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How to Build a Vacation Rental Website That Gets You More Direct Bookings

Marina Miceli

10 May, 2023

I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel by saying that it’s fundamental to have a website – an online presence – if you want to sell more effectively. If your public is the world – and it is in this day and age – how could it be possible for a client from the other part of the world – or even for a client who lives 1000 km away – to find your tourist accommodations without an online showcase, also know as a website? 

You might say that your accommodations are on Booking or Airbnb, and to that I say ‘fair enough, but you’re paying a big percentage to them too.’ The question is – do you want to keep paying for every single booking or you would like to have incrementally increase your direct bookings? 

It’s up to you really. In the meantime, I suggest you have good look at this article to understand all the reasons why you should build a vacation rental website and how you can
get this done without paying a fortune.

The article will break down like this:

· The basic reasons you should build a vacation rental website.
· An introduction to the Amenitiz Website Builder – an easy platform on which to create a solid showcase for your business – a direct booking machine, if you will.
· The essentials you’ll need to get together to put on your site.
· The most common FAQs from the internet.

Why do you need a website for your vacation rental business?

Building a vacation rental website is crucial for several reasons.

Firstly it allows you to have control over your brand and how you present your rental property to potential guests. With your website, you can showcase your property’s unique features and amenities, provide information about local attractions and activities, and offer special deals and promotions. If you want travellers to fall in love with your accommodations, you must make an effort to think about in how they might see you the very first time. The first impressions and the fluidity with which your clients can navigate and book is decisive.

Secondly a website with an Integrated Booking Engine will  increase your direct bookings. When you rely solely on third-party vacation rental websites like Vrbo, Booking and Airbnb, you’re subject to their fees and commission structures. By having your own website, you can eliminate the necessity to pay fees such as these and in the short and long run you’ll see a widening in your profit margins.

Finally – a website gives your guests a more personalised experience from moment one. They can browse your rental property at their leisure and if you do your work well they’ll get a better sense of what it would be like to stay there. Your website can also feature guest reviews and testimonials, which can build trust and credibility with potential guests.

Use a vacation rental website builder and increase your direct bookings: the Billboard Effect

As we already said, one of the most important benefits of building a vacation rental website is that it can increase the number of direct bookings you receive. This is only possible if you have a system that can convert travellers  into customers – one that allows them to book directly and smoothly on your website. 

Besides being your showcase your website can also be your greatest and sales channel if you put it in a position to be. In marketing we often refer to something called “The Customer Journey”.

This is just as it sounds – the average journey taken by a customer from desire to possession of the desired object – and in the case of over half your potential guests  who book at vacation rentals website it goes like this: Go on a OTA (like Booking, Airbnb, etc), look for an accommodation, choose one and return to Google to find a website or the best offer for this same accommodation they like. If they find your website with the best price they will book on your website and you will not pay anything for that booking.

A website should also be SEO-Optimised, which is another way of saying ‘easy to find on Google’. This means that when you build your vacation rental website, you must include some keywords in copy, name, titles, etc. to put your website in the best position to get onto the first page on Google Search. To do that you should write detailed descriptions of your story – people loves storytelling – under your rooms, amenities. It’s also a good idea to give them advice about all the activities they can do close to your accommodation. 

Choose your hosting service and domain name: how to do it best

When you are about to build your vacation rental website, you will need to choose a domain name, keep it simple and memorable. Your domain name should reflect your brand and be easy to type and remember. How can you do this?

  • Choose a reputable domain register 
  • Search for available domain names using keywords related to your vacation rental business
  • Check for availability and purchase the domain name
  • Select a hosting service to connect your domain name to your custom website

Best practices to choose the best domain name for a vacation rental:

  • Use relevant keywords related to your vacation rental business
  • Keep the domain name short and easy to remember
  • Avoid using numbers, hyphens, or unusual spellings
  • Consider using your property name or location in the domain name, but always together a world related (like Touristic flats The Wave)
  • Check for existing trademarks or copyrights on the domain name
  • Choose a domain name that is easy to pronounce and spell
  • Consider the target audience, such as travellers or vacation rental businesses
  • Use a .com domain extension whenever possible, as it is the most widely recognized and trusted

We created an free e-learning course about this topic with a detailed preparation process on website creation. Have a look, you won’t be disappointed. 

Create a logo for your property that describe your business

A logo is something very important for any type of business because it can make the business memorable in a unique way. Think about the Nike logo or the Shell one. Maybe your vacation rentals flats won’t be that famous all around the world, but a nice image helps your business to be memorable for guests. 
Quality photos also should be a high priority. You’ll want to get a photographer for this – doing it yourself in this case would prove the worst kind of false economy. Also, don’t worry if you’re on a budget. There plenty of talented photographers out there who’ll be happy to help you out for much less than the mountain of gold you’re picturing right now.

Advantages of creating my vacation rental website with Amenitiz Builder

Building a website it has never been so easy: a user-friendly interface

Amenitiz is an All-in-One solution that, between others fundamentals tools to manager your property with ease, like the Channel Manager, Dynamic price toolor a Reservation system, has also a great Website Builder tool, with an integrated Booking Engine.
Amenitiz’s vacation rental Website Builder can help you to create and manage and modify your website, even if you have no technical experience in web design or development. It makes building vacation rental websites easy. 

One of the biggest advantages of Amenitiz is its user-friendly interface. This means you can easily custom your website yourself in your own time. Amenitiz users can easily add and modify website content, upload photos and videos, and even customise their website’s design and layout. This means that hoteliers can make changes and updates to their website in real-time, without having to rely on third-party developers or designers.


Choose the template that best represents you 

Amenitiz offers a range of pre-built website templates that can be customized to suit each holiday rental property’s unique style and branding. These templates include all the necessary features and functionality for a professional-looking holiday rental website, such as booking calendars, payment options, and contact forms.

An SEO-friendly builder to increase your visibility on Google

As previously mentioned, to be found on Google by your guests your website needs to be SEO-Optimised.
Otherwise people can’t find you. This passes through a good keyword research while writing descriptions for your rooms, amenities, and through optimised titles and meta-descriptions for each page.

Avoid spending a fortune on web designers : make changes easily without technical knowledge

The creation of your new website will be the responsibility of our experienced web designers. You will have a call with them, tell them what you want and give them all the information. Then they will guide you into the creation of a brand new high-performance website. Then you will be able to modify and maintain with ease the website in your own. How it is possible? Because the Amenitiz Website Builder, it has been created for this sector, made to be easy to use and to become your digital showcase and your best sales channel. And for any doubts, you can do this free e-learning course about the website preparation with Amenitiz platform. 

Moreover, Amenitiz also provides a Channel Manager that allows hoteliers to manage all their bookings and reservations from one central location, regardless of where the booking is made. This can significantly simplify the booking process and reduce the risk of double-bookings or errors.

Pages you need to include in my vacation rental website

Booking and availability

The first part of your landing page, the page where your guests arrive is the most important part. It should include the best photos you have of your flats or villas and you should follow the seasonality to sell a certain period of time. If it’s December and you want to sell for the Christmas period you shouldn’t show a sunny pool area unless you happen to be located at the equator.

This same part must have an integrated Booking Engine with a very noticeable button so you can more easily streamline the buying process for your guests. 

Properties or Rooms

The core of your business, everything you sell. Give the description a fresh twist and don’t forget to add some keywords to optimise your website. Remember also that the quality of all the photos you upload should be perfect.


Don’t be afraid to ask to your guests for nice reviews. You can ask with a post-stay email or with a nice paper in the apartment when they arrive. It is a common practice and it makes a huge difference because your future guests will read them to be sure making the right choice. 
And for negative? Take a breath and answer in a kind way. Think of it like putting out a fire. Responding in a hostile manner would be like throwing petrol on that fire. Your kindness will give your guests a good impression.


This is a key page because it is an added value to the service you give to your guests. When visiting a city not everyone plans the itinerary, so some may want directions on what to do, where to eat, what day trips they can take. 

The advantage?  It gives their page an added value, sees you wasting less time giving these explanations in person and  it’s also a great opportunity to use keywords to better position your site on Google.

FAQ: See more about how to build a vacation rental website 

What are Vrbo host fees?

Vrbo charges a host fee of 5% to 15% of the rental price, depending on the length of the booking and the rental property’s location. This fee covers the cost of payment processing, customer support, and marketing efforts.

How do I create a rental website?

To create a rental website, you can use a vacation rental website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress. These platforms offer customisable templates and features like booking calendars and payment options, making it easy to create a professional-looking website in just a few clicks.
These platforms are comprehensive, but require a lot of knowledge and time spent on maintenance. They present various difficulties that you may not have the time or inclination to tackle. Amenitiz, on the other hand, makes everything very simple, as the site is created by our web designers and editing it will be very easy, thanks to the structure created for the hotel sector.

How do I set up direct booking on Airbnb?

To set up direct booking on Airbnb, you’ll need to create a direct booking link and add it to your website. This link allows guests to book directly through your website instead of using Airbnb’s platform, eliminating the commission fees charged by Airbnb.

What is an alternative to Vrbo?

There are several alternatives to Vrbo, including Airbnb,, and HomeAway. These platforms offer similar features and services for vacation rental property owners. They are OTAs, so for this reason if you recive a booking from those channels you will have to pay a commission. To abe able to receive direct booking, commissions-free you should have an attractive website with an integrated Booking Engine. 

Marina Miceli

10 May, 2023