It’s A Pretty Safe Bet That No Vacation Rental Owner Can Beat These Results

 

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Guest post by Matt Landau – Vacation Rental Marketing Blog

 

 

matt_landau_guest_postWe’ve all seen the makeover shows when an ugly guy or an overweight gal are — through the power of absurd dieting, expensive surgery, and a healthy dose of TV magic — transformed into sparkling human specimens in a period of 60 minutes!

But when I decided to make over Amy Firmani’s vacation rental marketing, step by step for all the world to see, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so…dramatic.

Because Amy’s family had fallen on hard times financially and was in danger of losing her vacation rental, a beautiful 5-bedroom home in Las Vegas perfect for groups and families

The only problem?

No groups and families were inquiring!

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So to transform a vacation rental that’s desperate for clients into one that’s pretty much turning clients away…this could be viewed as an unrealistic challenge.

Especially considering the timespan we had to work with: a mere 8 months.

But it happened.

And in hindsight the process was buttressed by several clear landmark victories that gave Amy’s vacation rental marketing an entirely new and unprecedented advantage in the marketplace.

Here (in no particular order) are the 6 most critical areas of improvement Amy faced, along with the simple (albeit slightly demanding) ways we turned things around.

 

6 Signs You May Be In Need Of A Vacation Rental Makeover

 

  1. Improve Inquiry > Booking “Conversion Rate”

I often tell my subscribers that if you could do one small thing that immediately increases your bookings without spending any more money or time, it would be improving your “conversion rate” or the success with which you convert an inquiry to a booking. Besides more accurately marketing her property to appeal to the right kind of guest, Amy really took to a number of strategies that I’ve devised over the years, then fused them with her own improvisations to establish a conversion rate of 67.9% (this compared to 9.7% from 2012 and 12% in 2013).

 

  1. Get Professional Photos

There’s no better indicator that you’re in need of a vacation rental marketing makeover than if you still use amateur photos. Save all the excuses, quit the procrastinating. Looking back, the moment we hired a professional photographer to capture the true identity of Amy’s rental could probably be considered the one biggest turning point in her vacation rental career.

 

  1. Conduct Surveys

Thanks to the wonderful improvements in crowdsourcing technology, you no longer need to be Apple or Adidas to canvas the general public and determine what people really like (and don’t like) about your property. Using some simple and inexpensive tools, I walked Amy through a scientific analysis to determine what featured image to use for her VRBO listing, how to make her property stand out, whether or not to call prospective guests on the phone…etc. Armed with this data, we could proceed in promoting the components of Amy’s rental that really worked, and draw back on the features that weren’t best resonating with the crowd.

 

  1. You Need A Website

If photos are the most important step in the makeover process, I think Amy would agree that establishing her own website was a close second. You’re simply not a VR professional these days if you don’t have your own website to establish your reputation and wield control away from the big listing sites.

 

  1. Professional Copywriters Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

Let’s face it. We’re not all wordsmiths. And if we are good with words, not everyone enjoys writing vacation rental descriptions in their spare time. Which is precisely why 

  • Get The Right Mentality
  • Because this makeover process was hyper accelerated, I was impressed about how clearly and quickly Where you can find Matt:

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    @bookmorenights

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    Drew Renshaw

    Nice Job Matt! I’ve learned a lot from this exercise.

    Andy McNulty

    Hi Matt, never a truer word spoken about the need to direct energy to positive and proactive steps. I could just tell when we worked with Amy that she’d succeed, simply because of the energy and the willingness to try new things. You both have done an incredible makeover job… congratulations!

      Amy T. Firmani

      Hey – there was lots of your hard work in here too! 🙂

    Amy T. Firmani

    Matt — I hope everyone starts to hear your “voice” in their heads as they start this process! I keep going back to the basic information you provided. The simple lists to get things done. It was not rocket science, as they say, but just sitting down and making an effort. I truly hope others learn from this … as that was the goal! I also hope that our industry continues to truly care about one another. We can make the world a better place! I will say it again and again – thank you for your insight and dedication to us all!

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