How to Increase Bookings with Instant Booking on Vrbo Clone

September 5, 2023
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With instant booking, properties on Vrbo saw a huge number of boost in reservations last year. Learn the top strategies property managers use to take advantage of this feature and drive more bookings to their listings. This blog reveals the 15 most effective tactics, from optimizing listings to social media promotion, that helped property owners increase their occupancy by up to 25%
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15 Strategies to Increase Bookings With Instant Booking on Vrbo Clone

Strategy 1: Optimize your property listing

One of the most important strategies is to optimize your property listing. Guests make booking decisions based on how enticing and informative your listing is.
Element Description
High quality, accurate photos Use 10-12 high resolution, professionally shot photos that highlight the key areas of your property. Photos sell your listing.
Detailed and compelling description Write a 150-200 word description highlighting the key features, location and amenities. Use a conversational tone.
Correct amenities listed Ensure all amenities and facilities listed on your listing are accurately represented and available.
Consistent calendar availability Keep your calendar updated with block-out dates so guests view realistic availability.
The better you market your property, the more likely guests are to click the “book now” button without hesitation. Don’t underestimate the power of a polished, optimized listing in VRBO Clone!

Strategy 2: Make booking as easy as possible

Making the booking process effortless for guests is key to getting more instant bookings. Here are some ways to do that:

Enable instant booking

Allow guests to book your property immediately without waiting for manual confirmation. This removes friction from the booking flow and makes guests more likely to reserve on the spot.

Set competitive pricing

Research what other comparable properties in your area are listing for and aim to be competitively priced. Be sure to adjust rates based on seasonality. Prices that are too high may cause guests to hesitate and look elsewhere.

Offer flexible cancellation policies

The most flexible cancellation policies, like a 30-day refundable option, give guests peace of mind and encourage quicker booking decisions. Rigid policies could turn guests off if they aren’t 100% sure of their travel plans yet.

We’d also recommend establishing yourself on hospitality forums and travel review sites to develop trustee and build positive reviews/ratings over time. Feedback from past guests saying how easy you made the booking/stay experience can give new guests the extra push to book with confidence.

Additionally, make sure all details on your listing like house rules, amenities and transit directions are clearly spelled out to avoid confusion down the line. The booking process should be quick, clear and low-pressure. Remove any friction that could dissuade guests from instantly reserving your space! Focus on building trust and an easy booking experience.

Strategy 3: Enhance the online guest experience

Providing an outstanding guest experience is key to getting positive reviews that attract more bookings. Here are some ways to enhance the guest experience:

  • Respond quickly to questions guests message you before or during their stay. Address issues immediately to avoid negative feedback.

  • Gather positive reviews after each booking by messaging guests and asking for an honest review of their experience. Highlight aspects you’d like them to mention specifically.

Reviews are really important on your listing page. A few glowing reviews from verified guests can instantly build credibility and trust with new guests considering your listing. 

A poor experience means risking negative feedback, so focus on excelling at customer service from booking to check-out. Address issues professionally and promptly. Leaving guests feeling impressed is key to getting those valuable 5-star reviews.

Strategy 4: Promote special offers and deals

Offering the right special offers and deals is a great way to drive more Instant Bookings on your vacation rental marketplace powered by a Vrbo clone. Some tactics to try:

Offer discounts for last minute or off-season bookings. Guests love a good deal. Promote savings of 15-25% for bookings made within 2 weeks of check-in or during months that aren’t peak season.

Package together amenities for a lower price. For example, bundle weekly rental with welcome basket, beach towels, or discounted added services. Showing total package savings in cart will entice more bookings.

Give loyalty rewards for return guests. Whether it’s 5% off their next trip or a free night after 3 paid stays, incentivize repeat customers. Loyal guests are more likely to Instant Book versus searching for deals.

You can even promote deals through:

EmailSend targeted offers to past customers plus those who abandon carts.
Push NotificationsAn important reminder may put guests over the edge to book.
Site BannersHard to miss promotions at top of pages boost visibility.

Testing creative deals and optimizing your promotion channels will help convert more casual browsers into Instant Booking customers. Discounts combined with ease of booking drive impulse bookings that may not happen otherwise.

Strategy 5: Engage on Social Media

Social media is a powerful promotion and customer service channel. By actively engaging there, you can boost your property’s visibility and build trust.

  • Share photos of your property – Curated images that showcase amenities and atmosphere keep your property top of mind. Include location tags so local followers see your posts.
  • Answer questions promptly – Respond quickly to any queries from potential guests in Facebook and Instagram comments. Addressing concerns publicly builds confidence in your communication skills.
  • Encourage guests to tag you in reviews – Ask in your response messages and in-person if you can be tagged @yourpropertyname. This surfaces positive reviews to more of your followers and signals integrity to spectators.

Strategy 6: Use Targeted Emails and Messaging

Nurturing relationships with past guests is key to maintaining repeat and referral business.

Send newsletters to past guests – Provide property and area updates, coming events, special offers just for email subscribers. Give them a reason to stay engaged.

Offer referral bonuses – Whether cash back, free nights or gift cards, reward existing guests who refer new bookers. Publicize this program to motivate word-of-mouth sharing.

Send promotions for upcoming dates – Highlight upcoming seasonal pricing or last-minute deals. Cross-promote similar listings you manage to upsell options. Personalized messages perform much higher than blasting everyone.

Strategy 7: Cross Promote Listings

Guests dwelling in one area are likely interested in similar experiences nearby. Cross promotion taps into this.

  • Bundle similar properties together – Whether same Owner or region, package 2-3 compatible properties for a multi-night discount.
  • Promote one property when another books up – Automatically suggest alternate options to guests when primary calendar fills. Convenience plus savings still drives business your way.
  • Create packages across multiple listings – Put together themed experience packages like Beach Week, Wine Country Escape etc. that combine lodging, tours and attractions from all your properties into one attractive booking.

Strategy 8: Get Listed on Multiple Booking Sites

While managing one platform gives full control, expanding reach can introduce new demand.

Expand beyond a single platform – List major marketplaces like, Airbnb, and extended Google and Bing travel sections. Integrations sync availability.

Sync calendar and reviews – Use Channel Manager or listing platform connections to avoid double bookings and keep reviews centralized.

Drive traffic back to your site – Offer better rates or unique perks to those who book direct versus third-party. Promote this on all listings to pull inquirers back for full interaction.

Strategy 9: Optimize Your Property Page on Search

Search is the new storefront. Ensure prospective guests can easily learn about and book your property directly.

  • Use optimized titles, descriptions and keywords – Include property name, location, top amenities and activities. Cater language toward intent of common searches.
  • Add interactive content like 360 tours or videos – Immersive previews help visitors virtually visit before booking in real life. WoV (Words of Visitors) give social proof.
  • Link out to third-party reviews – Snippets or full reviews from Google, Facebook bring credibility. Ask guests permission or use tagging mentioned earlier. Backlink effect boosts SEO too.

Strategy 10: Advertise on Search Engines

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns allow targeting relevant in-market travelers actively searching your preferred keyword combinations.

Run ads on Google, Bing and property sites– Craft compelling ad creative highlighting top distinctive value props. Expect 5-15% click-through rates initially if optimized.

Target relevant keywords and locations – Best to start narrow like “Beach house Milan Ohio” and expand incrementally based on performance. Bid on related long-tails too.

Continuously monitor performance – Adjust ads, landing pages and bids based on learnings. Reinvest funds generating positive ROI sustainably toward scaling reach. Dump ineffective variations promptly.

Strategy 11: Partner with Local Businesses and Attractions

Strategic collaboration augments property appeal and visit experience.

  • Offer packages or discounts together – Example: Lodging plus restaurant dinner certificates. Bigger value attracts.
  • Promote each other – Share responsibilities cross-postingatest deals, events on websites and social profiles. Tap influencers too.
  • Network and pass along referrals – Get to know operators. Recommend reliable partners to guests and vice versa creates stronger local rapport over time.

Strategy 12: Consistent Branding Across Platforms

Maintaining a cohesive look and messaging primes positive recall.

Use same photos, descriptions, policies – Duplicate core profile details verbatim prevents confusion or inconsistencies turning guests off.

Display property information consistently – Strong branding remains intact wherever people encounter your property online or in-person for booking or support.

Maintain same look and feel – Carry logo, color scheme, fonts and tone from your website onto all third-party listings and collateral for instant recognition anywhere.

Strategy 13: Collect Guest Data

Valuable first-party customer profiles enrich relationships and targeting. Always respect privacy policies.

  • Request emails to build mailing lists – Reward opt-ins with coupon incentives versus forcing submission. Nurture these leads with quality content over commercial spam.
  • Ask for reviews and referrals – Provide stamps, pins or digital assets motivating guests to share their experience. Convey social proof drives new demand.
  • Track locations and interests – Understand demographics and psychographics to serve personalized offers aligning with lifestyle passions. Non-creepy retargeting boosts re-booking.

Strategy 14: Be Accessible to Guests

Prompt support builds trust that issues will get resolved fast if any arise from stay.

Respond promptly to messages – Within a business day tops for queries during all phases from booking to checkout. Set proper client expectations proactively.

Have local caretakers available – Provide emergency contacts able to physically assist guests within an hour if host not nearby. Onsite help reduces stress compared third parties.

Install self check-in options if possible – Smart locks, keypads eliminate coordination hassles for late/flexible arrivals. Streamlines process for all parties involved saving time.

Strategy 15: Continuous Self-Education

The hospitality and technology landscape evolves quickly. Adaptability strengthens competitive edge.

  • Stay up to date on trends, regulations and technologies – Conferences, forums and industry publications shed light on innovations and shifts impacting business operations and customer expectations.
  • Test new strategies, tools or listing enhancements – Try emergence of VR tours, live chat plugins, direct bookings widgets etc. Learn what resonates best with target audiences via split testing.
  • Monitor performance and adjust approach as needed – Continuously optimize processes, room types, rates and promotions in response to learnings. Maintain finger on pulse of shifts in demand through tools like dashboards and analytics. Becoming a student of hospitality secures long-term success.

Final Thoughts

We hope these 15 strategies provide inspiration to boost your bookings using the Instant Booking feature on your vacation rental marketplace. With ongoing testing, listening to guests, and adapting to change, your properties are sure to see more occupied nights. Best of luck in growing your business!

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    Rohan Murthy

    Rohan Murthy is a freelance writer and in-house content lead at Zipprr, a custom software development company. With over 7 years of experience, he specializes in writing about business, technology and startups. As the in-house content lead, he creates blogs, whitepapers and webpage content for Zipprr. He has also worked with many other clients as a freelance writer, providing long-form and short-form content.