Vacation Rental Managers and Owners: Homeaway and The Fork In The Road

Homeaway fork in the road

The post VRMA mailer we received from Homeaway makes the pitch to new Homeaway Software customers:

*Special Offer* First come, First come, first served only 5 contracts qualify for the amazing value, act now before your competition does !”

........this is your fork in the road.  

 

Who is really my competition ?

  • The small VRM down the street
  • the VRBO in our neighborhoods
  • the operators looking to buy our home owners

 

In our local area, we meet monthly with our “competitors” to discuss market issues and find ways to work cooperatively.  We understand our competition is not local.  I go into greater detail here (link to elephant in the room).   Playing us off each other as “competitors” has been a very successful model for these incumbents.  If you want to stay competitive in the future, you may want to recognize who really is your competition.

 

Our competitive advantages

Community

At our core, we are a community of service oriented vacation rental businesses, a fact that will not change anytime soon.  It’s time to start understanding the power you have in working together at the local level.  I know some of you reading this are thinking, “I don’t trust my competitors down the street”.  The fact that we don’t work together is exactly why they make *special offers* to your competitors ..…think about that for a minute.  You have more trust in a faceless entity than you do a colleague down the street ...and they know this.   You spend thousands of dollars traveling to vacation rental manager conferences to meet your colleagues in other states to exchange ideas.  Why would you give up that competitive advantage once you get home?

Local Brand awareness

The changes in the coming months will be dramatic for some….others will be happy until the next set of changes. Remember, you are not the customer - you are the product.   If you give up any of these three items you are no longer in control of your business:

 

  1. Brand
  2. Guest communication
  3. Marketing

 

Seek out local and regional sites that reinforce your Brand to the traveler.  You might be surprised at the results :)

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