Move aside Airbnb, vacate the premises Vrbo: Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy is in town! We jest of course, but in all seriousness, property management companies seeking a highly-curatedOTA marketplace will find a popular niche with the well-connected, elite Marriott Bonvoy platform.
This exclusive program offers a carefully curated collection of luxury properties, providing travelers with unique and unforgettable experiences. We’ve covered the ins and outs of listing home rentals on Marriott Bonvoy, so now let’s explore how you can improve your ranking on this trusted network.
What is Marriott Homes & Villas (a refresher)?
Before diving into the strategies for ranking higher, here’s a quick reminder of what Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy is all about. This program allows property managers to list their roster of high-quality rental homes and villas on Marriott’s platform, giving them access to Marriott’s loyal customer base.
The hotel brand vacation rental player
Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy is a unique offering in the vacation rental industry. Guests can enjoy a unique proposition: the comforts of home combined with the convenience and reliability of a trusted hospitality brand. What’s more, Homes & Villas allows members to earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points on stays.
By partnering with Marriott, property management companies can tap into the brand’s reputation for excellence, as well as the hotel chain’s network of trusted hospitality mainstays including coveted, high-end accommodations like the Ritz Carlton.
Homes & Villas differs from traditional OTAs in key ways:
- Marriott brand reputation: Listings gain credibility by associating with the trusted name.
- Loyalty integration: Attracts Marriott’s huge Bonvoy member base who can earn and redeem points.
- Curated inventory: Only premium, inspected homes meeting Marriott standards are listed.
- Consistent experience: Marriott service standards ensure a seamless guest experience.
- Operations partner model: Owners must partner with qualified management companies to list. This means homeowner vacation rental hobbyists should stick with Airbnb, Vrbo and other OTAs.
Homes & Villas qualifications and application process
To be eligible for the program, home rentals must meet certain criteria. Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy primarily focuses on luxury and premium vacation rentals.
The unique benefits for owners include tapping into Marriott International’s marketing scale, plus exposure to Bonvoy members actively looking to redeem bonus points. But competition is stiff for placement.
The application process for Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy is straightforward but rigorous. Once you submit your property for consideration, Marriott’s team of experts will carefully review your application.
Requirements for Homes & Villas, qualifications include:
- Professionally managed: A qualified operations partner like a property management company is mandatory for listings. Individual owners cannot directly participate.
- Location: Homes must be in a desirable leisure destination appealing to Marriott guests. Unique settings are ideal.
- Premium quality: Listings must meet Marriott standards for upscale decor, amenities, technology, and design. Site visits and inspections are required.
- Consistent experience: Operations partners must maintain consistency and service training to Marriott brand standards.
Listings fall into 4 tiers: Luxury, Premium, Select, and Longer Stays, each with their own requirements tailored to the segment.
Tips for boosting your Homes & Villas ranking
Homes & Villas admits only about 5-10% of homes that apply, so competition is extremely high. Once qualified, applying strategies to gain visibility among all other luxury rental property listings in a market becomes the priority.
Unlike Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com where guest reviews play a large part of the ranking formula, Homes & Villas currently does NOT publicly display reviews. That said, positive guest feedback is always key to your marketing and brand building, but may prove more difficult to acquire.
Committing to an ongoing performance strategy is a must to realize the full benefits. Here are some key ways to optimize your listings:
- Leverage Marriott Bonvoy Member demand: Completing reservations through Bonvoy member redemptions helps increase visibility. Because Homes & Villas caters to the loyalty program’s huge member base, fulfilling Marriott Bonvoy point stays can improve rankings.
- Focus on a compelling description with luxury home amenities: Profiling special features like chef’s kitchens, home theaters, waterslides, workout rooms, game lounges, not to mention premium linens, bathroom amenities, hot tubs, high-speed wi-fi, and other getaway must-haves can help listings stand out.
- Apply SEO to your vacation rental: Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and incorporate them strategically throughout your listing. This will help your property appear higher in search results when travelers are looking for a vacation rental in your area.
- Promote special services: Advertising extra offerings like private chefs, grocery delivery, childcare, airport transfers and bespoke experiences attracts Bonvoy guests seeking luxury.
- Maintain availability: Keeping ample booking availability helps increase conversions. Frequently sold-out or unavailable listings tend to underperform on-site.
- Invest in professional photos: Periodically adding new high-quality photos keeps your listing looking fresh, engaging, and high-end to attract prospective guests.
- Update calendar and pricing frequently: Inform Homes & Villas of the latest availability changes often so the site can make offers in real-time when demand is highest. Consider using a vacation rental management software that allows you to sync your calendar across multiple platforms. This will help you avoid double bookings and ensure that potential guests see accurate availability information.
Additionally, regularly reviewing and adjusting your pricing based on short-term rental market trends and demand will help you stay competitive and attract more bookings.
- Partner with Marriott: Co-promoting through local Marriott hotels and leveraging package offers expands your reach so cozy on up!
- Deliver high-end hospitality: Just because Homes & Villas doesn’t yet provide public reviews, it goes without saying (especially in an elite status market) that A+ customer service and responsiveness is critical to your longevity and success.
The demand from Marriott Bonvoy members looking to redeem points presents a lucrative opportunity for premium whole-home rentals on Homes & Villas. But given the extremely selective inventory admitted onto the platform, listings must continuously be optimized to maintain visibility.
For luxury vacation rental owners, getting accepted onto Homes & Villas is the first challenge. But the work of consistently optimizing visibility never ends in this ultra-competitive channel. By highlighting unique features, promoting add-on services, maximizing availability, fulfilling Bonvoy program stays, and leveraging analytics, vacation rental managers can stand out on an already stand-out platform. When you embrace bonus points, you get rewarded in return: exposure to a highly desirable international audience of loyal Marriott guests.