March 11, 2022
Share Your Story: Building Your Vacation Rental Management Brand
Have you ever stopped to think about how your vacation rental management business is perceived by your audience? Do they know who you are? Do they understand where you’re coming from? Do you offer reasons for audiences to see you as an expert in your field? Do you offer proof of your expertise?
One of the best ways to build your vacation rental management brand is to share your story—who you are, how you operate, why you got into the industry in the first place. When your audience feels like they know you and can relate to you, it builds trust, encourages engagement, and eventually spurs action.
Here are a few ways to effectively tell your story and help build your vacation rental management brand.
What Do We Mean by “Brand”?
The term “brand” gets thrown around a lot these days, so much so that it might start to ring hollow. Sometimes it gets confused with the marketing strategies vacation rental management companies use, or the logo that shows up on towels and pens and sticky notes.
When we say brand, we mean two things:
- What drives your business and defines your decisions, such as mission statements and company value statements.
- The unique experience that you provide to your consumer—be it guests, homeowners, or employees—and the perceptions that they derive from that experience.
The combination of these two elements builds a vacation rental management brand: a relatable entity that consumers feel moved or inspired by. And this is particularly critical to your business when it comes to driving actions online. A really great brand can inspire guests to book, owners to work with your management team, and employees to apply for jobs.
So where better to hone your brand story than on your own website?
First Impressions Are Everything
Since getting traffic to your website is a big deal, you want to keep visitors clicking through, performing actions that eventually lead to a “sale” whether that’s booking a stay, calling to learn more about your property management services, or filling out an application for a job.
An easy place to start is to make sure and optimize your website. This includes good SEO practices so that search engines rank you higher in search results, and actual user experience on your website.
User experience isn’t just about how nice your website looks and how easy it is to navigate (though that is vital as well). It also means building pages that meet each segment’s needs. For example, pages for guests should include high-quality photos of the property, reviews from previous guests, and direct booking options. Pages for owners should offer detailed descriptions of your property management services with contact information.
Add an About Us Page
A really nice website will only get you so far, of course. For many people—guests, homeowners, and employees alike—they also want to know who you are, what you stand for, how you show up for your community, and why you’re passionate about short-term rentals.
If building an About Us page seems like a low priority, consider this: For many vacation rental managers, the About Us page is actually one of the most visited pages on a website.
This is especially true for vacation rental homeowners. From their perspective, picking a property management company is a big deal. Their vacation rental is probably one of their biggest assets, and they can feel quite emotional about who will manage their property.
If you think of it from that perspective, the About Us page becomes less about marketing and more about sales. You’re appealing to viewers, building your credibility as an expert in your field, and offering an opportunity for a viewer to relate to you. You can also take this opportunity to highlight your values and share your passion. With a heartfelt story about your journey, your team, and why you’re here, plus an enticing CTA, you’ll keep visitors engaged and entice them to go deeper into your website.
If you take the opportunity to share why you got into the business to begin with, who your team is, and with a CTA to call in, you can keep an owner reading.
Shoutout Your Team
You wouldn’t be where you are without your team, right? The story of your team and the work that you do together helps build your vacation rental management business brand. So where appropriate, give your team the props they deserve.
You can do this in a variety of ways (always with respect to your employees’ privacy), but highlighting their strengths either by acknowledging them as a group or as individual contributors creates a selling point for your brand.
And, where and when possible, put a face to the company. Professional-looking, high-quality headshots and group photos can add a human element to your company, reminding guests, homeowners, and employees alike that there are people who make this business what it is.
Use Social to Build Trust
A key tool in building a vacation rental management business brand is social media. But vacation rental managers often use social media incorrectly. Property managers will use social media to sell their properties. For example, they’ll post images from their properties and say, “Look at this pool, you know you want to be in this pool right now, book now.”
This may come as a surprise but organic social is not about selling your product. It’s about building a relationship with your viewers and telling the story of who and why you are. So instead of, “Look at this pool, book now,” consider telling stories about WHY guests might want to book a property. This could be through reviews from previous guests, or highlighting particular features of your properties that are unique to you (like your proprietary housekeeping checklist or your high-end smart house technology).
Building your vacation rental management business brand is more about the rates you set and the logo on your towels. It’s all about the story you tell, and how your business supports both your consumers and the community at large.
Curious to hear more? Go watch our latest episode of The Art of Pricing right here.