From the WNAV Office Vacation Rental News

The 2013 Homeowner Forums Recap and Video

Written by Elizabeth Weedon
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The main topic of this year’s annual Homeowner Forums was about how two fairly recent developments have impacted the Cape and Islands vacation rental marketplace – that is, the demand for high-quality photos and vacationer feedback on listings – and how we homeowners need to adapt to and embrace these changes in order to remain successful in renting our homes. From a marketing perspective, pictures and guest reviews are the most influential features of an online property listing. Recent technological advances in digital photography and online rendering have made it easier and cheaper than ever to display a home to its greatest advantage. And prospective tenants are demanding with greater frequency that listings include feedback from past tenants before making their inquiries about vacation rental homes.

Each of the five Forums, held throughout the fall on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and in Brewster and Wellesley, offered advice related to pictures and guest reviews: how to replace any poorer quality pictures with larger, brighter ones, and how to solicit guest reviews from past tenants and manage a rental property so as to promote receiving positive reviews and to prevent receiving negative ones.

The presentation portion of the Forums also included additional advice about: marketing rental homes, taking advantage of the many features available on our site (most of them free), helpful management techniques, how to take advantage of social media, and accessing the many resources available to our homeowners through our site. The Brewster and Wellesley presentations concluded with a “sneak peek” at a proposed new website enhancement scheduled for activation this winter.

In addition to the presentation given by owners and staff, plenty of time is always set aside afterwards for a “Q and A” time, during which homeowners can ask both our staff and fellow homeowners for advice about specific issues or share helpful techniques or experiences with one another. Year after year, this and the ability afterwards to socialize with our staff and fellow homeowners continue to be of great value to Forum attendees.

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About the author

Elizabeth Weedon

Elizabeth Weedon - Although I’ve worked for since 2008, I’ve been a loyal homeowner on the site since early 1998, just a few months after the website was launched by the Talmadges. I grew up summering on the Vineyard and managed my family's rental home there since the mid-1980’s. I’m passionately devoted to the Vineyard – and to WeNeedaVacation, which I credit with enabling me to hold onto the special property that has been in our family for nearly a century. An enthusiastic member of the WNAV Homeowner Support Team, I endeavor to keep my finger on the pulse of the Cape and Islands vacation rental industry so that I can provide homeowners advice about how to ensure their booking success with us. With owner Joan Talmadge, I am also responsible for editing and writing much of the text on our website, our monthly newsletters, and Homeowner Blog posts.