What is Google Vacation Rentals? Before answering this question, let’s take a moment to appreciate the remarkable evolution of Google’s travel tools.
In a transformative move back in 2018, Google gave its mobile and desktop hotel search experience a major upgrade. But, they didn’t just stop at hotels. They spruced things up by blending vacation rentals right into their search results. That means all travel enthusiasts had a much wider array of amazing options to dive into and explore.
But that wasn’t all. In March 2019, Google went the extra mile and added a filter exclusively for vacation rentals. It was a game-changer, making the search for the perfect vacation retreat easier than ever before. No more endless scrolling through countless listings; Google really came through for travellers.
Fast forward to 2020, and Google took their vacation rental game to the next level. They launched a stand-alone product called “Vacation Rentals” (“Holiday Rentals” in the UK) that allows hosts to list their properties on Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google services. It is a free programme, and it can help you reach more potential guests and drive more bookings.
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Am I Eligible to Get Listed on Google Vacation Rentals?
To have your vacation rentals listed on Google, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a property management business that is registered and has its own booking website.
- Already be listed on a booking site that has integration with Google Vacation Rentals.
Integration is currently not available for shared rooms, partial houses, and peer-to-peer rentals. Additionally, individual homeowners cannot create a Google Business Profile for their personal residences. And, individual or subleased homes are not recognised as businesses within Google’s Vacation Rentals search results.
Before You Begin…
Before the integration, ensure that your property meets the criteria defined by Google to be classified as a vacation rental.
You should also have the following capabilities in place:
- A designated partner technical contact who can be reached by a Google Technical Account Manager.
- A signed contract with Google ensures the protection of customer privacy.
- Localised self-service or email-based user support to assist your users effectively.
How to Get Direct Integration with Google
Integrating with Vacation Rentals involves completing initial steps to set up vacation rental properties and establish prices that will be shown to users who are searching for their next destination.
To be eligible for direct integration, professional property managers must have a minimum of 500 properties. In order to proceed, they must fill out the Vacation Rentals interest form and fulfil the following criteria:
- Property Listing: The fixed details about the property, such as its name, address, GeoCode locations, image and website URLs, and amenities.
- Price: Outlines the cost and availability of accommodations at a specific location.
- Landing Page: Enables users to land on your website with pre-populated details of their travel plans.
Upon approval, a Google Technical Account Manager will be in touch with you throughout the entire integration process.
How about Short-Term Rentals with Fewer than 500 Properties?
Professional property managers with fewer than 500 properties can connect their inventory via:
- An approved connectivity provider: You can improve your rental exposure by using a channel manager like Zeevou that integrates with Google Vacation Rentals.
- OTAs partnered with Google: You can add your properties on listing sites that work with Google Vacation Rentals. This includes Tripadvisor, Hotels.com, Expedia, Vrbo, Booking.com, etc. It is worth noting that Airbnb has not yet integrated its vacation rentals with Google.
How to Get Started with Google Vacation Rentals
The integration process typically takes between 8 and 12 weeks after their team receives your property list. However, some partners have taken 4 weeks to complete their integration and go live on Google.
The integration process usually takes five steps:
- For direct integration, a technical specialist at Google will reach out to begin the onboarding process.
- Set up your vacation rental list based on the specifications provided in the Hotel List XML Reference.
- Determine how you’ll update your vacation rental prices.
- Customise your landing page.
- Check the accuracy of prices and data validation.
How to Get Listed on Google Vacation Rentals via Zeevou
Zeevou users effortlessly appear on Google’s search results as “Zeevou Direct,” without the need for Google My Business sign-up. Paid users enjoy additional visibility with their domain link featured alongside the Zeevou Direct link.
You only need to activate “Allow Direct Booking” for any property you wish. The information will then be seamlessly transferred to Google for evaluation. Once the data aligns with Google’s records, travellers can view your rental price and access your direct booking website on the platform. Zeevou charges a commission fee on bookings made using the integration with Google Vacation Rentals.
What If You Do Not Have a Vacation Rental Website?
If you don’t have a direct booking website, your vacation rentals will be shown through OTAs that have partnerships with Google.
While a direct booking website doesn’t substitute OTA channels, it significantly enhances visibility, revenue, and brand awareness. Thus, every property manager should invest in a vacation rental website to maximise profits and foster direct engagement with guests.
Keep in mind that your website needs to function as a site for making reservations. This entails incorporating a booking widget or engine that syncs with your calendar to display available rooms for guests. Additionally, it should feature payment and transaction capabilities to guarantee the reservation and facilitate payment processing.
Zeevou enables experienced property managers to build a successful vacation rental website with no charge. If you aim to provide special discounts, loyalty programmes, or exclusive offers directly to your guests, our Direct Booking Website can elevate guests’ booking experience and establish a hospitable environment that resonates with travellers.
With Google Vacation Rentals, property managers gain access to a wide range of potential guests. Accordingly, they can seize the chance to push direct booking rates to Google by using a channel manager like Zeevou.
Image by pch.vector on Freepik.