Property focus
Orange Tree, Clermont, Orlando
Sleeps 8, Bedrooms 4, Bathrooms 3
Cape Coral
Sleeps 6, Bedrooms 3, Bathrooms 2
Town Centre Reserve, Davenport, Orlando
Sleeps 6, Bedrooms 3, Bathrooms 3
Florida Blog

Florida Villas and Vacation Rentals

Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

You are currently browsing the archives for the Blogroll category.

5 Ways an Insider Guide Can Help Boost Your Bookings

Friday, May 1st, 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how often vacation rental owners under-utilise their own expertise. Would you leave your killer photograph for last in the slideshow? Omit your to-die-for heated pool from your listing site description?

I thought not.

So why would you hide arguably your next biggest asset – your vault of insider knowledge – from your potential guests?

“Okay” you say, “so what? It’s not like knowing the best dish at the local seafood joint is going to generate any more bookings for me.”

Well, allow me to convince you otherwise…

1. Differentiate Yourself from the Masses

I see this all the time.

If you have a few minutes, head over to any major listing site and click on a few properties.  Likely you’ll find decent photos, informative copy, a list of amenities, and a price. I doubt you’ll find any golden insider nuggets that aim to create a richer vacation experience for potential guests.

In other words, one listing often creates little difference from the next listing.

On the other hand, imagine I read this on a listing site description:

“If you want to sample the real Florida, we have an absolute gem for you to try about an hour away. It’s a restaurant way down twisting and turning back roads, through miles of natural Florida countryside, literally in the middle of nowhere.”

I haven’t made this up – check out this insider guide to Central Florida. If I’m a guest in the market for Mickey, but with a little of the “real” Florida thrown in, I’m hooked. You’re differentiated!

2. Build Credibility with Your Guests

Imagine the potential guest is about to drop a 4-figure sum on a weeks stay in your rental. You’re not The Hilton. You’re not The W. You’re a stranger. Beyond reviews, you have limited credibility.

Taking the time to showcase your knowledge, in the form of an insider guide, demonstrates to guests that you’re a real, live, expert owner. Consider what one of our insiders, Irene Hoffman, said about her insider guide:

“The most important aspect of the guide is that, when I share it with my potential guests that are perhaps on the fence about whether to book with me, the guide provides immediate credibility! Having an asset like that to help improve my conversion is priceless!”

Prove that while you don’t have front desk concierges or staff to direct them to the best activities and restaurants, you offer something better: concierge recommendations and the expertise of a local, shared out of love for the place and investment in your guests’ good experience.

3. Convey a Sense of the Real Culture

Culture isn’t exclusive to destinations like Paris or Tuscany.

Granted, being steeped in history helps, but I’d suggest any city or area has its own unique culture. It’s not always obvious; sometimes it’s hidden. It takes a real insider to know the pulse and vibe of a place—something that goes beyond the tourist books.

Have a look at this insider guide to Orlando and Central Florida. How many potential guests out there know that Central Florida has a vibe of its own, beyond Disney?

Disney is great, of course it is, but think how many more potential guests you could appeal to by showcasing the real culture of a destination.

4. Tap the Emotion of a Guest

An insider guide isn’t all about secrets. It’s very often another means to showcasing what a stay with you would be like. It’s a marketing tool.

Visually powerful, high-resolution photos, with a page swirl, glossy magazine style effect, can instantly evoke a strong emotional connection. It feels smooth and effortless.

We all know that holiday feeling. After setting a budget, it’s not the brain that decides which vacation rental to choose, but the heart and soul! For me there’s no better example than this guide to Anna Maria Island.

I’m on that plane tomorrow!

5. Prove That You Want to Help

In addition to establishing your credibility as an expert in your destination (even if you feel like you’re not an expert—trust me, you are!), an insider guide also shows that you care a lot about whether your guests enjoy their experience.

Some owners say anything to get a guest to book, then don’t deliver, or fall off the map entirely when a problem arises. An insider guide shows you are not one of those people.

It will usher a guest into a vacation more authentic, in-depth, and personal than anything a travel agent could provide—and it’s free for them!

This generosity shows guests that you’re not just after their wallets; you want them to leave with wonderful, warm memories of money and time well-spent.

All that remains is for you to find the key to your insider knowledge vault, open it up, dust the gems off, and give them pride of place alongside your wow shots and carefully crafted copy.

Allow them to inspire and seduce your guests into booking with you!

Andy McNulty is the Co-Founder of Guest Hook (, the webs first vacation rental copywriting agency. Amongst other copywriting services, Guest Hook also designs and produces the insider guides found at Vacation Insiders (


Ready to commission a new insider guide to your vacation homes? Remember to add the link to your listing on Direct Villas Florida. Call +44 (0)333 2400 797 to find out how.


Advertise your Florida Vacation Home on from only £120 per year.

Contact or call Sarah or Tracy on +44 (0)333 2400 797 for more information.



6 Tips For Stunning Photos of Your Florida Vacation Rental (Part 2)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

In Top 10 tips for Taking Stunning Photos of Your Vacation Rental (Part 1), Orlando photographer, Trevor Ward, provided some great tips used by professional photographers to capture beautiful images. What’s great about those tips is that they won’t cost you any money – just a little time and effort. Here in Part 2 – Trevor has a few more suggestions where a small investment could really pay off . . . .


Top 10 tips for Taking Stunning Photos of Your Vacation Rental (Part 1)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Would you risk booking your family in a ‘beautiful resort villa’ in another country if you didn’t first see the pictures of the resort? Of course not. Pictures matter. They matter a lot! So if you’re going to use pictures in your own listing, make sure they are good. (more…)

10 Tips For Your First Trip To Disney

Friday, March 13th, 2015

A first time trip to Orlando can be a total mine field for anyone who has no experience. There are many schools of thought on how to tackle your trip, especially if it is likely to be a once in a life time holiday. Whether you plan every minute or chose to take things as they come, here are Ten Top Tips from a Disney veteran, The Disney Mum, Janine that are sure to help. (more…)

What type of enquiries will I receive from Direct Villas Florida?

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

When you set up a new advert with Direct Villas Florida, the enquiries you receive by default will be one of two types. (more…)

A good picture is worth a thousand pounds . . .

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Is it time to invest in professional images for your vacation home?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I say a good vacation home picture can be worth a thousand pounds. A pretty bold statement you might think, but please allow me to explain the madness.

Stand out from the crowd with twilight images of your Florida villa – by Orlando Interior Photography (more…)

8 good reasons to keep your holiday rental calendar updated.

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Forget holidays for a moment. Let’s imagine you have a big celebration planned and you’ve noticed a new bakery open up in your nearest town with a mouth-watering window display of cakes all worthy of a place as a show stopper in the Great British Bake Off final. (more…)

Florida Theme Park Tickets………Be Sensible & Save Money

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

It is so easy to get carried away buying theme park tickets when you are planning your Florida holiday, but the danger is that you can buy so many without considering the length of your stay and your ability to get the very best value for your money. The aim of this article is to provide visitors with an insight as to what is  reasonable within a two or three week vacation, bearing in mind that theme parks are only one aspect your Florida holiday. (more…)

Driving in Florida.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

To some visitors driving in Florida after a long haul flight is a daunting prospect and understandably so.  The aim of this article is to provide valuable  information and tips to make that first journey as easy and as non eventful as possible. (more…)

Renting A Florida Villa, Do I need A Gated Community Or Not?

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

One of the most common questions I hear being asked by visitors to Orlando, who are looking to book their very first Florida villa is “do I need a villa in a gated community?” Of course this is an issue for the individual, but in my personal experience there is very little difference between gated and non gated communities and certainly not enough for it to influence my decision of where to stay. The following is an attempt to set out the benefits of both types of communities, with a view to perhaps answering at least some questions. (more…)

array( 'header' => "Authorization: Basic " . base64_encode("usr_access:media") ) )); ?>

Direct Villas UK Limited
Newham House
Dudley Road

UK Company No. 06009413

T: +44 (0)1325 527 275

Skype: directvillasuk