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Florida Villas and Vacation Rentals

Archive for the ‘florida vacation rentals’ Category

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Book your 2016 Florida villa with confidence.

Thursday, December 17th, 2015


There’s no question that booking your own rental accommodation offers you ultimate flexibility, freedom and space on your Florida vacation. Whether you choose an apartment or condo with ocean views of the Gulf, a townhome in Orlando with great resort facilities or a detached villa complete with its’ own private pool – you’re sure to find your ideal holiday home on (more…)

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.



“The photos do not do it justice”……… A good review or a call to action?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Last summer, desperate for some sunshine and a break, I booked a last minute holiday online just ten days before travelling – trusting the sales agent’s description on the phone. As it happened, once the documents arrived, the photos looked promising and in reality we couldn’t have picked anywhere better suited to our needs.

But this scenario tends to be the exception rather than the rule and most of us will spend hours pouring over brochures or online adverts to assure ourselves that our holiday money is well spent – especially when planning a once in a lifetime trip to Florida.

In other words, whether we like it or not – people tend to judge a book by its cover and your marketing photos are the ‘cover’ you present of your holiday home.

Judge book by its cover

The photos don’t do it justice’ is a cliché many people use to try and express just how fabulous we found our chosen destination. YES -  it is a great review  – BUT it is only going to help win you more business if those taking a first look at your advert are attracted to investigate further and actually read the reviews.

A call to action

Is it time to consider whether your adverts show your home in the best possible light? Your photos may conjure up great memories of past visits for you – but your photos need to convince people to book to ‘wish’ themselves there, ready to make their own memories.

Girl taking a photo

photo credit

Are you missing out on potential bookings?

Just how many potential bookings have you lost because your photos left a lot to the imagination? Don’t wait for your guests to be ‘surprised’ when they arrive at your amazing vacation home – make sure your photos are working hard so you have guests lining up to book. How much better to have your guests comment – ‘amazing home and every bit as good as the photos!’

A Range of Florida Rental Properties

Some examples of recently updates images

Improving your images

  • Hire a pro – Hiring a professional photographer is without doubt the best option to maximise your chance of bookings. They’ll have the best equipment, the best lighting and should know just how to stage your home and take the shot from the best angle to do the space justice. Of course this does come at a cost but you should quickly get this back in revenue.
  • Consider a deal – If your budget is small, why not consider an exchange. You could offer a free or discounted stay in your home to the photographer in exchange for a package of professional images. Even better if it’s late availability that you’re struggling to fill anyway. Ask around friends, family and previous guests. They may well be able to recommend someone with the suitable skills and equipment that you could approach with a proposal.
  • Plan your budget – Perhaps your advert doesn’t show the home at its absolute best because you’ve recently refurbished your vacation home. Do make sure you have allowed for the extra investment for new images in your budget, to make sure you reap the rewards of the renovations as quickly as possible.
  • Try a competition – Why not try a competition for your guests? Offer a discount on their next stay with you as a prize if you use one of their photos in your marketing. What better way to show your property than through the eyes of a satisfied guest. A great way to find out just what people love best about your holiday home!
  • DIY Tips – If professional photographs are not an option then beg, borrow or buy the best camera you can, start browsing the net for top tips on photography and start snapping. The beauty of digital cameras is that you can see your results immediately and if it doesn’t work first time then keep experimenting –picking the best ones to showcase your property.

So take a good look at your own guest book today. If more than one person has commented that it looks better in real life, perhaps it’s time to take a good look at updating your vacation rental photographs!


Has updating your photos resulted in an increase in your bookings? Can you recommend a good photographer? Do you have any great photography tips? Direct Villas Florida would love to hear your stories. Contact

A selection of vacation rentals in Florida can be found on

If you own your own holiday home and would like to find out more about advertising on the site contact Sarah or Tracy on: T. +44 (0)333 2400797   E.


Florida Townhomes, A Great Alternative.

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

If this is your first trip to Florida, you might not be familiar with all of the options available to you for your holiday accommodation. If you’ve ruled out a cramped hotel room and are looking for self-catering facilities then your first thought might be for a private villa or pool home, but before you make your final decision, take a look at the Townhomes listed on Direct Villas Florida. (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…)

10 Reasons To Choose A Condo For Your Next Florida Vacation.

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Planning a trip to enjoy all Florida’s great attractions and year round sunshine? Have you taken a look at all the accommodation options? If you are travelling from the UK you may not be as familiar with the idea of a ‘condo’ but here are just some of the advantage you may not have thought about . . .  (more…)

Florida Here We Come . . .

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

You have found the flights and you have now booked your leave at work  . . . but getting the right holiday home, along with the right owner, can help make your vacation a magical one. Where do you start? (more…)

Florida Villa videos. Discover the new age of virtual tours.

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Direct Villas Florida has released their latest product to owners of Florida rentals. Every Florida villa owner appreciates the value of a high quality video production of their property, however thanks to a new and improved way of capturing each piece of footage in true high definition, the face of the original ‘virtual tour’ has changed forever, and it’s cheaper than you think.  (more…)

The Mummy At Universal Studios, Orlando.

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

The Revenge Of The Mummy ride at Universal Studios, Orlando has quickly become one of the most popular rides at this fantastic Florida theme park, along with other rides, such as the likes of the new Simpson’s, Men In Black and of course the world famous Jaws attraction, are also still firm favourites in there own right. With this popularity however, come long queues and wait times. So how do you ride the Mummy without having to endure those long wait times? (more…)

Orlando Villas.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

On October 1st 1971 Orlando, Florida changed forever, thanks to the dreams of one man. Walt Disney. From the this day on Orlando has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Initially visitors spent much of thier time in small hotel rooms which offered limited flexibility and often cramped facilities such as (more…)

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Direct Villas UK Limited
Newham House
Dudley Road

UK Company No. 06009413

T: +44 (0)1325 527 275

Skype: directvillasuk