Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Create Vacation Rental Dreams: More Marketing Tips

Once you know who you are appealing to with your vacation home rental, think of how to appeal to their dreams and must-haves. There is no one right answer. In other words, what is your setting designed for? An upscale family friendly reunion, or a comfortable, casual ‘put your feet up’ look, or a honeymoon/anniversary hideaway. The answer is only limited by your imagination.

If you don’t can't conjur up how to profile your property for marketing to guests, ask your property manager for help. For example, if the most requested features are updated kitchens and baths, then follow the premium price strategy. Spend your money to have granite kitchen counters and baths redone and charge top dollar, so you get your pick of the more affluent guests. What else does your Demographic want?

Your strategy defines your other decisions. Strategy drives not only how you will furnish but also how you market and cater to your demographic. Say your target is affluent families. Think of how your ideal guest expects to be treated.

Photo by Scott Frances, Architectural Digest, June 2007

Will your guest be pleased beyond expectations with their reception by your property manager? Ritz Carlton hotels, for example, offer training courses in “Legendary Service at the Ritz-Carlton” and “Radar On-Antenna Up...Fulfilling Customers’ Unexpressed Wishes among other courses”.

Can you imagine what would happen if your guests were treated to Ritz Carlton level service, regardless of the location or rate? They would be extremely likely to return to your unit, and tell others about their positive experience, wouldn’t they?

The key advantage we have as individual owners have is our flexibility and ability to provide excellent customer service. Still some owners don’t get it. They think that offering a unit furnished in “Early Halloween” with skimpy website marketing is all they need to do. With the prevalence of guest review websites, no owner can be complacent.

My personal story is a successful case study. Our condo,, is now rated # 3 of 476 on (search for Sanibel Pointe Santo). Through smart marketing and a focus on guest service by my property manager, Sanibel Accomodations, we partnered to offer excellent customer service, upscale furnishings and an individual experience. The strategy has worked for us and we couldn’t be happier.

Every owner should have a strategy of who they want to be. It will make for a more profitable and positive experience.

1 comment: