VRS208 - The Luxury Vacation Rental Niche with Ryan Liebentritt

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When you rent properties to the likes of Mark Cuban and Katie Perry and have properties that can command up to $250,000 per week for the Superbowl, it’s clear you have a good grasp on the luxury market.

We often see the words ‘luxury’, ‘executive’ and ‘high-end’ used in listing text, often to describe what looks like a relatively modest property, and I’ve been curious as to the perception guests have of these words.

When I started in this business, a property with a dishwasher and a large TV were considered luxurious, in a time when holiday rental was just a step above camping. Now, we are in a different realm and it’s more important to find out what your guests perceive as luxury before you claim to offer it. Otherwise, the goal of repeats and referrals will become harder to attain.

Today’s guest started his vacation rental career as a property investor in the Scottsdale, Arizona market – known for up-scale hill-side villas with infinity pools, security gates, and lavish landscapes. After disappointing experiences with local property managers, he wanted to deliver something better for owners and launched his own rental company dealing exclusively in luxury homes.

As USA Today reported in 2015 in regard to the Superbowl,

“Properties such as the one Liebentritt's company has leased to a “major celebrity” go for $250,000 and above for the week of football's biggest game — more than five times the rate for a typical week — with additional services such as jet transport, limo service, personal chefs and butlers potentially adding another $200,000 to the tab.

Liebentritt’s view of luxury is quite down-to-earth, which is surprising given the high-rollers who rent his properties, and he explains that it simply takes an understanding of the importance of guest experience to deliver a great one to his clients. In fact, anyone can do the same, using a basic formula of communication, attentiveness, and attention to detail. As he says, “Luxury is about getting what you want when you want and being able to work everything else out effortlessly”.

Ryan expresses concern over the way OTA’s are depersonalizing the vacation rental space and it’s one of the major reasons he has launched – a listing site that brings back the open communications between guest and owner.

In this episode he talks about:

  • Why he needed to offer a different take on property management to his clients
  • The importance of transparency with owners
  • Guest experience in the luxury market
  • The importance of matching people to the right homes
  • Why you don’t always need top of the range appliances
  • The role of his Villa Ambassadors
  • The extras that add to the over-the-top experience
  • How he delivers referrals and repeat guests
  • His view on what millennials actually want
  • How to move an ordinary property into the luxury category

Links mentioned in this episode:

USA Today article

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