Guest post by Matt Landau: In my previous post, “The Future of Vacation Rental Marketing: It’s All about the Niche,” I wrote about the superior value of niche vacation rental sites like WeNeedaVacation.com over their major, “big-box” competitors, HomeAway/VRBO and FlipKey.
The more targeted Power Search of WeNeedaVacation.com, for example, allows its rental homeowner to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, preventing listers from having to pay the site extra to improve their search result rankings. And the locally-operated niche site is also able to provide information specific to the area (such as its beaches, activities, shops, restaurants, etc.), which is of great value to vacationers and, in turn, benefits the homeowner.
Yet to be fully implemented by the vacation rental community is the bevy of impactful techniques that a niche site can help you employ. Here are 3 that can help get you started:
- Find Your Innovation: Innovating in the vacation rental space these days isn’t about installing solar panels and motion-sensor toilets. Instead, each owner should ask, “What does my property offer that no one else can?” When considered in the pretext of a niche market like the Cape Cod and Islands marketplace, identifying this point of differentiation allows a property to set itself apart from its other (already niche) competitors.
- Articulate Your Ideal Guest Profile: While most owners do this casually or even subconsciously, I have found that the mere act of writing down my ideal guest characteristics (where they’re from, what size group they travel with, how they relate to the group hierarchy, when they like to book…etc.) gives my marketing efforts – from listing site descriptions to the actual photos I choose for my slideshow – an incredibly transparent blueprint for success. Draw up this profile, use it in your marketing efforts, and “speak” to the ideal guest in order to actually draw them to your door.
- Inform, Don’t Sell: It’s a mantra (as exposed here) that I am practically tied to for life.
If the future of vacation rental marketing is all in the niche, then the most influential players in the game will be those who conquer the local information market. And since vacation rental owners are already inherently tuned in to the neighborhood (best places to eat, worst tourist traps to avoid, locals worth knowing…etc.), it’s no surprise that those who share their wealth of local knowledge will attract travelers like particles drawn to a magnet.
If you can become the niche authority on all things Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, you add a tremendous and intangible value to your dollar-based weekly rate.
Offering this kind of valuable, local information to your vacationers is what attracts vacationers to this niche site and promotes loyalty from them to return season after season.
So, to help facilitate the niche marketing process for you, I have put together a course (it consists of four short emails) titled “Standing Out From VR Competition” and designed to walk property owners of all shapes and sizes through the process of mastering your niche. For a limited time, I am giving away this course to WeNeedAVacation.com readers free of charge – so enjoy it while it lasts!
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