With the low season looming (at least in most of Europe) it is a good time to start hunting for new product for your vacation rental portfolio. While this post is mainly aimed at professionals that manage the properties of private owners, it also has tips that private owners may capitalise on, like best practices on google plus and an innovative start-up that help you find property managers (they’ve even given us a special discount code so you can try them right-away!). So read on for some easy and cheap ways to increase your vacation rental portfolio.
1. Save more Time
To be a great at Vacation Rental Management you need a definite set of personal skills (intelligence, organisational, customer-focused… am I stroking your ego enough?!) but you also need a set of excellent tools. Long gone are the days of the excel sheet, the printed calendar, the analogue key lock and air-con machines… Yes, I’m afraid Property Management has gone digital just like pretty much everything else. Check out this infographic to see the type of tools that are available for property managers today. Now you’re more efficient & have more time to hunt customers using maybe some of the ideas below. ***Plus how cool will you look when you show that you use the latest state-of-the-art tools on the market!***
2. Boosting your Word-of-Mouth
So now you’re great at what you do (you subscribed to Rentals United and are effortlessly making tons of bookings from tons of places 🙂 ) and some people are recommending you… but how can you influence your reach even further? I’m mainly an Internet marketer but when it comes to reaching people locally I’m a firm believer in physical giveaways. Small budget needed here for good-looking fridge magnets, stickers and flyers. Give them to your owners and don’t forget to clearly mention what you do in all your communication: SUCCESSFUL VACATION RENTAL MANAGEMENT!
3. Showing up on Google maps
Have you added your business on google maps yet? That would be the first place that property owners will look to find a local representative. Here are some tips to optimise those google maps results:
- If you don’t have a google + business page
Create a Google My Business account. It is required to be listed on Google Maps. Search for your company name. In some cases, it is already listed. If it’s not, choose “Add your business” and enter a physical address (not PO box) and a real local phone number (not 0800..). Then add the 1 category that represents your business best: Property Management Company. Google will then send you a card to the address and create a google + page for you which you should optimise asap (see below).
- IF you already have a google + business page
If you already have a Google+ business page but you don’t appear in google maps, access this link while signed in as you and search for your company name. In some cases, it is already listed. If it’s not, choose “Add your business” and enter a physical address (not PO box) and a real local phone number (not 0800..). Then add the 1 category that represents your business best: Property Management Company. Google will then send you a card to the address and create a google + page for you… But hang on you already have a google + page and you want tho keep it!! Yes, no worries even though they create a new one, the two pages can then be merged. Here’s Google’s guide on how to do that.
- Now optimise!
Get your customers to review you on Google+. Once your Google+ page is all done and you start searching for your business name in google (type the business name + full address in google search bar) underneath your description there will be a link: “write a review“. Now send this google search result link to your customers maybe with a screenshot too, and ask them to review you. Another trick is to send your Google + page link and add &review=1 at the end of the link. It would like this https://plus.google.com/+WebWorksofKC/posts?hl=en&review=1
Oh and Don’t delete negative reviews but rather respond quickly… it shows you’re honest and transparent. Also, don’t forget to occasionally post and share updates on your Google+ page. If you want to take it even further, participate in communities relating to your field. Updating your Google + page regularly can increase your ranking on both map and search results.
4. Try Vacation Futures (with a discount code!!)
At Rentals United we’re big fans of disruptive start-ups in our industry. We’re such fans that we’ve even created an entire Free PDF download with 15 Categories and 70 Companies that service owners and property managers! The one company of real interest to grow your portfolio however is Vacation Futures. They enable short term rental managers to quickly grow their portfolio by giving them access to a large number of owners via an online auction platform. It’s extremely clever and we’re pleased to be able to give you $50 USD off a Basic Subscription with this Coupon Code: RentalsUnited-VF. Just register here.
5. ….. please share to unlock the easiest tip of all!
5. Improve your company description on HomeAway
A very likely place where vacation rental owners will spend their time on is: HomeAway. They will be looking at the competition, studying pricing etc… As your company description shows under each of your ads it is an excellent place to address property owners also. Adding a sentence like “We successfully manage quality rentals in XXX.” “Switch your rental management to us” “Special prices for existing HomeAway owners” is sure to get you some leads. [/wpsharely]
We’re currently preparing a Property Managers Award which will get your business a lot of free publicity. If this is something that you would like to be part of please subscribe to the blog as we will notify everyone. cheers!!