Let’s face it, people like doing business with people who they know. There’s simply no way around it. Whether you are new to the industry or have been around for many years, networking can help grow your vacation rental management company.
Where To Network
In today’s day in age, it’s not enough only to be active on LinkedIn or exclusively attend in-person events. You need to be networking both in-person and online. Each has its own distinct advantage. In-person will help establish local relationships with both potential customers and referral partners.
In-Person / Local
A recent study by Hubspot found 95% of professionals consider face to face communication vital for long term business. There’s something special that happens at in-person networking events where all parties are interested in meeting and discussing partnerships that you simply can not achieve online. Below are a few ideas of places you could begin or expand your networking effors.
Vacation Rental Conventions
There are a number of conventions specific to the vacation rental industry. While you may not find your next client here, you most certainly will learn a lot about the industry, ways to improve your business and meet important industry connections. Below are a few popular conventions, note many may be online due to COVID-19:
- Book Direct Show
- GuestyVal (Israel)
- Host (UK)
- Host Basic to Business (Italy)
- KigoWorld (Spain)
- Liverez Partner Conference (US)
- Rezfest (US)
- Short Stay Show (UK)
- Skift Short-Term Rental Summit (US)
- Vacation Rental World Summit (Italy)
- Vitur Summit (Spain)
- VR Mastered Bootcamp (US)
- VR Tech Events
- VRM Intel Data & Revenue Management (US)
- VRM Intel Live
- VRMA European Conference (Europe)
- VRMA International Conference (US)
Real Estate Investors Clubs
Real estate investment clubs are a great place to meet with local investors, real estate agents, and other industry professionals to network and learn together. There are two nationally recognized organizations REIC and REIA. Virtually every major municipality has an established club, but if you don’t see yours listed, consider starting one! This list put together by BiggerPockets is a great place to start looking for a local club.
Meetup is a service and online community designed to help users organize and set up local networking events. There are a ton of different events happening ranging from hobby and niche interest groups to business and professional networking groups. Do a search and see what you find, even if there is not a real estate specific group, general professional networking can be beneficial. You never know who you’ll meet.
Chamber of Commerce
Did you know the very first chamber of commerce was established in France in 1599? While a lot has changed since then, a lot is still the same. A chamber of commerce is a partnership of local businesses and professionals to create a healthy local economy and to improve the quality of life. Many times your local chamber will put on networking events that are free to join, regardless if you are a member. These networking events are a great place to meet the movers and shakers of your community. If you do decide to join your local chamber you’ll get to go to all the events, and most of the time they will list your website in their directory which will help with your online presence.
Even before Covid-19, online networking was well established. Now, with many in-person events postponed or canceled indefinitely, professionals are looking to grow their network online more than ever. Networking through social media can be a great way to grow your vacation rental business.
A relatively new social platform, Nokori Pulse is a social network dedicated to vacation rental industry professionals. It’s a unique blend of Twitter and LinkedIn, focused specifically on the vacation rental industry. If this sounds up your alley you can sign up here.
Vacation Rental Groups on Facebook
Facebook groups are a great way to network with other vacation rental managers, Airbnb hosts, or property owners. There are many groups ranging from general ones, to specifc regions and cities. As with any type of networking, your best bet to gain traction is to offer value. Do not solicit your services without the permission of the group admin or you will likely be banned. Here are some popular vacation rental Facebook groups.
Vacation Rental Groups on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has long been the preferred network for professionals to grow their business, and for good reason. LinkedIn boasts over 760 million users. It is THE place to be for professional networking. You should use LinkedIn to strive to create genuine connections. Join vacation rental industry groups, connect with members in those groups, and book networking calls. Simply becoming a connection many times will not lead to anything. Networking 1 on 1 calls can lead to valuable partnerships or help you realize ways to improve your business processes. Some popular vacation rental industry groups are listed below:
How to Network
Focusing on exactly how you network will have a huge impact of how successful your efforts are. Drill this into your brain: your goal is to create a connection, not make a sale. When you attend networking events, you’ll see tons of people doing it wrong. They are looking to talk to their ideal prospects and close a deal right there. This is a rookie mistake.
A much better approach is to create meaningful and lasting connections. Find out how you can contribute to communities, get involved, and provide as much value as possible. While doing this, people will take notice. As people notice, make sure they know who you are and what you do. The true payback of networking and creating a strong network is the referrals that come along with it. If you are willing to put in the hard work of creating a strong network, you will be rewarded many times over in the form of referrals.
Hopefully this guide on growing your vacation rental management company through networking was useful. No matter if it’s online or in person, networking is a great way to grow your vacation rental inventory. Interested in learning other ways to grow your vacation rental business? Check out our ultimate guide on vacation rental inventory growth. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite networking method is!