Visual Data Systems Blog

Mobile Bookings Up 117% For Garden City Realty's New Website
Posted by Sally Robbins | Tuesday, March 13, 2018

With a stylish “coastal chic” look, Garden City Realty recently launched its new responsive website, and is already seeing dramatic results. Designed and built by VDS, Garden City both upgraded the site, making it secure and responsive, as well as streamlined the navigation and usability.

In the short time since the new site was launched, mobile bookings are already up 117% over this time last year, and their mobile traffic is up 21%.

Launching this site was the final step in a branding campaign that included upgrading another website ( in the Garden City Realty family, as well as six microsites. “I am pleased with the job the VDS design team did with converting our site to responsive. We had already laid the groundwork with Condotels and our six microsites, but updating to accommodate our audience, regardless of the device they are using, was an important step forward for our brand,” stated Kimberly Raley-Kimes, Communications and Marketing Manager.

Garden City Realty serves three business segments – vacation rentals, real estate sales and property management. The new website offers clear navigation that easily helps the guest locate the segment that they need, along with other features:

  • MLS Integration for real estate listings
  • Concierge listings with local businesses, area info and local calendar of events
  • Owner portal and tips on how to maximize revenue
  • Vacation rentals with short term and winter rentals over 30 days

Ease of use with the new responsive site was important to Garden City Realty. “Visitors can now easily access the information they need without using a separate mobile site,” shared Raley-Kimes. “Our new easy to navigate website will not only make vacation planning and booking a simple pleasure for guests, it will undoubtedly turn into more bookings for us,” she concluded.

Can we help you bring more traffic and bookings to your website? Contact us for a free consultation today.

Garden City Realty Mobile Marketing New Website Launch Real Estate Sales Vacation Rental Industry Vacation Rental Marketing Web Design

Dunes New Website Launch Increases Online Bookings 450%
Posted by Sally Robbins | Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dunes Realty recently launched its new responsive website, and their guests have been positively responding with accelerated bookings for the new year. “Our season is already off to a wonderful start, especially when it comes to online bookings,” stated Ryan Swaim, General Manager of Dunes Vacation Rentals. “In fact, our mobile bookings alone have increased more than 450% over this same period last year, almost entirely due to the new site's responsive design.”

Created and developed by VDS, the new website features three distinct sections of the company’s business: vacation rentals, homeowner services, and real estate sales. Each section has a fully-functioning platform to support that portion of the business, and offers cutting-edge and real-time solutions. Some of the features in the new site include:

·      More simplified navigation for the guest

·      Panoramic videos in the masthead

·      Scrolling featured properties

·      Split views on the search results show both a gallery view and a map, and the guest can change the view if desired

·      Split cost calculator allows multiple guests and/or families to split the rental costs

·      Sticky quick search keeps guests’ choices at the bottom of the screen

·      “Agent On Duty” feature allows Dunes to change the realtor at any time in their admin

·      Secure website

·      “Featured Property” feature can be changed by Dunes at any time

Consistently named “Best of the Beach” by the Sun News, Dunes Realty is a favorite of regional and national vacationers. The new website allows them to utilize technology’s best tools in both creating and maintaining high visibility online, as well as providing a seamless booking experience for its guests.

Interested in how VDS can help you create a stronger online presence? Contact us today for a free consultation.

Dunes Realty New Website Launch Online Marketing Web Design Website Development

Make Your Reviews Count; See Our New Website Launches
Posted by Sally Robbins | Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In this newsletter, we’ll share how our clients generated 5-star reviews with an email request to their guests, show you our latest website launches, and explain why you need a secure website. Enjoy!

More 5-Star Reviews, Please!

One of the best marketing tools for a vacation rental can be great reviews. Guests love to know that others have had a good experience in the rental, and good reviews can positively sway the decision-making process. Conversely, if guests leave negative reviews, whether they are deserved or not, those reviews can discourage guests from booking.

We partnered with our client CENTURY 21 New Horizon in Ocean City, Maryland, to increase their amount of Google My Business reviews. Within the first 24 hours after sending out an email to qualified past guests asking for feedback on their recent stay, they received over 40 reviews, with most of them in the 4-5 star range. In addition to the great reviews, Director of Marketing Laurie Murray reported that another benefit was “not just for the positive reflection of our business, but also for the confirmation that our team really deserves to see that all their hard work, dedication, and determination truly is appreciated by our guests.

Julia Filo, one of our stellar Online Marketing Consultants, has worked with other clients to bolster real and positive reviews. One of the campaigns garnered over 20 reviews in two days, and more importantly, the new positive reviews launched them from the worst star rating to the best in local listings. “This is important because there is evidence that Google ranks business in the local pack by their reviews. After all, Google wouldn’t want to actively recommend a 1- star company over a 5-star,” Julia said.

If you and your company would like to improve your reviews and ranking, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our online marketing team.

Our Latest Website Launches

The developers and designers at VDS have been busy creating exciting new websites, and we can’t wait for you to see them!

·      Ski Country – check out their new vacation planner

·      Luxury Rentals Oahu – this brand-new site gives you the best of Hawaii

·      VR 365 – see how this Escapia partner redesigned their look and became mobile-friendly

·      Budaugraphy – create your own personal journal

Why Do I Need A Secure Website?

There’s been a lot of talk about secure websites this year. VDS has been leading the charge on helping our clients making the move to secure websites for several reasons:

1.     It will help your SEO ranking. Google recognizes secure sites and uses it as a ranking factor. You want to do everything you can to increase your ranking.

2.     Visitors can trust your site. Your website needs to be a place where visitors can trust that their privacy and security are being protected as much as possible. If they see your site as non-secure, they’ll likely go to your competitors.

3.     Many web browsers now require it. Browsers such as Chrome now indicate whether a website is secure, which means non-secure sites stand out like a sore thumb.

Clients like Ali’i Beach Rentals made the switch to a secure site. “We want to stay on top of every technological advantage we can, and ensure our website visitors’ safety and security,” stated Kai Jack, owner of Ali’i. “It was a no-brainer to make our site secure,” Kai concluded.

Making your site secure is a small investment compared to the huge ramifications if your site is hacked. Don’t wait for that to happen! Contact us today to see how easy it is to make your site secure.

Google Reviews Secure Website Vacation Rental Marketing

6 Things You Must Do Before Next Year's Season
Posted by Sally Robbins | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As the summer season winds down for many in the vacation rental industry, this is the time of year that allows most VR owners the opportunity to take a breather and plan for the next season. Here are 6 actions you can take now to ensure a successful season next year:

  1. Review Last Year’s Numbers - A review of the previous year is one of the best ways to begin your planning. What worked? What didn’t? How can you improve on products and processes? Sitting down with staff to assess these questions can be valuable in creating an action plan that utilizes this important information.
  2. Send Out A Client Survey – One of the best ways to get feedback for your business is to send out a survey to your existing client base who stayed with you in the previous year. It’s important to acknowledge all survey responses, thanking them for taking the time to fill out the survey, perhaps with a bounce back coupon that they can use for next season. Processing the data received on the survey is critical to determine the next appropriate action steps.
  3. Update Your Website – Your most important marketing tool should be reviewed for the following:
  • Is it relevant? Are pictures and information up to date? Any broken links that need to be fixed? Does it present you and your products in the best light?
  • Is it responsive? More and more website visits are from phones and tablets, so your site needs to be responsive or your guest will go elsewhere.
  • Is it easy to navigate? Are you utilizing technology like sticky search, vacation planning tools, and split cost calculators to make it easy for your guests to plan their stay with you?
  1. Be Consistent With Your Brand – Do all of your marketing pieces, including your website, have a consistent brand look? Does that brand tell your story well? Could your brand use a face-lift? Nothing is worse than your website looking like it’s stuck in the 1990s.
  2. Upgrade Your Online Marketing – Are you getting the biggest bang from your SEO, PPC and online marketing? Are you using online analytics to bring the marketplace to you? Hiring a consultant to help you with these items can make you far more money than they cost.
  3. Maximize Your Emails – Examine your open rates, click rates and conversion rates. Could they be higher and producing more revenue for you? Perhaps now is the time to bring in an expert that can tailor your email marketing to drive more conversions. And like the online marketing consultants, the results will more than pay for the cost of expert help.

Take advantage of this slower time to see how you can use one or more of these six tactics to drive more dollars to your bottom line. The experts at VDS can help in any of these areas, and we’d love to see how we can help you grow your business in 2018. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Email Marketing Online Marketing Successful Vr Season Vacation Rental Industry Website Development

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