ICND Goes Out West w/ Telluride Rentals

InterCoastal Net Designs is excited to assist Telluride Rentals of Colorado in their online marketing efforts. Our primary focus for their campaign is social media management, Pay Per Click and SEO consulation. We are excited to expand our client base out west. Our main goal for their social media accounts is to increase brand exposure and awareness.

In terms of social media marketing for Telluride Rentals, we will also manage the following:

  1. Contest, which will involve giving away a vacation package. The contest will be promoted via Facebook & Twitter, as well as with an eblast campaign. Contests are proven to increase exposure and build social media fan bases.
  2. We will be redesigning all of their social media accounts and rebranding with custom designs.
  3. Our social media team will also be managing a strategic content calendar for their social campaign.

On top of social media, we will hone in on a specific luxury rental niche through targeted pay per click advertising. Our SEO consultation will focus on content strategy and how best to improve their marketing and website through new and resourceful content.

We welcome Telluride Rentals to Team ICND!!

Floor Plan Marketing, Bringing Properties to Life

We’ve been working over the past months on an exciting project with the folks at Floor Plan Marketing. This website, which launched at the first of September, features a custom and clean look, allowing users to navigate the site with ease. InterCoastal Net Designs has enjoyed this project and developing a strong relationship with this client.

Floor Plan Marketing is a unique firm that specializes in creating both beautiful and effective marketing images for the architecture industry. Their products are cutting edge. The ICND team is excited to pair with another partner in the technology industry for a project such as Floor Plan Marketing.

We encourage you to check out the new site. A few features include: rotating homepage images, easy to view product line, homepage quick link icons and a detailed FAQ page.

FPM

ICND Selected to Speak at VRMA in Nashville!

Contributed by: , Social Media Director

We are very excited to announce that the InterCoastal Net Designs team has been selected to speak at the upcoming VRMA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  VRMA is the leading association for Vacation Rental Managers where they provide resources to thousands of industry professionals.

ICND President Brandon Sauls and Social Media Director David Hutnik will be tag teaming up on the topic “Leverage Social Media Like A Pro”.  We’re going to be sharing some mind-blowing stats, case studies, REAL answers & insight to help managers takeaway powerful information they can use for their business from day one.  We’ll be discussing dos & don’ts of contests and how to really leverage Facebook.  We’ll discuss how you should be using Twitter effectively and cover how/when/why there is a place for Google+, Pinterest & Instagram.

With years of industry experience and results, we’re bringing practical strategies that WILL bring results and can be used while still at the VRMA conference.  Broad topics that we will cover along with actionable takeaways will include:

  1. Explanation of Facebook Edgerank – how/when/what to post on Facebook!
  2. The anatomy of a perfect Facebook post
  3. Key tips to run a successful Social Media Contest for massive growth.
  4. Understanding of Twitter and how you can leverage the platform, not just participate.
  5. When there is a place for Instagram & Pinterest and the urgency of Google+.
  6. Facebook advertising tips!

If you’re going to be at VRMA this year, we really hope to see you in our presentation.  Be sure to let us know some of your questions that you’d like us to cover in the presentation.  Submit your questions below in the comments and be sure to:

LIKE us on Facebook  –  FOLLOW us on Twitter  –  CIRCLE us on Google+

…and definitely visit the hottest booth at VRMA in Nashville this year with InterCoastal Net Designs.  We’ll bring the stage with us and give you a chance to shine bright online!

 

ICND Shines Bright at 2013 Eastern VRMA Conference

Team ICND travelled to the busy little town of Savannah, GA where they were warmed by the southern charm, hospitality, and great culture of the 2013 Eastern VRMA Conference.  There, ICND wooed the crowd with sunglasses, coozies, pens, notepads, and a wealth of information about interactive marketing.  With lots of rave reviews such as:

“I recently attended the VRMA Eastern Conference in Savannah, GA this past week and had the pleasure to meet the InterCoastal Net Designs team. They were energetic, and knew the business very well which was refreshing to see at the VRMA vendor showcase… I just wanted to reach out on behalf of our company…, to let you know how professional your team was. A great product, displayed, and delivered very well. Loved the sunglasses!”

Thank you to all of those who stopped by our booth and shared your needs. We’re excited to, once again, be a part of the Vacation Rental Managers Association and hope to be even more involved in the sessions about website design, booking engine integrations, and online marketing.   Be on the look out for your account team to be contacting you and starting to grow your relationship with ICND.  We look forward to seeing you all again!

 

ICND Spring 2013 Online Marketing Workshop Success!

If you didn’t go to our Spring 2013 Online Marketing Workshop in Myrtle Beach, SC, you missed out on a great time! The workshop was held at the ITT Technical Institute of Myrtle Beach where we found the space plentiful and staff very helpful. A big thanks to Courtney DePaul for her support of our workshop. We opened up the event with friendly registration by Summer Adams as she gave everyone an itinerary and USB key of all the presentations to take home.

Before entering the room, we invited our guests to participate in a fun photo booth prepared by our designer and photographer, Chris Campbell. Team ICND had fun with the photo booth as well. For more photos and fun check out our Facebook album and be sure to “Like Us”. As the sessions took place, we had great one-on-one interaction with our guests and speakers. It was a collaborative effort of presentations and Q&A. We hope to do more follow-up on the topics: SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Responsive Web Design with additional whitepapers for download on our website. For more information, please visit our website www.icoastalnet.com or contact your Account Manager. by: Vanessa Humes

Vacation Rental Marketing – Overcoming Booking Hurdles

Having the right tools in place for your vacation rental company can be essential to your business’s success in the next season.  From a site that is easy to use, lead tracking software to manage your leads, and collecting information from your customers and leveraging this information for your marketing and business need are becoming fundamentals for experienced vacation rental companies.  If you attended or missed Rezfest, here’s some insight on some key industry research based on the studies completed by HomeAway and some opportunities prepared for you to overcome some of these problems .

1.    Not having access to accurate calendar availability information on website.  How frustrating! The majority of Vacation Rental travelers on company and vacation rental by owner sites reported this problem and it’s the easiest to fix. This is at the core of any booking engine integration.  Having this information available to the customer so they can put in their dates and find true availability is crucial to your success.  Our booking engine integration solutions not only show your availability, but rate tables, amenities, pictures, reviews (integrated with FlipKey), and easy online booking (but we’ll get to that later).  When a customer puts in a date at the beginning, we never ask them to re-enter that date.  Everything is fed through your API and the less redundancy the better!

2.    Slow or No Response from the Owner/Property Manager.  EEEEK! As bringing in second place, a majority of leads are not getting tended to and off to the next company. As a manager or owner, this has to be the one that really makes your blood boil.  You’re paying hundreds or thousands of dollars each month to send leads to your website and they are not being contacted.  What are you using to manage leads?  ICND has a Leadtracker solution that is easily integrated into your site and to collect leads from any portal sites like HomeAway and Flipkey.  It allows you to send and automatic response, assign leads round robin to reps, see which leads were contacted, which ones were not, set up template replies, view the entire contact conversation, and mark which ones booked.  If you have our vacation rental booking engine, you can even tag properties and drop them right into the email. Which feeds into our next problem.

3.    Needing to inquire about many properties before making the commitment to book a vacation rental home.  Hey we all want to have choices and a lot of times there just isn’t enough info on your site, or it’s not organized well.  Links to photo galleries, videos, virtual tours, reviews should all be easy to find.  Your descriptions should include all the selling points and details.  A bulleted list of amenities makes it easy for people to find the options they are looking for.  Our booking engine includes and quick contact field on each property detail page so that people can inquire.  You can also tag favorites and view them all at one time.  And again, the Leadtracker comes in tagging each of the properties they viewed so you can help hone them into the vacation rental that is going to best serve their needs without them starting all over.

4.    Not having access to accurate rental information on the website.  Users want as much information as possible to make their purchase.  Especially if they’ve never rented from you before or stayed in the area, there is a lot of unknown and they are trusting your website to portray accurate information.  Any information that is out dated or inaccurate adds to their uncertainty.  Spend the offseason time making sure your website and all of the unit descriptions are clear and up to date.  As you are making maintenance updates, make sure this is communicated to your staff that makes updates to your descriptions.  If you are utilizing a good booking engine integration like the one we have here at ICND, you’ll be pulling all your descriptions and pictures straight from your property management software so there is no duplicate entry and maintenance.  This allows for one convenient place to update and maintain your information.

5.    Inability to use my preferred payment method (check, credit card, wire transfer) Do you allow people to book online by credit card.  Sure there’s only a certain amount of ways to allow people to book online, but the more options you give them the easier it is for them to book themselves and lessen the load on your staff.  Explore different options with your payment portals and attend conferences like RezFest that will tell you about the latest and greatest options for payment methods.

6.    Signing the rental agreement and getting it back to the owner/property manager. There are some online options for this.  The best thing to do is simplify your rental agreement as much as possible so that the basics are covered and customize one if you have to.  With our booking engine, we put the rental agreement on the booking page before they put in their payment information.  This allows them to at least agree to the terms and conditions to cover the basics.  There are also options like verisign that allow for electronic signatures.

7.    Losing one vacation rental home while negotiating for another one.   In the heat of the season, this is possible, though it rarely happens.  Having your booking engine integrated with your property management system allows to make sure this doesn’t happen.  As well as making sure it’s easy to book online with enough accurate information.

8.    Need to talk to the owner/property manager before booking.  We all know what this is about… Most of the time this is people asking for discounts or specific questions about the unit.  This is a very small percentage so you should be proud that you are putting enough information on the site people are able to book with confidence.  Having a good, updated web presence allows people enough security to know that your business is legit.  If you haven’t updated your site in 2-3 years, you may be out dated and this may be why people aren’t booking your properties online.  There are many sketchy business out there, and when people have to put in their credit card numbers, it’s starts creating some anxiety.  Make sure you are putting your best web presence forward.

9.    The whole process took to long.  This applies to everything.  Although this was the smallest percentage of complaints it really ties everything together.  Was it easy to find your site via the search engines?  Did they find you via Social Media sites, IE Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest?  When they found you via Social Media, did you make it easy for them to book? Was your site presentable and user friendly?  Do you have your booking engine integrated to your site and are you tracking your conversions?  What’s your bounce rate?  Do you have good pictures, reviews, testimonials, amenities, descriptions, everything someone needs to make sure that the thousands of dollars they are spending on their vacation are going to be well worth the money.

At ICND, we have  comprehensive, scalable solutions so you can tailor your services to your needs and budget.  From website design, booking engine integrations, online marketing services (SEO, PPC, Email Marketing, & Social Media, to lead tracking and guest communication emails (pre-arrivals & post-departures), we have it all under one roof.  Get started with us today by calling 1-866-249-6095 or email info@icoastalnet.com today!

Twitter Targeting for Vacation Rental Management Companies

As a Vacation Rental Management Company, it’s all about targeting the most qualified leads and nurturing a lasting relationship through social media so that they remember you next time they go on vacation.  So there are two parts to this:
  1. Finding Targeted Twitter Users &
  2. Nurturing the relationship to stay top of mind

 

HOW do you find targeted users on Twitter?  What if I told you that at InterCoastal Net Designs, we could target:
  • Everyone who lives within a 25 mile radius of your top 5-10 geographic markets?
  • Anyone who tweeted a specific keyword like “vacation” or “your vacation area”
  • Everyone your competitors are following
  • Everyone following your competitors
  • Users who have a specific keyword in their profile
  • And MUCH MORE!
* Quality is more important than quantity, but wouldn’t you prefer to have thousands of highly qualified followers on Twitter?
Next, how do you nurture these followers and stay top of mind. This can take a lot of time to leave updates, interact with them and keep your updates relevant to their interests. This is where ICND can really propel your social media to the next level. By allowing ICND to take on this burden and free you up to do what you love and do best; we can leverage our expertise using strategic methods to posting effectively, at the right time of day, using hashtags, etc… We will create daily updates to post and interact with users mentioning your business on Twitter.
Contact the ICND team today to learn more about Vacation Rental Internet Marketing and how we can help you leverage this powerful social media platform to bring in sales for your Vacation Rental Management Company!
Few Quick Stats:

Vacation Rental Management Companies NEED Pinterest Now

Simply put – your potential clients are probably pinning about their dream vacation on Pinterest as we speak. Vacation Rental companies can use Pinterest to tap into a viable market, and it’s time you get on board. Here at ICND, we focus on three priorities in regards to Pinterest:

  1. Brand & Name Recognition
  2. Increased Traffic
  3. Fan Conversions

 

People use Pinterest as a forum to dream, they often dream about the next dessert they’ll bake, hair style they’ll try…and did we mention vacation they’ll take? Pinterest can be used by vacation rental companies in a variety of ways, and first and foremost is brand recognition. ICND can help to get your Pinterest boards seen, when users see your brand name attached to that post, chances are your name will be first on their mind when it comes time to plan their next getaway.

 

Traffic to your company’s website can easily be increased through pinning photos that link back to your website. With the implementation of a blog or photo gallery on your website, this step can be done with ease, yet really increases traffic and views on your website.

 

Competitors from all over in the vacation rental industry are jumping on board with Pinterest, this day in age you simply can’t afford to get lost in the social media game. Pinterest is growing at a rapid rate and statistics show that it is number three in referring users to websites, as well as the third most popular social network. Let’s see what Pinterest can do for you vacation rental company!

5 Ways to Increase Bookings without Drastically Reducing Prices

It’s getting down to the wire and your numbers aren’t matching up year over date and your boss is starting to put you into a panick.  Can you drastically reduce prices and blast it through email, social media, and promotion and catch up?  Sure you can, but here’s 5 different ways to improve your bookings all year round!

1. A picture speaks a thousand words. Are you telling them you have a great place to stay or showing them? Do you have professional photography?  Are your balcony shots all blown out and you can’t even see the amazing views your condo has? If your selling oceanfront, but you aren’t even going to give them a taste or what it looks like, you can be really missing the boat.  Is it good lighting or are you taking pictures in a cave?  With the wrong lighting, you can make it look like your selling a room in trailer park and not giving the full effect of your prestigious oceanfront room.  It will also keep your visitors on your site to offer plenty of pictures, virtual tours, and videos.  Give them as much information as they need to feel like they’ve got a great vacation.  And don’t hide your links to these different views.

2. Put your money where you make money.  Are you watching your marketing campaigns and tracking onthly  in peak seasons. 3. Boost your CPC performance. leads and revenue?  Avoid overspending on keyword phrases and campaign that aren’t bringing you in revenue.  A lot of times it’s not the amount of traffic you drive to your site, but the quality of traffic you drive to your site.  Make sure you are reviewing your traffic and campaigns at least quarterly, if not mWhere are you distributing your product and do you have the option to do a pay per click rather than a flat fee or by impression.  It’s really old school these days to still pay a flat fee or by impression.  It’s all about the click because, let’s face it, that’s all you care about anyways and good performance factor to use across all your campaigns.  Which OTA’s or portal sites are converting best for you and which ones aren’t?  Where are those portal site getting the traffic from?  These are all valuable places for you to look to invest.  But you should be enjoying the economies of scales from these OTA’s.  They get paid big money across the blanket in order to offer you a piece of the pie and put the pressure to make sure they are performing.

4. Participate in search engine optimization and social media. If your are not in the SEO game, it’s not too late.  No matter what kind of site you have, you don’t want to be linking out to other sites for content.  Hire us or a content writer to fill in the blanks and give your site the “stickiness” you need to keep people on your site.  Offer reviews from your customers about their stays, information about local area attractions, and think of unique and current things you can offer on a blog that will make people share your content.

5. Add Value before you discount – Before you start slashing prices, remember everyone loves something for free.  Whether you can offer breakfast, dvd’s, chairs and umbrellas, show tickets, do what you can with local vendors via trade or in cash to offer some better value.  Tell the umbrella company to give you a deal on 100 umbrellas and two chairs, it’s their job to upsell them on the other rentals they offer.  Tell a show you’ll give a way 2 free tickets, but most people come with more than that.  If it will help them drive sales, many times they’ll work with you on a price and it’s a win win for everybody.

It’s hard work to put heads in beds, but you don’t need to give away the farm.  A good, easy to use site that offers a lot of value and information can be all you need to bring home the bacon!