VRS134 - Filling a Unique Niche in Vacation Rentals with Dianne Denton
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It’s always a pleasure to talk to owners about their properties, and even more so when they are as unique as Dianne Denton’s Sea Horse Diamond Beach Cottage.
Not only is this a gorgeous property, with a swimming pool and a short walk from the beach, which would be an attraction for anyone, but it’s also fully horse-friendly filling an almost empty niche.
Dianne has been involved with horses for years and runs a successful rainwear company at Muddy Creek Raingear.com. She and her husband Chris also own a vacation home on Diamond Beach in New South Wales, about 3 hours from Sydney, and when Chris originally suggested they offer it for rental, she wasn’t so sure she wanted strangers in her much-loved beach home. But once persuaded, she has never looked back.
In fact, when I asked Dianne for some tips to share with someone who might want to start a similar business her first answer was to get over the concept of it being ‘your baby’, and treat it as a business first and foremost.
In this interview we explore the marketing strategies Dianne uses to attract pet lovers to her place – it’s just as dog friendly as it is a horse paradise – and discuss the professional video she and Chris had commissioned as a primary marketing tool.
Dianne also talks about the submission she is involved with in the New South Wales Tourism Awards, and how doing this has got her looking at all aspects of her business in a new light.
Finally she shares some detail on her new project – another vacation rental in the village of Diamond Beach. This is one that will attract a different audience but I am sure it will succeed in exactly the same way as Sea Horse has.
Dianne talks about:
How she was a reluctant entrant into the vacation rental business
The niche that no-one has filled and how her property attracts the right audience
Why using print marketing works for this niche
Her strategy for engaging on Facebook
How commenting on other Facebook pages and groups attracts traffic
The production of the video and the importance of getting the weather right
Why she feels it would be a huge benefit to win a tourism award
Her most challenging part of managing the business
Her approach to the new project, Seafarer’s Cottage
The importance of vetting guests and why she would never accept BIN reservations
Her most valuable tips for new entrants to the business