3 Owner Acquisition Strategies for Your Vacation Rental Business
A vacation rental management business can only be successful if your company has properties to manage, but sometimes finding property owners can seem challenging. You cannot always expect that owners will seek you out, and often you will need to approach them and offer your services if you want to build your property management portfolio. At Vacation Rental University, we have put together a series of lessons (over 16 hours’ worth) of tried and tested owner acquisition strategies that will help you add new properties to your portfolio. Listed here are just 3 things you can do today to help your vacation rental business grow. Remember — if you’re not growing … you’re dying.
1. Direct Mail
In our world of smart phones, social media, and the abundance of internet marketing, there is no arguing that the world is rapidly becoming digitalized. However, even though we are surely moving toward a more digital world, direct mail campaigns are still very relevant and valuable (almost novel) marketing tools that should not be overlooked. Just like social media — if you create quality content and follow a consistent schedule, mailers are still a great strategy for gaining new properties. We have seen so much success come from doing direct mail campaigns, and we still see it today. Direct mail marketing is a relatively inexpensive (when correctly targeted) and very effective way to gain properties for your property portfolio, and at Vacation Rental University we have put together extensive examples and lessons on how to build successful campaigns.
2. Ask for Referrals
As a vacation rental manager, you have been providing your property owners with a valuable and quality service, so asking them to refer you to other homeowners in their network can be a great way to grow unit count. Asking for referrals costs you virtually nothing and can be a reliable way to gain properties — it is sad that many people neglect to ask for them! You can approach this in several ways, either by offering an incentive for referrals (cash or other items), or just simply reaching out to your owners to ask them to refer you to others in their building, neighborhood, or network. You might be surprised by how many owners would be happy to do this because they know that you offer quality service, often they just may not think to recommend you without you asking them.
3. Hire a Full-Time Salesperson
If your marketing campaigns and owner referrals are not working fast enough, hiring a well-trained, commission-only, qualified salesperson could give your business the boost it needs. Having an advocate who is dedicated to owner acquisition is a great way to rapidly grow your property portfolio, and if you are serious about growing your business but busy managing the day to day, it is the only way to go. A salesperson’s priority is to pitch and sell to vacation rental owners and grow your property portfolio, especially if you only pay them on commission. Taking the pressure of owner acquisition off yourself will free up time for you to better manage your business (delivering on promises of great service), while a professional salesperson is finding new properties for you to manage.
If you decide to go this route, make sure that you hire someone on a commission-only basis and consider having that salesperson be responsible for some of the expenses or at least meeting a certain level of production within a budgeted amount of marketing dollars. Not paying a salary will protect your business, but it will also ensure that you are hiring someone confident in their ability to sell. Also, whoever you hire needs to be knowledgeable and experienced in the vacation rental industry (or at least willing to learn before they get started). They also need to be fully versed and behind your company’s vision and mission. A good salesperson needs to know their product if they hope to succeed. Homeowners are trusting you with their investments, and your salesperson is the first interaction owners have with your company. If their initial contact doesn’t have answers to their questions, they will not be able to trust your vacation rental company to manage and care for their property.
If you are serious about growing your vacation rental business, focusing on developing owner acquisition strategies is essential for you. These are just 3 ways for your vacation rental business to grow and gain properties to manage, and at Vacation Rental University we can give you more in-depth help, ideas, and examples of how to approach this important task with over a dozen hours of video content. Join our community of REALTORS, vacation rental managers, and industry leaders to learn effective ways to grow your business and succeed in this industry.