VRS303 – Find Your Short Term Rental Niche Pt 1 with Rick Oster & Oster Golf Houses

Building for a niche market has worked for Rick Oster. Over the years, he’s built 7 homes with another to break ground shortly, with a model developed from understanding the needs of his rental demographic.

They are purpose-built homes with a specific layout including multiple master suites, entertainment areas, and custom kitchens, and much of the design stemmed from what Rick felt was missing from golf resort accommodations he’s experienced.

He says, “They just weren’t set up for the average group that travels on golf getaways – usually 6 – 8 buddies or 3 – 4 couples. Instead, we were faced with the decisions – who would have the master bedroom with the ensuite bathroom and who got the bottom bunks in the kid's room? The guy who planned the trip was the lucky one – the others took pot luck.”

They would also struggle to find a space to meet collectively to play a game of cards or watch a football game.

So, after beginning his journey with the first two properties built-in Bandon, Oregon, Rick found the true home for his niche at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama where he now has five homes on different courses with a 6th on the way.

From a book direct perspective, Rick’s story is powerful. Although he still uses OTAs to some extent, direct bookings are taking precedence. Golfers wanting to visit the RTJ Golf Trail are more likely to look on their website for accommodation than search through Airbnb or VRBO, and his own website Oster Golf Houses is a solid complement to that.

Rick even has drone videos of each hole on the Judge course at Prattville, Ala. Take a look at one of those to see how he inserts the homes into the start of each one – then check the viewer count. He’s getting thousands of eyes on these videos.

This is a perfect example of managing a niche from the ground up. If you don’t have the option to build, it’s still very worthwhile to study how Rick commands this niche in one area.

In this episode Rick shares:

  • His philosophy behind building for a niche market.
  • The benefits & drawbacks of building vs retrofitting
  • Why he accepts that golfers will use his towels for cleaning their clubs and how it’s part of the budget.
  • How he uses Houzz
  • The differences between equipping for a residence and a rental home
  • Why there will be no more marble or bedroom carpets
  • That each house has a golf version of Monopoly
  • Where he markets and what works best for his niche.


Oster Golf Houses

Judge golf course video (I’d be done after this hole and back to the Oster house!)



Book of the Week:

Subliminal Persuasion: Influence & Marketing Secrets They Don't Want You To Know
By Dave Lakhani

If you're an entrepreneur, salesperson, advertiser, or business owner, understanding the art of subliminal persuasion will give your bottom line a big boost.

In Subliminal Persuasion, master marketer Dave Lakhani reveals in step-by-step detail the exact techniques that really work in persuading and influencing others.

It's not about lying or tricking anyone.

It's about knowing what will appeal to people and how to communicate that appeal effectively, profitably, and ethically. This is marketing that really convinces.



Resource of the Week:

This week’s recommended resource is LiveChat (A).

After seeing the incredible results of using LiveChat with Heather's rental agency we had to share it with you.

LiveChat is an application that enables the visitors on your site to chat live with your customer support team.

It's a solution dedicated for e-commerce and customer care. … We encourage you to try LiveChat yourself! Just click on the link above for a free test drive.