VRS301 – Another Vacation Rental Summer Bites The Dust

As the summer season came to an end over the Labour Day weekend, our team drew a collective sigh of relief and it was time to debrief on what worked, what didn’t and what we should do to make it better next year. Looking back over the preparation for summer 2019 and reflecting on some of the patterns and trends that the high season identified we’ll be making some changes for next year.

The biggest issue was when we realized we’d misjudged the market and had too much availability in mid-June to be recovered with the usual last-minute bookings. Fortunately, as I discussed in Episode 298 with Jason Beaton, we put a robust digital marketing plan in place and were able to end the season in positive territory.

What it showed us was that market demand is changing and we have to be responsive to it.

There were other differences. In the past July has always been the most demanding month with guests showing more angst and intolerance of standard cottages issues (bugs, heat, slow Wifi etc), with our August clientele generally being more laid-back and relaxed. So, when we pretty much sailed through July with minimal problems we got a little complacent, only to be jolted back to reality in August with an onslaught of issues. Nevertheless, we survived intact and with many more happy guests than the opposite.

In this episode I share:

  • Why we need more guest education
  • What happens when ‘pop-up- construction’ impacts vacations
  • How pre-souring leads to a higher level of complaint
  • The reasons for refunding even when there are no grounds for it
  • How we handle calls for concierge services when there are no concierge services
  • The biggest cleaning complaint and how to tackle it
  • Why every cottage needs an ice cream scoop
  • How OTA fees are angering guests and what we plan on doing about them

 

Book of the Week:

In a new feature of the podcast, I share what I am reading at the moment. This week it’s

Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business

Whether you're a shy YouTuber just starting out, or the leader of a Fortune 500 company, your superfans are out there waiting for you to connect with them. You don't need to change the entire world to build a successful business; you just need to change someone's world. People don't become superfans the moment they find you. They become superfans because of the magical moments you create for them over time.