VRS044 – Extreme Vacation Rental Property Makeover with Amy Firmani and Matt Landau

If you are a reader of Matt Landau’s excellent Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, you have probably been following his amazing website makeover series. If you are not familiar with Matt, this is a great introduction to some of his work.

Several months ago, Matt launched the Makeover – a project where he took an under-performing property and with a range of interventions, transformed it into a solid income-generating business. From a long list of eager applicants, Matt chose the owner of Las Vegas property Palazzo Paradiso, Amy Firmani, and the work began.

Amy began renting her home in Bermuda Springs, Las Vegas, in 2012 when the economy made it imperative she do this, or sell up. For the first year she did her best but struggled with occupancy in the low season. After the makeover things changed and as I write this there are only two weekends available between now and July 2015.

tweetGreat #podcast episode from @cottageguru. Extreme #VacationRental Property Makeover @vegasvillas @bookmorenights

In this episode I talk with Amy about the whole makeover process; the activities Matt required her to do, changes that were made to her website, her methods of answering emails, and how she became an enthusiastic content provider and local expert.

We discussed:

  • Why the first change was to boost her VRBO listing to premium
  • The ‘personality’ tweak that boosted traffic
  • The importance of writing appealing copy
  • The value of professional photography
  • Why Matt asked her to write 20 blog posts before her website was ready
  • How getting more personal on email brought bookings
  • Why having a ‘being here to help’ attitude makes a difference
  • How seeing a phone number in an email is a cue to make a call
  • Vacation Insider Guides and why we should all create one
  • Amy’s 3 key takeaways from the makeover
  1. Pick one project at a time & don’t get overwhelmed
  2. Set goals and timelines
  3. Seek support

Links to sites mentioned:

Palazzo Paradiso (Las Vegas Villa Rental)

Matt Landau’s Vacation Rental Marketing BlogDwellable

Shoot Stay

Bad photos post

VRS026 – The Vacation Rental Makeover Edition

VRS042 – Creating a Vacation Insider Guide with Andy McNulty


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Where you can find Amy:











Debi H

GREAT podcast! I really enjoyed hearing about Amy’s growth and progression. Love the website and the pictures are amazing. It’s gratifying to hear how booked she is — hoping that if we follow her example, we can do the same. Appreciation goes to Matt and Amy for being so open and detailed with the rewriting and upgrades they made.

    Heather Bayer

    Glad you enjoyed it Debi….you are up next!

Amy Firmani

This process makes me want to have a few more houses and try it on my own! Thank you so much to Heather for this experience!

    Heather Bayer

    Go for it Amy!

Andy McNulty

Excellent podcast Heather and Amy! Amy you said “find something you enjoy”. It shows that you do. And thank you for the kind words!

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