VRS047 – Getting to 100% Vacation Rental Occupancy with Julia Hill

Julia Hill is a dynamo! In a mere 2 years she’s taken her ‘wonky pink cottage’ on Florida’s Atltantic coast to maximum occupancy, just about finalized the purchase of a second much larger property, and been a panelist at the Home Away summit in Fort Lauderdale. In this episode you’ll hear how all that has come about – mainly due to staunch commitment to her self-styled SOS programme – Simply Outstanding Service.

Julia shares her philosophy of hospitality and welcome that extends to treating her housekeeping just as she does her guests. That nurturing of on-the-ground staff delivers in a big way as guests at Paradise Found benefit from their commitment to the same standards.

tweetWould you like to get to 100% occupancy with your #vacationrentals? @Cottageguru and @JABHILL have the answers!

We begin the episode with a quote from Julia that really defines how she runs her business and values her guests’ time and enjoyment. We also talk about:

  • How a career in customer service and hospitality laid the foundation for a commitment to guest satisfaction
  • The distinction between vacation rentals as a hobby and a business
  • The SOS model of customer service
  • How a pet-friendly policy attracts more guests
  • How a guest profile preference sheet from Hyatt Hotels inspired her to do the same
  • Why it’s important for staff to come from ‘a place of Yes’ (I love this one!)
  • Nurturing staff and the benefits that come from having a good team
  • Growing the business and the potential of a larger property
  • Marketing on one platform and the new website
  • Julia’s upcoming podcast show

Sites mentioned in this episode:

Pam Moore’s Marketing

VRBO Listing for Paradise Found

Paradise Found website

Caldrea Housekeeping products


Where you can find Julia:









Amy Blomquist

Wow, 100% occupancy! Very jealous Julia 😉 I really enjoyed the podcast and of course took notes. I especially liked the preference sheet idea in asking guests specific questions to help tailor a more memorable stay. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for you on the second property. Sounds really exciting!

    Heather Bayer

    I really liked that idea too Amy – particularly for repeat guests so you can remember what it was they enjoyed the best.


      Wow, that is great.


Amy, Can’t wait to listen to your session with Heather! I always say “there’s no original idea” it’s how the idea is implemented. I highly recommend Danny Meyers book “Setting the Table”. He’s truly a hospitality guru and his philosophies particularly about nurturing staff and guests are brilliant. Thank you for the positive feedback 🙂

    Amy Blomquist

    Cool. Thanks for the book tip Julia. Just bought it! I wear all the hats right now but soon I’ll be hiring help. This book will come in handy!


      Great! Since you wear all the hats make sure you treat yourself “hospitably”! We sometimes forget to take care of our needs when we are constantly servicing others. When you reach critical mass and make the decision to add assistance- take your time. My best advice is to hire the “qualities” you are looking for and mentor/train the detailed actions. 🙂

One Chic Retreat

Julia, I think your property is absolutely charming! I think the decor has much to do with the 100% occupancy along with the marketing and hospitality you have implemented. I would love to feature your house in the future and looking forward to what you do in your next property. Good luck and thanks so much for all your wise suggestions!


Thank you for the lovely compliment! I would consider it a huge honor for Paradise Found to be featured. There will be photo updates soon (waiting for our maintenance break) reflecting the latest updates (actually last spring). I will add we inherited many furnishings with the cottage and I have been transitioning- adding- deleting ever since. Guests frequently comment on the decor and a couple have asked for advice and or where to purchase items. I know our job as hosts has been successful when a guest say they want to “live like they are at the beach” in their own home. 🙂

Heather Bayer

As an addition to the conversation I attended the keynote presentation at the VRMA conference with John di Julius – author of The Customer Service Revolution. Fantastic book that is really worth the read. Lots of actionable stuff and anecdotal material.

Comments are closed