strategies to boost vacation rental inventory in 2022
January 11, 2022

Vacation Rental Inventory Growth Strategies for 2022

The vacation rental industry in many markets is riding high on the successes of 2021, including continued high demand. And as we mentioned in our 2022 VRM predictions, that high demand means stiff competition for available inventory. You can implement inventory growth strategies even with the ongoing disruption to the supply chain. Because there will be a shortage of resources across industries and real estate in 2021.

This means that competition for new owners with existing second or third properties is going into overdrive! For property managers, this means you’ll only have access to so many acquirable listings during 2022, and potentially beyond. So how can you grow your vacation rental inventory this year?

Consider these tips as you develop your growth strategy. 

Make Sure Your Homeowner Marketing Is Top-Notch

Attracting new homeowners is very much like attracting potential guests: it requires excellent communication, quality marketing, and branding strategies, and a deep understanding of your market and the people who own property in it. Optimize your marketing strategies in the same way you would drive direct bookings.

With a goal of creating demand to drive inventory growth through multiple channels, you will want to focus on these (and more!):

  • Be sure to have a user-friendly website that includes a robust homeowner section.
    • Provide a content-rich section for prospective homeowners that includes your services, testimonials from current and happy owners.
      • Dedicate a section of your blog to homeowner content to improve SEO.
    • “About Us” is a critical part of the information that owners will be looking for, tell the story of you, your team, and your passion for the industry, they are entrusting a valuable investment to their property manager. Always include several methods of contact including a form, email, and phone number.
    • Have a clear CTA (call to action)! This should be an easy-to-submit form to collect contact information, and then follow up right away! Sales conversions are 391% higher in the first minutes.
    • Use an exit-intent form that is specific to the page for owner lead generation, if the visitor is leaving your site, one last try to collect contact information is important. You can offer a “Homeowner Tips for Maximum Revenue” guide or similar content.
    • With all of this, speed of response is critical. Slow or no response is a deal-breaker, the owner who requests information and does not hear back is going to make an assumption that the same responsiveness applies to guests in their home.
  • Targeted ads in several channels.
    • Facebook:
      • Use both static and video if you can, with compelling testimonials, copy, images, and video. And always be authentic.
      • Target ads by demographic, and create custom and look-a-like audiences.
      • Use remarketing ads to target visitors to your Homeowner pages on your website.
    • Google/Bing Search Ads
      • These are competitive keywords that the largest and national property managers are always bidding on, in nearly every market. If you are not ranking well organically, it’s important to test search ads and determine the cost and ROI. Often this is going to be the way to generate traffic and leads until you are able to gain traction with your SEO efforts.
  • Effective communication via email, social media, and direct mail.
    • For your owner email opt-in list, create helpful and meaningful content that will help to build a pipeline for your sales efforts.
    • Direct mail will continue to help reach an audience that might not be digital, or might not be looking for you. Due to the targeting capability, the return on direct mail will remain an effective strategy for lead generation.

Build Relationships in Your Market to Grow Inventory

Make or build on your existing name for yourself in your community by showing up to local events, supporting local causes and businesses whenever possible, and building positive relationships through networking with people in similar industries, especially in the real estate space. 

  • Sponsor local events, and participate in chamber or association groups.
  • Be active in the Facebook groups for your area that are focused on residents or investors.

Create a Referral Program for New Homeowner Prospects

One of the easiest ways for vacation rental managers to increase their inventory is through word of mouth. Think of all of the adjacent connections you have in the vacation rental industry: real estate agents, insurance agents, loan officers, landscapers, and housekeeping staff. Every one of these people could be a potential referral source for you. Consider building a referral partnership with these connections for a mutually beneficial exchange of clients. 

Another great source of referrals? Happy vacation rental owners! Designing a homeowner referral program can be a great way to increase inventory growth. Make sure to advertise your referral program and offer an enticing incentive, such as preferential commission rates or the like. 

Make an Acquisition of New Properties

One of the most straightforward ways to add inventory is simply to purchase more properties. What better way to increase your vacation rental inventory than by purchasing a share of another property management company? 

That’s right—acquisitions aren’t just for the ultra-big vacation rental companies. 

There are a few ways to go about executing an acquisition. You may choose to buy shares of the company, or buy the assets (in this case, owner contracts). Or you may choose to go all the way ahead and buy the entity itself. 

Use Technology and Data to Your Advantage

If inventory growth is your highest priority, then it would behoove you to take a high-level view of your operational tasks and automate, delegate, or outsource wherever possible. Now is the time to invest in technologies like a good CMS or CRM that can manage your homeowner outreach communications and sales leads for you. Use data from your own system alongside third-party data to develop highly targeted ad campaigns. Use automated dynamic pricing tools to make micro-adjustments to the rates of your current properties to appeal to a wider range of guests. Any task that you can move off your plate is time recaptured to spend on attracting new homeowners. 

Lean into Revenue Management for Vacation Rentals

While inventory may be elusive and creating an inventory growth strategy is important, optimizing the revenue from your existing properties is something you can do immediately. If you can’t increase your earnings with new properties, then the key is to focus on how to get the most out of the properties you currently manage in the interim. Using data to make key adjustments to your rates depending on the season, your market, and the ebb and flow of demand can help you keep your occupancy high. 

Rented’s team of revenue experts analyzes data and develops a dynamic pricing strategy to get the most out of all of your listings, all of the time. Rented’s Automated Rates Tool, Art, makes adjustments easily and in batches to help you save time. Sign up for free today!

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