VRS238 – Evolve or Die with David Angotti - Vacation Rental Formula

VRS238 – Evolve or Die with David Angotti

David Angotti is the former manager of 100+ units in the Smoky Mountains, owns multiple properties, and with his business partner Wes Melton, runs a niche listing site – Smoky Mountains.com. He’s also an accomplished speaker and recently held an audience in rapt attention at VRSS18 in San Antonio.

A few weeks later he repeated that presentation, with some adjustments for the property manager attendees….but the message was much the same.

We must evolve in this business or expect the consequences.

In Breckenridge, at the VRM Intel conference, he doubled down on the message by referencing the Book Direct movement and its focus on price. Then, a comment by VRM Intel founder Amy Hinote on her Facebook group sparked off a great discussion on the foundation of Book Direct and its message going forward.

In today’s episode, David sets the record straight:

“I’m 100% in favour of the movement, but believe it will ultimately fail unless the conversation is pivoted away from price.”

He argues that “if the book direct movement continues to focus on the price it will be a race to the bottom” and that instead, it should be a hallmark of companies doing truly exceptional things. Make it about price and we become an easy target for the OTAs.

David recently wrote an article for Matt Landau’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, where he lays out a strategy for delivering the type of guest experience the OTAs could not replicate.

He shares:

  • Why PMs should charge the same traveler fee to their direct booking clients
  • How to offer exceptional and difficult to reproduce the value
  • What he believes is the timeline before OTAs flip to charging host fees instead of traveler fees.
  • The ways Hilton is winning on their direct booking campaign – clue…it’s no longer on price.
  • The elephant in the room and why it’s the reason traveler fees should not be the focus.

Links discussed:

VRM Intel Post

Smoky Mountains.com

VRMA International

VRMB (Vacation Rental Marketing Blog)


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