Plenty of vacation rental managers got into this profession by accident. You began managing your own Airbnb property, and soon enough your friends and family were asking for you to manage their property. You may have got to the point where word of mouth is not enough for your growth goals. Vacation rental management inventory growth is imperative to increasing your revenue and continuing expansion. With the industry getting more competitive by the day, how can you effectively grow your property management inventory?
In this article we will outline some tips to take your vacation rental management company to the next level.
One of the most important ways to boost your lead generation efforts is to have a strong online presence. You need a website that will wow and convert property owners. Yes, it is equally important to wow guests to book your properties. That being said, make sure there is a place for property owners to learn more about your services.
Information on your website should include the following:
- Cost / Pricing
- Contact Information
- Differentiators / Why Choose You
Be sure that your website is visually appealing while also SEO optimized so that you show up on Google.
You need to also pay attention to how your business shows up other places online. You should have a Google My Business account so that you show up in local search results. This also allows clients and guests to leave you a review.
Networking is a great way to grow your vacation rental management business. By networking, you’ll meet the movers and shakers of your community and in your industry. There are 2 forms of networking you should be doing, local and industry.
There are plenty of local networking events that you can find through MeetUp. These are a great place to meet referral partners (more on that below). Industry-specific groups like the Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) are a great place to meet potential clients.
One note about networking, you should not be trying to sell your services at these events. Rather, you should be genuinely interested in building mutually beneficial relationships and providing value.
A great way to build your vacation rental management inventory is by leveraging your current relationships. There are a couple of referral sources that can prove to be very lucrative.
Happy clients are more than happy to help you generate leads by telling their friends and family about your services. This requires little effort, the most important thing here is to make sure your clients are happy with your services. Unhappy clients may talk even more about you, but not in the way you’d like!
Referral Partners, as discussed above, are people you have met networking who can send you leads. Some examples of referral partners for vacation rental managers are:
- Real Estate Agents
- Insurance Agents
- Loan Officers
- Financial Planners
- Traditional Long-Term Property Managers
Many times, these partners have existing relationships with your ideal client. Your services may be the perfect solution to their problem. You want to focus on making this mutually beneficial and send business their way as well.
As your business grows, you may want to create a referral program that pays a commission to someone who brings you a new client.
Speaking of mutually beneficial relationships, a great way to attract clients is by providing value and expecting nothing in return. Your goal should be to create industry-specific content that will solve the problems of your ideal client. For example, if your ideal client is a property owner in Denver, you could create an infographic contrasting cap rates for a house run as a short term rental compared to a traditional long-term.
Content creation can be done in a number of ways, and there is no wrong medium as long as you are providing value. Blogs, infographics, eBooks, videos, and whitepapers are all great examples of lead-generating content. Make sure the information you are providing is clear, correct, and up to date. Your brand will be associated with the content so you want to make sure it’s top-notch. If design is not your strength, check out Canva for easy drag and drop templates, or consider paying someone on Fiverr.
A newsletter is a great way to grow your vacation rental management inventory. Building on the last section, you’ll want your newsletter to provide value to your prospective clients. Nobody is going to sign up for an email list if they think you will be spamming them. Provide value by sending some of the content you’ve created. You can build up your email list by requiring website visitors to input their email before they can access your most valuable content, like an eBook.
There are a number of paid advertising techniques for vacation rental managers to increase property inventory. You can target keywords on Google Ads so that you show up when someone searches those keywords. For example, “Vacation Rental Management Miami” (see above). These will get you targeted leads but the cost can add up. Typically you pay per click and some clicks may be browsing and not buying.
Facebook ads are a common form of paid advertising for vacation rental managers to generate leads. The best way to use these is through re-targeting. This means you are only showing the ad to someone who had already visited your site. A great way to think of Facebook ads is that they are like a roadside billboard, you see it as you are going by. It probably won’t close right away but it’s building name recognition and familiarity.
Posting on Craigslist services is another way some vacation rental managers grow their inventory. This is a cheap and easy way to generate leads. At $5 per posting, it’s low risk, and in some markets, is surprisingly productive.
Depending on your market size and your target clients, there are some other creative paid ads you could use. These include:
- Industry Newsletter Advertising
- Sponsored Blog Posts
- Banner Ads on Industry Blogs
- Sponsoring Local Events
Sometimes the best way to get the word out about your business is by taking an active approach. Instead of waiting for your target customer to find you, why not introduce yourself to them.
There are a number of ways to find contact information on your target client. Some places to find leads:
- Property Appraiser Website
- Tax records
- Collect Contact Information at local events and conferences
- Contact Rental Listings
- Buy Lead Lists Online from a 3rd Party
While taking an active approach and doing sales outreach is a very manual process, it doesn’t have to be. VRM Leads can handle your outbound sales efforts. You only pay for meetings and closed deals.
There are tons of ways to do lead generation for vacation rental management companies. The size of your company, your local market, and the amount of time you have to dedicate will all have an impact on your lead generation strategy. There are plenty of free and low-cost ways that vacation rental managers can grow their inventory. Hopefully, this blog turned you on to a few of them.