November 15, 2021
Vacation rental property managers are experiencing blocked calendars, record-high bookings and average daily rates, blocked calendars, and a level of demand that simply exceeds supply. With nowhere for new or returning guests to spend their vacation, it’s logical for property managers to look at growing rental inventory.
The vacation rental industry has professionalized and become increasingly competitive since the onset of the pandemic. Investors are pouring money into the industry, and acquisitions are rising, and the vacation rental ecosystem is changing daily.
AirDNA reported in April that the short-term rental demand had recovered above 2019 levels. Their latest market review shows that this demand will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Usually, property managers focus on increasing occupancy and rates to improve profits, but the industry has shifted. The National Association of Realtors recently reported vacation homes sales have increased by 44% thanks to historically low mortgage rates and increased flexibility with remote work. That’s a lot of new homeowners and a large percentage of them will look for a professional property manager to care for their investment.
Top Tips to Grow your Vacation Rental Inventory
Take advantage of the fast-growing vacation rental industry to advance your growth goals, and boost your revenue by adding inventory to your portfolio. Here are the industry’s top tips to attract new owners to your vacation rental program, reduce churn and scale your business at a sustainable pace.
Identify your Goals
First and foremost, you need to create a long-term growth plan and property acquisition strategy for your business. Identify your perfect property and homeowner profiles so you can attract the right homeowners and high-quality, high-performing properties. Then look at the systems you have in place for your existing properties to see if they can scale to meet your future needs.
Every interaction your business has, impacts how customers perceive your brand. You want a seamless experience to build better relationships with both guests and homeowners. Start by developing key messages you want customers to remember. Then incorporate those messages consistently into your communications and interactions. When creating your messaging, think about the needs of your audience. For example, homeowners want a responsible company that understands the vacation industry, has a solid online presence, and delivers a high return on their investment to care for their property.
Showcase Your Expertise
Your website and online presence must establish expertise in the industry to build trust and attract homeowners. According to industry experts Vintory, creating an optimized owner landing page is one of the quickest ways to convert homeowner leads. Adding one new property to your rental network is equivalent to booking 100 new guests. Many websites target guests and fail to attract the homeowner, much less provide essential information they need to make a decision.
A specific homeowner landing page creates an opportunity to showcase the benefits of your program, address revenue optimization, housekeeping, and guest experience—key elements homeowners evaluate when choosing a professional property manager.
Target your marketing to attract new homeowners and boost organic leads. Showcase your capabilities by sharing market and industry-specific information for your destination. We’re not talking about a bulk email blast, generic blog, or video, but targeted and personalized communications to homeowners addressing their needs.
Referral Programs & Networking
Most property managers have grown their business organically through word-of-mouth and networking. Leveraging your current relationships with referral programs is an incredibly effective way to generate leads and new customers. According to a study by the New York Times, an astonishing 65% of new business opportunities come from recommendations and referrals. Think beyond your current homeowners when creating a referral program. Include real estate agents, insurance agents, loan officers, financial planners, and long-term property managers in your efforts with lead-generating content and newsletters that provide value.
If the budget allows, consider paid advertising targeted directly at new owners. This ranges from PPC campaigns with target keywords, sponsored blog posts, industry newsletters, or even sponsoring local events in your community.
Owner Acquisition Technology
Keeping up with daily operations is enough in itself for many property managers. The good news is if you don’t have the time to invest in growing your inventory, your acquisition strategy can still go on. Technology is one of the most important aspects to look at to grow your business. Innovative, tech-driven CRM solutions and owner acquisition platforms are designed to automate your homeowner marketing programs, track interactions and grow your vacation rental inventory.
A key element for homeowners is the guest experience. By offering activity programs and voice-assisted experience solutions, your vacation homes will be more than just a place to stay. Attractive add-ons are essential when promoting your brand.