Last week we had the privilege of attending a regional conference in Washington State. This is the second year we have attended the conference and I’m convinced it is the future of how professional hosts will exchange ideas and elevate important topics that impact our industry. The theme of the conference was about Brand and Community.
The conference attendees came from all over the Pacific Northwest, stretching from Canada to Northern California. The issues confronting our industry are common in all regions: regulatory, standardization or distribution to name a few. These passionate professionals who have built this industry and continue to serve are the best promotion on why to consider vacation rentals in your travel plans.
Back to the future
It was evident from the attendees that passions are running high when it comes to behaviors of some vendors who are attempting to insert themselves further into the transaction. It is becoming more apparent that “regionalizing” our communities benefits us all. For now, the travelers are assisting in this transition as they are pulling back from traveler fees and finding properties using alternative methods. I am excited to return to this conference next year...and bringing a few more of my “competitors” along. Keep in mind that your community is an excellent referral source. During peak periods we are constantly referring business to each other. This sends the message to the traveler that are community is united. Why not extend that invitations to our global community ?
There is a reason they want to buy your business
Many have been approached by companies looking to roll up businesses and leveraging their own brand. The challenge of adoption and acquisitions are immense. The opportunity to add a higher value to your business is a simple task of choosing your distribution wisely, making friends with social media, and aligning your brand with other quality businesses in your community. Wrap all these around great customer service and you drive multiples to your business. The one critical piece that can not be replicated is your brand. Your brand is just not your website, it’s made of the services and the people that make up the vacation experience. Others see value in your business ….shouldn’t you aim higher ?
Lack of community invites bad behavior
I continue to push “community” to every owner/manager I meet. At the conference, we received tours of other businesses and learned so much….it’s always the little things. In our own community we are committed to developing standards that will drive traveler awareness of what a professional host provides. The professionals offer the vacation experience that travelers seek. We have paid the price for allowing outside interest to divide companies in their own communities. Lack of community invites bad behavior. Take some time this week to walk or drive to your “competitor” and have a cup of coffee...you have common interest. Sure, there will be bad actors ...they will fade - they always do.