire a professional decorator or furnish your home with top-of-the-line furniture and fixtures — and make sure you say so in your listings. And, if you purchase anything from a prestigious or well known company, go ahead and include the brand names in your ads. This could make a difference to label-conscious renters, and your guests will enjoy the bragging rights after they book their stay.

    Provide your guests with quality linens. Once you've set the standard for the luxuriousness of your home, don't disappoint your guests with towels that are too short or sheets that chafe. Invest in 400-thread-count sheets (or higher) and plush towels, and then describe them in your listings.

    Equip your home with the latest technology. High-end electronics can also add to the luxury feel of your vacation rental. These items might include:

    • Flat screen, high definition, big screen or Plasma TV with cable, satellite and/or movie channels
    • DVD or BluRay player with a DVD library
    • Video game system like PlayStation or Wii
    • Computer with Internet access
    • Surround sound stereo system or iPod docking station
    • Remote-control-operated fixtures, such as lights or window shades
    • High-end kitchen appliances like Wolf or Viking brands, unique appliances like a wine  refrigerator, or even appliances with electronic features (like a refrigerator with an HDTV and DVD connection)

    Offer special services. Travelers looking for a luxury vacation experience will appreciate services like airport transfers, grocery stocking, or a concierge service including dinner reservations, catering arrangements, spa services or excursions. You can even handle some of these services yourself from afar, or you could enlist help from someone else, like your housekeeper.

    Set your rates accordingly. If you are trying to convey a luxury image but your rates place you among the least expensive properties in your area, your prospective guests might not believe that you are as luxurious as you say you are. Don't be afraid to price your home in the top 10% of the other homes in your area if you feel like your amenities back it up.

    Hire on-site staff. Nothing conveys luxury more than being waited on. If you feel your property attracts guests who would appreciate (and pay for) onsite staff, try hiring help like a driver, chef, or onsite concierge who can provide recommendations and arrangements for restaurants and area activities. They might also be willing to provide meet and greets or turndown service.

    There is definitely a market out there for luxury vacation rentals. Keep in mind that while there is a certain appeal to luxury, it’s not for everyone. If the majority of your inquiries come from families with small children, “luxury” could alienate these renters. Be sure to consider your target market before equipping your home extravagantly and advertising it as such.

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