What’s wrong with the word “Rental”?

  • We have vacation condos.
  • Sun-drenched suites.
  • Cute city flats.
  • Holiday apartments.

Bungalos and villas and even some charming country cottages.

“Hotel Rooms” are ok if you’re traveling. “Guest Rooms” are better. “Lodging” and “Vacation Headquarters” and “chambers” or “suites” and all of these things leave a lot to the imagination. So why do I keep coming across this horrible term “rental”?

The problem is always that these things need someone to market them, and too often that job falls to someone to whom all of the above… is, still, a “rental”.

It’s the classic conflict between all that is “trade” and all that is “consumer.”

Get (your copy) down on one side or the other.

I do a lot of work with websites that need to simultaneously appeal to travelers and to property owners, and while it might seem like a no-brainer, I’m actually frequently confronted by real-estate pros who honestly cannot perceive the difference.

Here’s the problem: people work so closely with their property owners and the website developers and on all of the B2B side of things that that word “rental” just creeps into everything. It’s like a horrible infectious disease that sets in right when you want people to come stay with you. Well, not really, but look at it this way…

Guests are not looking for an investment property, or to benefit the portfolio of anyone.

They’re happy to support a business that gives them value, but there is nothing at all appealing about the “passive income stream” of someone living three states away. A helpful desk employee or luggage porter is far more likely to receive a tip or a recommendation, but a silent partner who paid for the website? Sorry, you’re just not part of my vacation plans.

So, the strategic part of vacation rental writing is in masking that silent partner and putting a face of service on the entire operation.

Don’t feel like changing your business model and really adding grocery shopping and turn-downs?


Add more and better information to your site so that guests know, not only that your putting some time in, but that you really love and care about your area, and not just about filling your rentals.

Your rentals fill up as your dedication to your market does – and that should be reflected not only in the quality of the words you use to describe it – but in the breadth with which you present it.

Every possible reason to visit needs to be lovingly, honestly presented.

Every detail of the property highlighted, exactly like you’re selling it. But further, you’ve got a location to represent. Things to do, things to share, things that make a trip here worth pursuing.

And yes you do need to be over-the-top. Hiring an editor is way more important than counting on an office helper to fill in the right fields.

Guests understand perfectly well the rental arrangement. Any reminder is not in the interest of your vacation holiday paradise business.

Even if you’re renting strictly to business travelers, they expect an executive experience. Not a reminder that they’re supporting service providers.

I’m going to return in another post to marketing for Property Managers, but for now, if there is something I missed please let me know in the comments section below.


Photo top of this page: Košice Apartment Blocks, ©Wikimedia Commons, by Tony Bowden



One thought on “What’s wrong with the word “Rental”?

  1. Pingback: Vacation Rental Writing from the Traveler’s Point of View | Blog Follow Up

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