Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sell the Sizzle. Vacation Home Marketing Tips

Do you feel that whatever you do to market your property, it still gets lost in the shuffle and your property doesn't stand out? Can’t fill your vacancies? If the answer is yes, then you need a new strategy. My former boss at Sundance Lodging said that a hotel is like an airplane without wings --- an empty room brings in no revenue, just like an empty airplane seat.

Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak
Your vacation property is like a new cereal or soap. Although your property is worth a lot more than a tube of toothpaste, you need to take a page out of the marketing wizards’ handbook to succeed.
First step is define your vision for your vacation home rental, and then devise a strategy to attain your vision.

Vision & Strategy: What’s the Big Picture?
What is your vision for your property? A vision is the big picture, in one sentence. For example, it could be, “ I want to be the most luxurious beachfront condo in Sanibel and get premium rate” or “I want to provide value-priced lodging for limited budget families in Sanibel”, or whatever fits for you.

Next, make the vision specific. Think of a strategy to reach your vision. You won’t get it from anyone else. The websites you advertise on and social media will lead people to your site, but can’t make them book. If you don’t have what your guests want, you won’t get the booking.  Focus on your target.

The vision is not a specific goal, but is where you want to be. What do you want to offer: Who is your target customer? Example: young families with children who want top-level amenities and services, or retired couples on a limited budget, or parties of 2 seeking a romantic retreat. Get as specific as possible. You'll be more likely to attract the right renter when you clearly define who you're looking for...

Please share your comments -- how do you manage your vacation property rental strategy?

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