Classified websites like Craigslist, Gumtree, Locanto, Oodle and Kijiji can be a great way to reach a large audience of potential guests for your short-term or mid-term rental properties outside of traditional platforms like Airbnb. According to Semrush, for example, Craigslist brought in 154 million users in July of 2023. With this built in traffic, your listings can get a significant amount of eyeballs for free.
Even though vacation rental operators can benefit from Classified sites like Craigslist, there are also some challenges associated with using these platforms.
Classified Website Marketing Challenges
- Scams and fraud: Craigslist and similar platforms can be rife with scams. Property owners may encounter fraudulent inquiries, which can waste time and potentially lead to financial loss.
- Lack of verification: Craigslist doesn't verify users. This makes it difficult for property managers to trust potential renters and vice versa.
- Payment security: Craigslist doesn't provide any payment system. Property managers need to arrange their own secure methods of payment, which can be complex and risky.
- Limited visibility: Listings on Craigslist can quickly get buried under new posts, reducing their visibility. Property managers may need to repost frequently to ensure their listings are seen.
- No review system: Craigslist doesn't have a review system, making it difficult for property managers to build a reputation and for potential guests to trust the listings.
- Communication challenges: Communication on Craigslist can be less reliable and slower than on dedicated rental platforms. This can lead to missed opportunities and a lower conversion rate.
- Lack of booking and calendar management: Craigslist doesn't offer booking or calendar management tools. Property managers need to do so manually, which can be time-consuming and lead to errors like double bookings.
Classified Website Marketing Opportunities
Despite these challenges, the opportunities associated with using classified websites to advertise short-term and mid-term rental property listings are plentiful.
- Zero cost: Unless you’re paying for ads, Craigslist, Kijiji and Gumtree are free platforms to use, so there are no upfront costs or monthly fees.
- Wide reach: They are popular with millions of active users, so your listings have the potential to reach a large audience.
- Flexibility: Craigslist, Kijiji and Gumtree allow you to customize your listings and set your own rates, so you have more control over how your property is marketed.
Because of these opportunities, especially to get your listing in front of a large number of potential guests, it’s worth leveraging these kinds of websites and at the same time, using complementary tools that provide solutions to the challenges that these websites bring.
Converting Lookers into Bookers with the Dtravel Direct Vacation Rental Website Builder
One of the ways to increase the success of classified posts is to create trust and credibility through a direct booking website. Not only will a direct booking website help property managers win over guests, but they can reduce the probability of engaging with bad actors through guest screening and damage protection. In addition, a feature rich direct booking site automates much of the booking process and prevents double bookings with direct payment processing and calendar synching.
Dtravel Direct is an easy to use direct booking website builder designed to help property managers start, run and grow their direct booking business. With Dtravel Direct, property managers can overcome the challenges associated with classified websites simply by creating a complete direct booking site or directly bookable listing for free, in under five minutes. Here are some of the features you can expect from Dtravel Direct:
- Easy direct booking website builder: Dtravel Direct's website builder makes it easy to create a professional-looking direct booking website without any coding or design experience.
- Low fees: No recurring monthly subscriptions. Only pay a low fee of 3% on each booking.
- Booking management: Enjoy booking management tools that prevent double bookings and streamline the bookings process.
- Payment methods: Receive payments directly from guests with instant payouts and zero intermediaries. Offer payment options like credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Book-Now-Pay-Later and cryptocurrency.
- Guest screening: Turn on guest screening to better assess the risk of potential renters.
- Damage Protection Plan: Dtravel Direct is integrated with Know Your Guest by SUPERHOG to offer a $5M Damage Protection Plan for only $12 per listing.
- Listing discoverability: Dtravel's direct booking website metasearch engine helps your listings be found by potential guests.
- Google Vacation Rentals Integration: Dtravel will enable your directly bookable listings to appear in Google Vacation Rental search results.
- Airbnb listing import: To make it even easier to create a direct booking site, Dtravel Direct enables property managers to import existing Airbnb listing data to be up and running in minutes!
Boost Direct Bookings by Combining QR Codes with Short-Term or Midterm Rental Classified Posts
Did you know you can combine the power of QR codes with the reach of classified sites to drive traffic to your direct booking site, convert guests and boost your earnings potential? Here’s how:
1. Generate Your QR Code:
Create a QR code that links to your direct booking site by leveraging free QR code generators such as Canva, QRcode.ai, QR Code Generator, QR Code Generator by beaconstac, and QR Code Monkey. Consider premium-designed QR codes for added trust and appeal by incorporating branding elements like logos.
2. Clarity and Scannability Matter:
Ensure your QR code design is clear and scannable. It should be sizeable enough to be effortlessly captured by smartphone cameras.
3. Craft Your Classified Property Listing Post:
Shape a compelling property listing page that captures your property's essence. Enrich it with high-quality photos, a detailed description, your active social media profiles, and readily accessible contact information.
4. Strategic Promotion of QR Codes:
Amplify the visibility of your QR code by integrating it into your listing photos. Take it a step further by mentioning it within your listing descriptions, signaling to potential guests that scanning the QR code offers a gateway to learning more about your property.
In just four easy steps you’ve just created a traffic source that could funnel a ton of potential guests into your secure and directly bookable listings. By using Dtravel Direct to create a direct booking site or directly bookable listing you can easily screen guests, filtering out the challenges associated with classified posts and accept payments directly rather than having to arrange payment in person.
Conclusion: Grow Vacation Rental Bookings with Classified Websites
Classified websites can be a great way to reach a large audience of potential guests for your short-term or midterm rental properties. However, there are also some challenges associated with using these platforms. Dtravel Direct is a platform that can not just help property owners overcome the challenges of using classified websites, but supercharge a marketing channel that has stood the test of time.
By combining the might of classified websites with the innovation of Dtravel Direct and QR codes, you're not only attracting potential guests to your direct booking site, but you’re automating much of the booking process, freeing up more of your valuable time. Seamlessly streamline the bookings, cultivate trust, and embark on a journey of vacation rental success like never before.