It’s not just another stay….
By now you have read the great news of Choice Hotels getting into the industry. It provides another proof point on the evolution of the industry and why more than ever it is important to position your brand in the marketplace. You have made investments in your website, content and property data ...share those assets wisely.
My hotel background taught me the benefits of protecting brand, inventory and “tending the garden” that is your guest interactions. The hotels understood that allowing someone else to represent their brand equals “brand dilution”..... everything else cascades downhill from there.
My introduction to vacation rentals was a textbook lesson in why “similar” industries comparison are dead wrong. Unlike hotels, vacation rentals are not defined by category, decor or amenities. The traveler invest much more time and effort in securing a property for his/her family, group or event. The investment is made equally by the property manager who is the source of providing a positive vacation experience to the traveler. The success of the property manager is unquestioned ...it gave birth to a multi billion dollar industry.
Details, Details, Details
Travelers looking to book a hotel can do so in under 5 minutes and with minimal clicks. That same traveler looking for a vacation rental can spend hours if not days making this decision. One of the biggest factors in achieving the bookings is the Professional on the other end of the line. Despite what you might hear from other sources, many of the travelers do not just “book”. They require a level of education and security before making the booking. Expectations are high with every guest contact regardless of where they are in the booking cycle….unlike hotels , they are venturing into the “unknown”.....this is the opportunity to make a customer for life. This begins and ends with your brand.
Service excellence matters
The ability to service the guests and exceeding expectation is what has driven the industry to this level. In this new paradigm the stakes are even greater due to the vast amount of inventory that is flooding the market. The only thing that separates your business from the herd is your brand and service delivery. One common pattern we see in successful vacation rentals businesses is their ability build intimacy through their brand. This effort allows them to attract and retain business for many years to come.
Building a trusted brand
One of the most difficult parts of managing any business is creating a circle of trust. No other industry proves this better than ours. Success in this business means you have managed to build a circle of trust with your homeowner's, vendors, team and guest. Keep these things in mind the next time someone tries to tell you that hotels and vacation rentals are the same.
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