Vacation Rental Managers and Owners: How Are Vacation Rentals and Hotels Similar ?

How Are Vacation Rentals and Hotels Similar ?

As someone who has experienced both sides of these unique markets segments, I find that understanding the similarities is helpful in growing and maintaining a vibrant vacation rental business.  For all the talk of how different vacation rentals are to hotels, it might be constructive to understand and learn from the similarities. I will break it down into two main pillars:

Physical Assets (Hard Goods) : Be it hotels or vacation rentals each has it's own character, levels of service and environments (beach, mountain, city etc).  Each serves a different market segment and adopts to those physical assets.  For vacation rentals the tasks is more consultative in cases where an owner is involved.  These are huge investments in time and money regardless of size.  

Marketing Assets (Soft Goods): Hotels and vacation rentals each represents a unique brands.  The end goal for either segment is leveraging your brand to achieve high guest retention.  Critical to these efforts are building a one-to-one relationship with each guest that comes in contact with your brand.  More importantly, is building brand awareness for those who do not convert.

What can we learn from Hotels: Most of what we can learn from hotels is how they approach marketing and managing their brands.  Part of brand management is managing your inventory (rooms or properties).  Hotels are very proactive in managing their brands positioning in the marketplace.  They can exert control of the brand by controlling inventory (asset) with the OTA’s.   This coupled with the unique attributes of the hard and soft goods keeps them in control of the guest experience.   Matt Landau calls this the Listing Site Curve, learn more about it here.    As we know, booking a vacation rental is not a one phone call proposition.  This represents an “emotional” buy, as the consideration for family vacations are just like vacation rentals, unique.  

Who owns your brand and inventory ?

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