With nearly a decade of experience of helping Vacation Management Companies with their online marketing, ICND has put together some ideas on how to obtain more vacation rental units in these trying times:
Direct mail and email is still the most popular and effective way to reach out to your home / unit owners. There is almost no way around that – what is most important is your message. The following ideas can apply to homeowners to help promote your services.
? Offer “Owner Referrals” where there is an incentive for an existing home owner for referring another home owner. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most successful marketing when dealing with real estate and rental management.
? Host an “Owners Weekend” where you hold an open house that allows owners that are on the fence to freely stop by to see your operation and learn more about what you have to offer. Make it into an event with balloons, hors d'oeuvres, etc during Easter weekend for example.
? Send a quarterly newsletter. Owners will entertain your news and helpful information about owning a rental property. Stay in front of the owner by offering useful industry and market information without constantly pestering them to come on board. When the do decide to look around you would be the first one on their list.
? Offer an Incentive. This is a little more risky, but you could guarantee that you would generate the same if not more bookings for their units. You then have to be very aggressive and have the marketing or customer base to ensure you obtain those bookings.
? Let your website sell your services. Having an up to date website that ranks well in the search engines puts you ahead of your competition not only with putting heads in beds but also when owners research which property management company to go with.
? Website Usability ? Once an owner finds your site, it better look good and be easy to use to find rentals. Owners want vacationers to be able to easily find their rental units and have it be fair. If you use Instant Software or Escapia as your PMS system, you still have options to integrate a fully customizable online booking engine to increase the edge over your competition. Whether you have easier search functions, more pictures or larger pictures, you have set yourself apart from other sites in your market.
? Here are a few of our clients sites that feature customized online booking engines: