4 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2012 4:07 PM by anja RSS

    Property Types

    nebasketnut Contributor

      Can someone tell me what the difference is between a home and estate?  Is it the size of home or size of property?  How many bedrooms?


      Do you think being classified as an estate would be more beneficial than just a home?


      Thanks for the help!

        • Re: Property Types
          thaxterlane Premier Contributor

          Here is the definition of an estate:


          "a piece of landed property, especially one of large extent with an elaborate house on it: to have an estate in the country"


          My personal view of an estate is informed by my growing up in the Northeast.  In my mind, an estate is a large and formal house in an exclusive community.  It is set on acres of land, bringing to mind rolling hills, stone walls, orchards, etc.  


          I am of the opinion that the majority of vacationers are interested in relaxing in comfort on their holidays.  I do not think labeling a house as an "estate" brings to mind the casual comfort and relaxation most associate with a vacation.


          But, that's just my opinion. 


          I would use descriptive terms such as elegant, spacious, sumptuous, stunning, etc to convey the look and features of a house. 


          Hope this is helpful . . . .

          • Re: Property Types
            anja Senior Contributor

            How you advertise really depends upon to whom you are advertising.  Who is your target group? 


            I agree with thaxterland.  It is also my opinion that, to draw interest in your rental from among the majority of vacationing couples and families, the key word more likely to be used in a search online is "vacation house"....not "vacation estate".  The traffic to your website and/or advertisment will probably be higher for "house". 


            But, of course there is a target group for large estate homes on acres of  land. The client will depend upon how exclusive the property is.  There are travelers looking for larger homes, i.e. estates. 


            Your "price policy" is going to either attract the right travelers you want, and it's going to filter out those that can not afford your place. You will still have to "screen" for any character pros and cons of anyone



            Advertising can be tested....you can choose different descriptions and change them, whenever you want, to see which description works best {for you} ...which one attracts the most traffic ...which one attracts the type of [prospects] and people you want to rent to.  For example: you can advertise in two different places online with slightly different descriptions  to see which one works best.  Like:   Vacation Rental Estate on XX acres, 8 bdrm, fireplace, pool, lakeside  --- and ---   Vacation Rental House: luxury estate, xx acres, 8 bdrm, fireplace, pool, lakeside.   If you only want to advertise on one website...then just test different headline descriptions ...changing it ...until one works for you.



            Personally, I do not own an estate property. I'd always use "house" simply because the search term is more popular and it attracts the majority of who my target group is.  

              • Re: Property Types
                lrbaldwin Active Contributor

                "I'd always use "house" simply because the search term is more popular and it attracts the majority of who my target group is.  "




                I agree with you and a couple weeks ago changed my listing to "house" rather than "cottage" though we're at the beach with cedar shingles and is generally considered a cottage.  However, I looked at the filter and saw that of 169 properties in our town, 147 were listed as houses and only 12 as cottages.  If a user filtered for houses only, mine would not show up. Back 50 or so years ago, any home with close proximity to the beach was called a cottage even if it had 12 bedrooms.  Nowadays, I think most people consider a cottage as a small beach house.


                So, nebasketnut, take a look at the filters for your area.  Find where you would legitimately be listed the most with similar homes.



                  • Re: Property Types
                    anja Senior Contributor

                    Exactly!  The filter can be a friend and a foe.  It really should not be our, emotional, personal preference that guides us to choose what we want to call our place.  "Estate" sounds impressive. But, who cares if no one finds it online.  "Stately House on xx acres of land", might work better for nebasketnut.  He needs to look at other comparable properties, too, to see how they are marketed...then check their availability and other relevant variables....check the key words they use in their descriptios. 


                    "Cottage" emotes certain feelings and invokes images we want people to have about the place...before they even peek at the photos. Our headline should motivate people to take a closer look.


                    But, we have to be mindful of the most sought Google search terms, and the HA/VRBO filters that are changing the way people search. 


                    Many owners asked HA for more targeted inquiries...and the filter is supposed to do just that.  I don't  know how it's working...how helpful it is for us....or is it harmful?  I'm not sure how many travelers are actually "filtering" ...I still seem to get the vague, general inquiries that could apply to many types of accommodations.  I got two this morning....very vague...and I do have the availability so I'm trying and hoping to succeed in a booking.  I had four inquiries last week...all very specific {don't know if they filtered}....I have the openings...they all seem a good fit for me...not one  responded to my "offers" sent, however, last week. This is really a numbers game no matter how we look at it.  But, we have to "target" and "key word" correctly.


                    And, then there are the inquiries that come from overseas {I get many}...and those travelers have a different set of terms:  some use "flat" instead of "apartment"....but they all use "house", as in "vacation house", I've noted.


                    I agree with you..."house" and "cottage" do not seem to be widely differentiated any longer.        


                    The key-word selection is really important when describing the type of accommodation + location.