VRS300 – Alternative accommodation, booking direct and a changing industry with Amy Hinote

In this episode, I’m joined by Amy Hinote of VRM Intel and we talk about the impact of events in the industry over the past few years and what we can do to prepare for changes in the future.

This is a milestone for me – I started the podcast back in 2013 but didn’t really make a commitment to it until January of 2014 when I sat down with Mike and we decided if we were to make a go of it, we’d have to commit wholeheartedly to publishing it weekly. Since then we haven’t missed an episode.

Creating an episode, particularly if it’s an interview can take up to 5 or 6 hours. Scheduling with a guest, preparing questions, the interview itself, then there’s all the post-production work with editing, creating the show notes, and finally publishing.

I could outsource some of this, but up till now, I’ve done it all in the house so I have control over the final product.

So now here we are at Episode 300, and moving towards 600,000 downloads, we’ve got quite a following. For those who are new, you might find some really good nuggets of information back at the beginning but if you want a good start – head over to Vacation Rental Formula/Best7Podcasts and listen to the 7 most popular episodes from the past year.

So, I didn’t have to think long about who would be the best person to feature on this auspicious episode. Amy Hinote has her finger on the pulse of this industry and as editor and publisher of VRM Intel, she brings the latest news to us just about as soon as it’s released. Over the years Amy and her team have reported on the biggest and smallest changes from what has been acquired to what has been funded, the newest start-ups and what’s happening in the world of OTAs. You can learn about the latest in software development, hospitality tips, marketing strategies, and of course, her favorite topic…Book Direct, and more of that later.

If you haven’t subscribed to the print copy – it’s free and delivered to your door in the US, so go on over to the show notes and get signed up.

As ever, Amy knocks is out of the park with her knowledge of this business so whether you are an owner of a single property or a property manager with thousands of homes, there is something for you in VRM Intel.

As you heard her mention the Book Direct workshop that is in the planning stages, this is going to be a high-level event that aims to develop a solid strategy for encouraging guests to #BookDirect in the future.

For the last two years the Guest education day in February has had a massive reach so this year we’ll be looking at a Book Direct week to engage even more people. You’ll be hearing so much more about this in the next few months.

As we go into episode 301 and beyond, you’ll be seeing some changes in the format of the podcast, as we add in some new features, such as sharing the resources that Mike, Jason and I use on a daily basis. We’ll also be introducing you to some of the best owners and managers in the industry and asking them to share some of their best tips for a successful business.

Finally, each week I’m going to talk about the books I’m reading and there is always a pile of them on my night-stand as well as so many in my Kindle.

I want to kick that off this week with They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan – a great read!

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • How a PhocusWright report led to a storm of investment
  • Why we need to define what we actually are – and it’s not ‘alternative accommodation’
  • The similarity between the Leisure Link failure and Yapstone’s current situation
  • Why the Book Direct movement is so necessary
  • Playing to your passions whether tech or hospitality
  • Why we’ll be in Orange Beach, Alabama in November

Book of the Week:

They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer, Revised & Updated
They Ask, You Answer is a straightforward guide filled with practical tactics and insights for transforming your marketing strategy. This new edition has been fully revised and updated to reflect the evolution of content marketing and the increasing demands of today’s internet-savvy buyers. New chapters explore the impact of technology, conversational marketing, the essential elements every business website should possess, the rise of video, and news stories from companies that have achieved remarkable results with They Ask, You Answer.

Links from this episode:

Takeaways from the 2019 VR Data & Revenue Management Conference

Who are we? The broadened scope of alternative accommodation

The 7 Best Vacation Rental Success Podcast Episodes