How to Grow Your Property Inventory
You want to grow your vacation rental property inventory— but you keep attracting the wrong type of homeowner.
You want to attract high-quality properties to sign with your management company, but you don’t have a solid plan in place for how to make it happen.
To make matters worse, your current roster includes too many of the wrong kind of short-term rental homeowner.
There’s the one that uses their house all the time— making it nearly impossible to rent. Then there’s the homeowner with the amazing house that only wants to rent it out in the slow season. There’s the one that is only interested in long-term rentals. Then there is the homeowner that simply refuses to update their rental home, no matter how worn and threadbare it’s become.
You keep attracting these types of high-maintenance, low-return homeowners— over and over again.
As a property manager, you want homes in your inventory that are going to generate avalanches of booking money and commissions. And wave after wave of happy, repeat guests.
You want to trim the fat (aka your underperforming homes) and start signing some real powerhouses— pun intended. But how do you even find these unicorns? Here are some tips for making it happen.
Write an Ideal Homeowner Avatar (IHA)
Vacation rental management companies often have a plan to market to potential guests, but virtually nothing in place to market to potential new homeowners. So, it’s time for a plan.
Sit down and really think about the perfect homeowner that you would love to sign right now. How big is their house? What sort of amenities does the house offer? How experienced are the owners with short term rentals? Do they live locally or are they remote? What kind of coffee do they drink? Okay, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.
Write down the details of the ideal homeowner that would knock your socks off to sign. Highlight as many specifics as you can. This will help you become clear and confident about your goals as you move forward.
It will also help you say “no” to the homeowners that miss the mark by a wide margin.
Identify Their Pain Points
“Pain points” is a marketing term used to identify your ideal client’s main gripe. So after defining them, ask yourself— what is my IHA’s main point of pain with their home?
Are they independently renting out their home on their own and tired of all the work? Are they not getting the return they thought they would? Are they with another agency and looking to make a change— and if so, why? What’s their biggest complaint about their current property management company?
Have an Owner Facing Blog
Most vacation rental managers have a blog that highlights their area and provides resources and local info to potential guests. The blog allows the VRM to become the authority in their area for people looking to travel there, which naturally leads to more bookings.
If you have a blog that caters to your guests, consider adding another one that specifically targets potential new homeowners in your market. It’s an easy page to add to any existing website. And with weekly posting, it will quickly make you the authority for homeowner questions and resources in your area.
Utilize SEO strategically in your owner-facing blog. Think articles like “How to Decorate your Austin Vacation Rental,” or “New Rules for Short Term Rentals in Miami- What You Need to Know.” You get the idea.
With consistent, weekly updates, you’ll soon become the go-to web page in your market for short-term rental homeowners looking for answers. This will bring new homes and clients right to your doorstep.
Send Targeted, Personalized Emails
A blanket email campaign ain’t gonna cut it here.
To truly connect with a high-quality homeowner, send a highly specific and personal email. This is where your IHA comes in handy.
Once you’ve identified your target home, email the homeowner directly. Tell them specific details about their home that you love. Address their suspected pain points and identify how your property management company would solve them. End the email with a call-to-action that asks for a meeting or a call.
The tone if this email is important. You want to be confident without being sales-y, and assertive without being pushy. It’s a tall order. For additional help with emails— contact me. I can send you some examples of ideal pitch emails to send to prospective homeowners.
Market Yourself Locally
Go the old-fashioned route and market yourself locally. But don’t take out any ads in newspapers— we’re not going that old school.
Instead, write a guest column for your area’s online travel magazine. Be interviewed on a local TV news channel. Ask to be a guest on a popular podcast for your city— or a national vacation rental podcast. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these propel you into “expert” status in your area. And get new clients knocking at your door.
Property managers, it’s just as important to market to potential homeowners as it is to market to your guests. If your goal in the next few months is to increase your property inventory and sign some high-performing homes, then give this task the time and attention it deserves.
Growing your home inventory with these organic methods is a great way to increase your vacation rental business at a scale that is comfortable and achievable for you.
To help save time, outsource your emails and owner-facing blog posts to a professional copywriter who knows vacation rental marketing inside and out and can get you the results you’re looking for.
These are just a few tips to get you started on signing more high-quality homeowners. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my website www.wendybixby.com for more VR marketing info.