When you’re working in the vacation rental property market, you might be hard-pressed to rely on it for consistent income. Vacation rental properties are seasonal so they are notoriously hard to fill and to keep booked for an entire year. However, the goal of every vacation rental property manager is to keep the property booked all year round for as much as possible.
As a vacation rental property manager, count yourself lucky if you are fully booked during the vacation or tourist season. However, you might have to get creative to keep it filled for the rest of the year. Here’s a checklist of essentials to keep your vacation rental property booked all year round.
❏ You must always be on the lookout for opportunities
❏ You have to go out of your way to find potential guests
❏ You have to make sure that booking your property is as easy as it could get
❏ You have to follow up on interested potential guests
❏ You must make a connection
❏ You have to create a solid reputation
❏ You must remember that you can always ask for help
You must always be on the lookout for opportunities
The vacation rental property market has a steep learning curve. Managers must be able to think on their feet and learn very quickly, otherwise, they could miss out on a lot of opportunities. As a vacation rental property manager, you must develop an eye for what potential customers are looking for. It’s easy to market your vacation rental property to tourists during the vacation season, but how do you market to potential guests after? Take a hard look at your vacation rental property and list down its strengths. Play those up and downplay your weaknesses – or better yet, improve on those! Here’s an example of how to leverage and improve on what seems to be a weakness. Let’s say that your vacation rental property sits in a quiet, sleepy town that only comes alive during the holidays. You can always play up the fact that your vacation rental property is a holiday destination. But you can also use the “peace and quiet” factor to market your vacation rental property as a writer’s haven or as a retreat and relaxation destination.
You have to go out of your way to find potential guests
Take stock of your buyer personas. Imagine what your perfect guest looks like. Is he single and social? Is she a businesswoman? Are they a family with small children? Imagine what they like. Get as specific as you can – age, sex, income, hobbies, likes, dislikes. Build a persona of your target potential guest. This is actually market research and will help you find and target your potential guests. Engage them on as many channels as you can: social media, personal communications, newsletters, advertisements, etc. Make sure they have all the information they need about how to book a stay at your vacation rental property and that they have many opportunities to book, share, and stay again.
You have to make sure that booking your property is as easy as it could get
Now that you know who your target potential guests are, you have to make it very easy for them to book. Stay away from processes that have lots of steps. Your booking process should be straightforward with a clean and clear design. Work on your copy. Make it compelling and hard to resist.
You have to follow up on interested potential guests
Make sure that there are sales funnels in place at each stage of their customer journey. Sometimes, potential guests come to your website, or call to ask for info but don’t convert into a stay or a sale. They might abandon their cart in the middle of the booking process. These are the perfect guests to follow up on. After all, you already know that they are interested in your vacation rental property, the last hurdle is to get them to book a stay. So make it your personal mission as a vacation rental property manager to follow up on these leads.
You must make a connection
Repeat guests are a captured market. But for potential guests to get into the level of being repeat guests take a lot of communication. Being a responsive vacation rental property manager is the best way to get repeat guests. Keep connected with your leads and guests through multiple channels. Be available to answer questions. Make sure your target customers know how to reach you.
You have to create a solid reputation
Gather great reviews. Getting good reviews is important because people actually read the reviews before they decide on purchasing a product or service. Research shows that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase and that 94% of customers read online reviews. It also pays for you, as a vacation rental property manager, to display your great review because 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
Unfortunately, there is no cheat code for this. The only way to get a great review is to give great service. If you want to know how to get outstanding, five-star reviews on your vacation rental property, read this article. You’ll find a few handy tips and a few interesting statistics to boot.
You must remember that you can always ask for help
There are other organizations that you can partner up with, to help you market your vacation rental property and keep it booked all year round. You can enlist the help of your local convention & visitors bureau, or your local tourism board. You can also get help from travel bloggers and aficionados. Lastly, you can enlist the help of a reputable and trusted property management company to professionally manage your marketing needs for you.
Davis Property Management has reputable resources and time tested approaches to help you market your vacation rental property and keep vacancies at bay. Call us today at 425-658-7471 or email [email protected]t.com to schedule a consultation with us.
 Spiegel Research Center, 2017
 Fan and Fuel, 2016
 G2 and Heinz Marketing, 2017
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