My eyes drooped constantly.
It was the first class after lunch, and the one in which I learned how to fake taking notes while I was really taking a nap: Intro to Logic.
Seriously, I took a Logics class in college.
And at some point in your life, you end up using what you learned in college, right? So here is my vacation rental logic for 2015:
Time is money.
Faster workflow with your property and guests saves time.
Save money with a more efficient workflow.
Therefore, I am declaring 2015 the Year of the More Efficient Workflow.
The vacation rental industry has literally exploded in every which way, and a part of that explosion is in both new tools and improved old tools that help vacation rental owners with their properties and their guests.
Here is a good list of the top tools for 2015 to make your workflow go smoother, more efficient, and much faster, all from setting up, to marketing, to taking care of your guests throughout their stay with you.
Because time is valuable – for both you and your guests.
Property set up and design
When setting up a property for guests, it may at first seem just like setting up another home for your own family. But it’s not.
Before you set up the master bedroom, I suggest you read this post first.
Not everyone enjoys cleaning. I sure don’t. But if there is a gadget or a method to help me make it go faster, I am all for it.
Check out the Dyson DC44 Animal Handheld Cordless Vacuum. Makes cleaning under couches and all those baseboards a breeze. Definitely an investment of money, but it saves you time.
To make communication with your housekeeper more efficient, try creating a Google calendar with your reservations, color coded for each of your properties, and then privately share it with your cleaning team.
You can even add notes for each reservation and have Google send auto reminders.
Not sure if your housekeeper always gets every one of the myriad of tasks done on the turn over days?
How about providing a cleaning checklist for your team to mark off tasks to double-check that all is taken care of…The Distinguished Guest and I created one for you – check it out here.
The best method always is to hire a professional photographer.
I promise you.
Cross my heart.
But if that isn’t possible, you do have other options to hold you over until you can get a pro to your place.
– Host a Pro. Check out ShootStay to trade pro pics for a stay at your place.
– Shoot better photos yourself. You can pick up my eBook Create Killer Vacation Rental Property Photos – a Step-by-Step Guide for Owners at my site here.
Mesmerize travelers with the description of your property…in a way that nearly hypnotizes them. Check out Heather Bayer’s eBook on how to do this.
It’s here to stay and ever evolving. Whether you choose to interact with guests and travelers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or Instagram, just note that it is time to interact with them somewhere.
Learn the best practices in social media, along with how to boost your reach, with Alan Egan and his social media course Bookings Plus 4G.
Have you started a blog for your property yet? There are two undeniably big reasons for vacation rental owners to blog about their property and the general area…here’s the logic:
You create fresh content with a blog.
Google search engines like fresh content.
Google serves your blog to travelers searching for information on your area.
Hey – you got found!
You provide extensive knowledge about your vacation rental property’s area.
Travelers search for information from an authoritative source.
Travelers trust you as a source.
Hey – you’ve gained authority (and got found again)!
Blogging builds your credibility as an owner and increases your authority on the area. What traveler is not attracted to an owner and a property that provides the information and service that creates a memorable experience?
Want to learn more about awesome blogging? Follow the great Ramsay at Blog Tyrant.
Have you noticed that people in general would rather watch a video than read some text? Or maybe it’s also easier to explain something in person instead of writing it all down.
Myself, I made a quick video about how to use the Schlage lock on our front doors. (See it here.)
The lock is simple to operate, but I had found that guests would have trouble unlocking the door because they didn’t read the short buy phentermine directions I gave them. Now, I don’t get anymore phone calls about getting into the house.
And did you know that YouTube is one of the top search engines? It would be a very good marketing move to have a presence there.
Short videos with info about your property, the area, and you, the owner are another way to market your vacation rental property.
Whether you print and send it or have it hosted on the world wide web, a guide about your area and your property is another method to woo a traveler to become a guest.
Get some help to create a professional guide from Vacation Insiders.
Blogs and podcasts
If you don’t already follow these vacation rental industry experts to learn from their experience, I highly encourage you to do so. Each leader has a different style of sharing, so enjoy their various approaches.
Summits (aka Conferences)
Whether you prefer to immerse yourself in front of your laptop to gain knowledge or to attend a gathering in person, vacation rental summits are an excellent way to further your business.
The Vacation Rental World Summit is an online summit with recorded presentations that you can view on your own time. Check out the VRWS site here for information on getting the 2014 videos and for when the 2015 Summit is announced.
The HomeAway Summit has grown over the last couple years into intense gatherings in various locations. You will find nuggets of information throughout the sessions, but what I enjoy the most is meeting other vacation rental owners and swapping stories, tips, and tricks.
Is it possible to have a successful vacation rental property without being on a listing site?
However, there are many advantages to having your property on at least one listing site. This is another blog post in itself, so I’ll touch on only one big reason right now…
Your property is seen by more travelers (aka potential guests) if you are on a big listing site versus attempting to compete with other area properties with only your own website.
The big guys are:
Besides the big guys, check to see if there are any local area listing websites that travelers might come across during their travel search.
The easiest way to do this is to simply search for a vacation rental property like a traveler and then pay attention to what websites appear on the first page of your search results.
Personal Property Websites
Your own website is important in that you not only have your own piece of internet real estate, but that you also have a place to direct travelers to for additional information about your vacation rental property and the area.
Read more about setting up your own site away from the big listing sites at my blog post here.
With the big push for travelers to be able to book vacation rental properties online, have you thought about the same feature for your own website?
See my blog post here about several options available.
Not every guest uses apps, but every guest that does use apps will most likely appreciate an app from the vacation rental property they reserve.
But honestly, the main reason I began using an app for my places was to make my own guest workflow more efficient. The bonus side was that it highly increased my guests’ perception of my hospitality to them.
My New Year’s Eve guest this week specifically made a point to tell me how much he loved the app that I use for our place – that it was easy to use, made the property information convenient, and it was just awesome.
The apps available to owners currently are the following:
- Mobile Hospitality from HomeAway (previously Glad to Have You – see my reviews on it here and here)
Save time with the tools I have listed above, and use that extra time to do something you love.
Maybe even go on a vacation yourself. You are in the business of selling time, you know, but you can enjoy time, too.
Time is something that is gone once it passes…you can never get it back.
Do you have a tool that increases your workflow efficiency? Fancy sharing it with me in the comments below?
I am always looking for ways to improve my workflow so I have more time to play laser tag with my boys or sit on the beach with a good novel in my hands.
By the way, the best way to stay on top of all the good stuff is to get on my vacation rental marketing email list.
You can sign up right here:
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