VRS120 – Creating a Vacation Rental Travel Portal with David Angotti

As a property manager I’ve always been curious to see how other companies brand themselves, and am constantly on the lookout for new ideas.

Quite frankly I’ve found it fairly depressing to see the sameness in so many web sites, and that includes my own company. We’ve just created a new mobile responsive site, and in the eagerness to be competitive we ended up with one that looks remarkably similar to numerous others.

And then along comes Smoky Moutains.com to disrupt the norm and show us what can be done with great branding and content management.

Founded by SEO and SEM expert David Agnotti, along with his best friend Wes Melton, Smoky Mountains.com has grown rapidly to dominate the region with a content-rich information portal, that also serves to promote the 80+ properties under their management.

I met David in New Orleans last fall while at the VRMA Annual Conference, and having seen his generous contributions to Matt Landau’s Inner Circle, it was time to ask him some questions about the growth of his company, and the philosophy behind the success.

In this interview I asked David to share the background of starting the company, why his approach is so unique, and what lessons we can learn from his experiences and knowledge.

David talks about:

  • Why a gross commission rate of 55% triggered his search for a self-managed option
  • The unique selling points that brought 15 new owners from an initial promotion
  • Why he has never lost an owner to a competitor since start-up
  • How the introduction of a money-back guarantee helped build his portfolio
  • A content management strategy that builds on 10 most important pieces of content
  • Reaching out to journalists to bring traffic back to the site
  • The importance of setting goals and reverse engineering to create steps to success
  • The winning strategy of treating owners as business partners
  • How being lean is sound business practice for a startup

Where you can find David:

smokymountains.com

Website

@davidangotti

Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/smokymountainscom/

Facebook

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidangotti

LinkedIN

 

Bob Garner

Excellent interview with one of the stars of the industry. Very impressive. A real catch if you can get him to your event in April!

Matt Landau

Best of the best. Nice podcast guys!

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