A VACATION RENTAL IS NOT A HOTEL!
Vacation Rental Marketing Pros Tips
4 Worst Vacation Rental Marketing Tips the “Pros” Teach Vacation Rental Owners (Part 1)
Is a hotel and a vacation rental property basically the same thing ?
Although there are some similarities between a hotel and a vacation rental, they are two worlds apart. Yes, they both offer a place to sleep but the product is completely different, therefore your marketing should be different.
One of the Worst Vacation Rental Marketing Tips the “Pros” Teach Vacation Rental Owners is to market their small vacation rental home like a big hotel.
It’s like the old saying of comparing apples to oranges, it’s also the same when it comes to marketing vacation rentals and marketing hotels online. Yes, apples and oranges are both fruit, they both are edible and they both give your body energy but they taste totally different. If you’re at a restaurant and ask your waitress for an orange and she serves you up an apple, what would be your response? Your response will likely be something like “that’s not what I wanted”. This is also the same when trying to advertise your vacation rental like a hotel to your customers.
Are you being taught to sell your apples like oranges?
Are you following marketing advice specifically tailored for your vacation rental?
I’m always looking for ways to improve our rental owners exposure and their home ownership experience. In my research to do so, I often find myself troubled when learning a vacation rental owner is following bad vacation rental marketing advice. In most of these cases the rental marketing “help” is coming from a so called “advertising guru” or “professional vacation rental marketing company“.
Unknowingly, holiday home owners blindly use these disguised hotel marketing tips for their vacation rental advertising campaigns. The sad and quiet truth is owners end up worse than they did before they started looking for marketing help. This is a problem for me. I find it very concerning as a professional vacation rental marketing consultant. This bad advertising advice can cause investment home failure negatively affecting investors and their families. Foreclosures and investment failures affect the vacation rental industry negatively as a whole. When investors have trouble making returns on short term investment properties, they tell other would be investors and that’s never good for the vacation rental industry.
Bad Vacation Rental Marketing Tips Can Sink Your Ship!
I’m reminded when the recession first hit like a torpedo, the real estate market crashed and then sunk leaving homes under water and owners over the heads. Vacation home owners were really struggling during this time and it was “sink or swim” for owners of vacation home owners. Unfortunately there is still plenty of evidence of those casualties. You can find them everywhere in the sea of abandoned vacation rentals for sale in the real estate market today.
However the rental owners that were clinging onto sound marketing and investment advice like a life preserver are still standing strong today. Maybe you’re one of them, if so I’d love to hear your story (leave a comment below).
Many of the investors that failed in their venture were following bad advice and a weak business model. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they’ll tell you marketing is key to any successful business plan. For this very reason you’ll need to heed sound marketing advice to avoid wasted efforts, lost time, added stress and investment failure.
Being in the business for a long time I have seen and heard it all and have worked with all sorts of property owners. and in most situations owners wait for there to be a problem before trying to develop a sound business plan. In most instances by the time a home owner starts looking for vacation rental marketing help they are already in the “danger zone” . If an owner’s last ditch efforts to market their vacation rental fails they are often left with depleted resources making it even more difficult to change their rental situation. This scenario often leads to foreclosure or owners having to pay their rental fees from their personal funds, which can be an extremely stressful situation and is the beginning of the end!
Are there ways you can incorporate hotel marketing strategies into your vacation rental marketing campaign that actually work?
In short yes. I explain the USEFUL hospitality marketing tips that can be used in your rental marketing effectively in my new book “Vacation Rental Marketing Secrets No One Will Tell You”.
But always remember; don’t try to be a dog if you’re a cat.
Tip: Look at the vacation rental marketing advice does it seem logical for a vacation rental owner to apply the promotion suggestions. I recently read an article online telling home owners to pay for awards, certifications and travel memberships that are designed for hotels. The cost of such “status symbols”resources recommended, were flat out impractical for the single vacation rental owner. Several of the certifications were between $500 to $1000 per year, that’s just crazy!
There are ways to obtain similar effects without the high prices of products designed for hotels. Hotels have a larger income potential therefore those costs may be easily justifiable, but for you a vacation rental owner? I don’t think so!
If rental owners waist their valuable vacation rental marketing dollars on trinkets and less important wares it comes straight out of their rental marketing budget. I don’t know about you but I don’t have even a single dollar to waist on rental marketing that doesn’t produce results.
Tip: Considering whether you should implement a particular vacation rental marketing strategy? Ask yourself if the rental marketing idea is more appropriate for a corporate style hotel or property management business? Is it logical for a small individual rental owner trying to get the most they can with limited budgets? Marketing is not one size fits all, if it looks like too big to fit don’t even try it on!
Tip: Evaluate the rental marketing source and ask yourself lots of questions.
How many years has the vacation rental marketing firm been helping home owners get bookings. If they don’t have an established history of helping real vacation rental owners, than don’t rely on their “rental marketing advice”.
Tip: Get in touch with other vacation rental owners that can confirm the rental marketing plan is air tight! Verify from multiple sources that the rental marketing has been proven to work by “vacation rental owners” not from an owner of another form of lodging like a hotel or other business. What may work for marketing hotels online, will not always work for vacation rental properties, so verify with owners.
Tip: It’s best to rely on brands for advice rather than an individual. A brand is a company and a company is an organization of people working toward one goal. Brands spend money on their research and have larger budgets for their marketing experimentation. A company brand is just more reliable, you can go to McDonalds order a meal and you already know what it taste like before you sink your teeth into it.
They’re predictable and the McDonalds brand has spent alot of resources to become reliable to its consumers, there is an entire team that worked together to deliver on your expectations and needs. Sign up for newsletters from brands that are established and predictable. When relying on an individual or freelancer to help you with your marketing poses its risks, In essence you’re putting your vacation rental business’s success in the hands on an individual. remember, people get sick, people have families and people have problems a brand is just more trustworthy and reliable.
Tip: Investigate to tell if the marketing information is being “repackaged” for vacation rental owners. This is an old trick from hotel marketers. Some hotel marketing agencies who market hotels are trying to camouflage their hotel marketing tips as vacation rental marketing tips. This is a big issue they take the marketing material for hotels and change words like hotel to vacation rental and now they have a new audience of people to sell their services, products, reports, e-books or adverting services the problem is you are not a dog you’re a cat. Try to spot this dirty secret hotel marketers pull on vacation rental owners.
Stay tuned for the next 3 Worst Vacation Rental Marketing Tips the “Pros” Teach Vacation Rental Owners
Follow my blog for the rest of this series and more vacation rental marketing tips at http://jaywilliam.co/blog/