What Makes a Successful Rental Home Owner Source: http://www.vacationrentalpeople.com/
Some vacation homes do better than others, theyâ€™re occupied for longer periods, and the owners can charge higher rates, encounter fewer problems, and achieve more return bookings. While this may be dependent on many factors, there are some common denominators which can greatly affect your success rate. Depending on your budget, and what you key strengths and weaknesses are, it may be worth considering enlisting professional help. A Web Designer can help with your website, a Photographer or a Staging Professional from the Real Estate industry, as well as a Videographer can help with the images of your rental home, and you can even hire a Vacation Rental consultant to help and advise you throughout the whole process. Many people are loathe doing this due to the extra cost involved and choose to muddle through and learn as they go along. There is nothing wrong with that, itâ€™s prudent and more fun, but it can sometimes create a false economy so it is advisable you think long and hard before making a decision.
Holiday Homes Marketing Strategy Create a clear and precise marketing plan in accordance with your needs and the specific attributes of you rental home, and then be ready to monitor and alter it at any given moment. Advertising is essential, but so is following its progress and working out the effectiveness of each advertising vehicle. Itâ€™s relatively easy to gain access to statistics on things such as traffic to your site and how often your listing is viewed, and to then evaluate the efficiency of your marketing plan.
Be ready to have a rethink and be flexible, and don’t be scared to change up your approach if things aren’t working. Most of all, be pro-active, do some research for new ideas, and be ready before the bad times come.
Holiday Homes Competitive Rates Make sure you know the market in your area, and what your competitors charge. Your guests will almost certainly have checked out many vacation homes similar to yours before deciding on which one to go for, so they will have a fair idea on prices. Setting too high a price will instantly turn off most guests as they will question what the extra fees are going towards. The more amenities and extras you can provide will go a long to persuading prospective guests to book with you. Also, a slight reduction in your prices will make you stand out from your competitors and inch you closer to full occupancy, ensuring a bigger profit margin despite a slightly lower rate.
Holiday Homes Stunning Images and Descriptions The first thing people see is the photos of your rental home, and the key words. This is what captures their attention and draws them in, willing them to read the details and evaluate the price. Images are what drive the advertising world and should be treated with the utmost importance. If you have striking, eyecatching photos you will seduce people in an instant, and they may even change their original plans just so they can stay in your rental home. Holiday snaps of your home are not good enough – if necessary, hire a professional photographer and use the same staging tricks that Letting Agents use to enhance certain features or to make rooms seem bigger than they actually are. Be sure to include any special features in your descriptions since some people speed surf looking for specific words. Show off your home and take pride in doing so, try to cover every angle and use every trick you can think of to entice prospective guests to make a booking.
Professional and Easy-To-Use Booking System Many people are weary of private rentals and tend to view them with skepticism due to the fraudulent practices that the business is open to. Provide professional-looking and comprehensive documents, give them confidence that their money and booking is safe, and keep in contact throughout the transaction. Make sure the system is set up without any glitches and that it’s easy to use. Don’t be afraid to use simple language and straightforward language. Well-written and thorough rental agreements, receipts, confirmation and acknowledgments of deposit and booking, as well as a final statement guarantees peace of mind for your guests, and sets the whole process off on the right footing. And always be accessible for questions and further dialogue.
Don’t Rest On Your Laurels
You may get inquiries whilst you’re fully booked. The temptation is to get blasé and be content that your vacation home is much sought-after, and then get slow with your responses. If you want this trend to continue, you must be accessible to any potential customer, and be responsive to any query or inquiry, whether you’re fully booked or not. A friendly response from you will help them to remember you for next time, and any discourse has potential to fill a week when your rental home is empty, since you might be able to persuade your guest to choose a different set of dates for their holiday. At the very least, you will endear yourself to them and increase the chances that they book up for next year.
Be Proactive There are many things you can do in order to help fill up your vacation home in the lean times. The important thing is to always be thinking up different ways to create new or return bookings, go outside the box if you need but you must always be active. Here are some suggestions: You can send out newsletters to old guests and people who have previously made inquiries. Create Pinterest Boards. Offer deals for returning guests, last minute bookings or prolonged holidays - don’t be afraid to vary your prices if your vacation home is in a seasonal area, or if you’re having trouble letting it out. Advertise different festivals and activities going on in your area. Try to rent out your holiday home by the room, and if it’s big house, block off some of the rooms and save money on electricity for that week (it all adds up). Try to partner up with restaurants and bars or activity centers of the area and offer a package deal (weeklong stay at the rental home plus free surf lessons). Think outside the box. Find out about seminars or conventions being held nearby and target the companies attending, offering them alternative accommodation to the standard issue hotel. Try to think of any niche markets your rental home may be suitable for. If you have lots of kids’ toys in the garden, your kitchen is Child-proof and there is a play park nearby, then fix some stair gates and advertise it as a perfect location for families with young children. If your rental home is near a beach which happens to be a Surf Spot, advertise it as suitable for a surfing holiday. Find anything which might appeal to a group looking for a very specific vacation and highlight that fact. Go to specific internet forums for these groups, join up and then include your link in your signature block. Think of different attractions for different seasons. Try to find things about your area which will appeal to people throughout the year. For example if your vacation home is in the mountains and near a ski resort, then obviously that’s the main attraction during the skiing season. But during the summer, you concentrate on hiking and white-water rafting. Promote both, depending on the time of year. Or you may find that restaurants or golf courses have special deals during the off season, so you might want to advertise that in your listing. There should not be a quiet time for your rental home if at all avoidable. Run a competition – the best photo or poem about your vacation home or area gets a discount on their next stay, or the winning entry gets framed and hang up on the wall of your home for posterity (make sure you check on the Rules and Regulations of your borough or state/country on any restrictions on competitions). This has the added advantage that every entry is, in effect, advertising your home.
Published on Aug 1, 2013
Some vacation homes do better than others, they’re occupied for longer periods, and the owners can charge higher rates, encounter fewer prob...