VRS048 – Going Local in Asheville – How Brea Gratia Tells Her Story and Gets Bookings

Today’s guest tells a great story about what happens when you don’t go with your gut about a reservation inquiry, and end up with a call from the Sheriff’s department at 2am. This could happen to any of us and it’s a salutary tale we should all take note of.

Brea Gratia is a Houston native and businesswoman who is about to make Asheville, North Carolina her new home. After watching Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans she dreamt about living in a place with mountains and forests and after a lot of research found the place to live out those dreams in Asheville.

Now, owner of three cabins along with a fourth she manages for her husband, she shares the challenges and frustrations of operating a successful vacation rental business from a distance.

Brea loves Asheville and this is evident from her comprehensive website that is her #1 referral source. The site is packed with local information and resources and we talk about the importance of partnering with other local information sites to drive traffic.

Having studied SEO and using Google Analytics to monitor her marketing activities she knows what works and what doesn’t and it is interesting to hear why she’s ditching one major listing site in favour of more local advertising opportunities.


In this interview we talk about:

  • the frustrations (and extra costs) of running a vacation rental business from a distance
  • how recognizing a gut reaction would have averted a near-disaster
  • the importance of getting a caretaker who thinks like you do
  • her marketing budget and why she’s made certain marketing choices
  • how partnering with a local site owner is driving traffic to her website
  • managing properties for other owners and how that could impact Brea’s own bookings


Links to sites mentioned in this episode:

Cabins in Asheville (Brea’s site)

Romantic Asheville

Google Analytics

Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft


Where you can find Brea:











Amy Blomquist

Sound advice Brea; go with your gut. I don’t use FB to check on inquires but Rapporative. I probably should do more research than I do but then again I try and go with my gut! It’s so inspiring to hear that you’re following your heart and taking the leap to Asheville! Sounds like you are going to be busy (the good kind!) managing all the properties. Maybe Heather can have you back on later and we can hear what you’ve learned!

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