Grow Your Vacation Rental Property Inventory
Over the last few years, vacation rentals have become the preferred way to travel—and with the onset of the global pandemic, that desire has manifested in a major booking boom. But even though occupancy rates for locally owned vacation rental management companies are skyrocketing, supply for vacation rental property inventory is low.
Jed Stevens, a vacation rental manager and co-founder of Koala Kai in Kauai, HI, says he’s already taking bookings well into 2022 as guests are working harder than ever to find places to reserve. Their bookings were up 700% for the months of March and April, compared to those same months in 2020.
We asked Jed to tell us about his action plan to add more properties to Koala Kai’s vacation rental program. Together, we came away with three clear actions to take now to grow your vacation rental property inventory.
Step 1: Target the Right Leads With Data
Every vacation rental manager has an idea of what type of properties they want to add to their vacation rental property inventory, and the types of homeowners they want to partner with. The very first step is simply establishing a list of potential properties and homeowners that match your needs and add the greatest value to your rental program.
Collecting Leads on Vacation Rental Properties
Here are three top data sources to help create a list of potential properties for your vacation rental property inventory:
- List Brokers. These brokers provide validated data that allows you to target your search by specific filters. You can create lists based on physical addresses for direct mail sends, or opted-in emails for digital campaigns.
- Vacation Rental Permit Data. Under the Freedom of Information Act, you can source a public list of vacation rental homeowners from the town or county in markets where vacation rental permits are required.
- OTA Scrape. You can use a scraping service to compile data on properties from OTAs, filtering for listings that are self-managed, or managed by competitors.
Connecting With Potential Homeowners
Once you establish a list of potential properties, it’s time to start reaching out to homeowners. Jed says that Koala Kai prefers homeowners who want to:
- Offset their costs and use their property frequently
- Maximize their revenue from short-term rentals
By partnering with Vintory to create an email campaign, Koala Kai grew their business by 100 percent and signed two new deals. “The initial email campaign was wildly successful, and then we got more business from that business,” says Jed.
Step 2: Convert More Leads With the Right Technology
You may find yourself struggling to truly invest the time and resources needed to increase your vacation rental property inventory. This isn’t uncommon—many industry experts don’t have the bandwidth to do the research, or the experience to create and execute a lucrative marketing campaign to attract new homeowners.
A great way to save some time on your end is to invest in a solid Customer Relationship Management system, or a CRM, to manage your outreach and lead generation for you. The built-in AI and marketing automation help you convert more leads while you focus on daily operations. The upfront work of customizing your desired workflows means half the effort later.
Some popular CRM choices in the vacation rental industry include:
- Salesforce. This well-known CRM scales well and offers a lot of customization.
- Hubspot. Another popular choice, particularly for smaller teams.
- Vintory. The only CRM on the market specifically built with vacation rental managers in mind.
Step 3: Grow Your Business Beyond the Numbers
Growing your business isn’t just about increasing your vacation rental property inventory. It’s also about engaging with your community—both in the industry and where your rentals are located!
Joining MeetUps or LinkedIn forums with fellow property managers, industry experts, and thought leaders offers a foundation of community, technology, and expertise you need to create an effective growth strategy.
Participating in the local community where your vacation rentals are located is another way to get yourself in front of potential homeowners. This might look like sponsoring or participating in community events, or offering scholarships, monetary donations, or donated stays.
Engaging with your community can mean:
- More time to focus on business operations and guest relations
- Less stress worrying about when the next lead will come in through the door
- New expertise and insights from across the industry will lead to a greater ROI
- A supportive community and invaluable network of industry contacts
Hear more about how industry leaders are boosting their vacation rental property inventory with our recent webinar, “Acquisition Strategies to Make Inventory Growth Consistent and Successful.” Watch now>>
This guest post was written by Brian Riggs, co-founder of Vintory, the only CRM specifically designed to support vacation rental property managers plan and execute their acquisition strategies. Learn more here.