The Vacation Rental Show Helps Travelers Choose Wisely

 

Not all vacation rentals are created equally. Choosing the ideal rental can often be a convoluted process involving many variables that are unbeknownst to the average travel. Thanks to Matt Landau this process is now simplified.

Best Place to Buy Alli Online Reviews follow link Prescription Needed for Plavix Actonel Online Without Prescription Don’t miss a beat! Click HERE to become a BELLA Insider!

Landau, host of The Vacation Rental Show, takes viewers on a fun, informative and often zany journey through the world of vacation rentals. Watch as he joins in a pig festival on a cliff in Bali, duals with Swedish dancers in Lindsborg, forages with local guides in Bowen Island and connects with each host across the globe. Presented by Booking.com, The Vacation Rental show is the first to focus on the booming vacation rental market. Landau uses his unique expertise in the industry to demystify the experience and show viewers the truly unparalleled adventures unlocked by vacation rental hosts. The Vacation Rental Show doubles down on experiential travel and helps usher the once-cottage industry into the mainstream.

Getting his start as a travel journalist for the largest travel agency in Costa Rica, Landau found himself presented with an opportunity to enter the vacation rental market as an entrepreneur. Eager to make it a success, and with a degree in economics, he was obsessive about documenting his journey: what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly, why.

VRMB (Vacation Rental Marketing Blog) was born when Landau began sharing those tips with other owners and managers to create the first forum and learning platform for vacation rental owners just like him. In ten years time, VRMB now averages 30,000 motivated visitors per month and the Inner Circle (VRMB’s private community) has grown to over 850 members.

Landau recently discussed the vacation rental market.

* What are the most important things that travelers should look for when deciding to book a vacation rental?

When deciding to book a vacation rental, travelers should first look for safety and cleanliness. Any doubts about either of these two things and the property should be skipped. The next thing to look for is accuracy in photos and descriptions: Upon arriving, will the vacation rental be as-advertised? The best place to gauge this is by reading guest reviews: Did guests seem to get what they paid for or were they underwhelmed? Next, look for the layout of the property itself: since all vacation rentals are different, seeing the floor plans helps a lot (Don’t see floor plans? Ask for them). Lastly, beneath it all, travelers should look for great personality in a host. A host who has shared a bit about themselves in their marketing and a home that plays a unique role in their lives are the kinds of personal stories that seem to rub off on visitors and make for a more meaningful vacation.

* What do travelers who book rentals need to avoid?

Because the vacation rental market has grown so quickly over the years and the process of becoming a manager has become so easy, there exists a wide spectrum of professionalism. Travelers need to avoid hosts who view the process solely as a hobby and not a professional business. This can manifest itself in a number of red flags. For example, if a host isn’t willing to invest in professional photos of the property, they’re probably not serious. If a host hasn’t taken the time to share their story and uploaded a clear and current photo of themselves or their team, they’re probably not fully invested. If a host isn’t willing to answer questions quickly and honestly, they’re probably not a great fit (poor communicators don’t do well in hospitality). I always suggest travelers do a basic Google search using the name of the vacation rental itself. If the search yields various results singing in unison, the business is likely well-established. Whereas if the search yields negative results (or worse, doesn’t yield any results at all) the vacation rental might be new or unproven. And lastly, as vacation rental laws are still new to many places around the world, travelers should avoid vacation rentals that are operating illegally. If the permitting is not clear, simply ask. And simply avoid any host who appears to be dodging the law.

* How can travelers ensure that their rental is up to their standards in terms of amenities?

Because all vacation rentals are different and industry-wide standards are still forming, the description section of a property listing is usually the best place to ensure what’s included for that particular stay. Vacation rental listing descriptions vary greatly compared to a conventional hotel room or B&B. In the best instances, vacation rental managers will use the description area to specify thread count sheets, specialty soaps or the newly installed hot-tub or gas grill. Oppositely, a vacation rental manager that doesn’t articulate all the amenities in their description section isn’t putting forth the effort and should be avoided. Not unlike any new product or service that you’re trying for the first time, if you’re not sure whether an amenity is included in your vacation rental, just ask. Responsiveness can tell a lot about a vacation rental host.

* Why is a home rental advantageous for large groups?

Vacation rentals are at their best when hosting large groups because they check off three aspects of a great vacation. First, vacation rentals don’t break the bank. As opposed to booking multiple rooms at a hotel (plus additional fees for parking, WiFi, and the like) vacation rentals are almost always the more cost-effective choice for a group. Second, vacation rentals have kitchens. Going out to eat every meal while on vacation can get exhausting, which is why the vacation rental kitchen is worth its weight in gold. Third, when traveling with a group, a vacation rental’s common areas may be its greatest allure. The privacy and space to enjoy one another’s company (without getting into each other’s hair) leads to vacation memories, the most valuable objective of them all.

* What are the main criteria for becoming a vacation rental host?

The only two criteria for becoming a vacation rental host are 1) having access to a property and 2) having the desire to become a vacation rental host. This low barrier to entry has cultivated an unexpected generation of tourism professionals who, with no training or formal experience, are brewing and sharing their versions of hospitality with the world. This accessibility factor about the vacation rental movement is reinventing careers, reigniting passions, repurposing assets and changing the way people connect, one stay at a time. Hosts looking to build sustainable vacation rental businesses can join VRMB’s Inner Circle Community to access training, templates and discussion forums with the most innovative owners and managers in the world.

* What are some common mistakes that vacation rental owners make when first getting into the market?

The single biggest mistake that vacation rental owners make when first getting to the market is thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake. But very quickly, the gravity of the business sets in — the realization that you’re charge of someone’s cherished vacation: the largest purchase many families make each year. At this point, new hosts begin to realize the amount of work that actually goes into a well-oiled vacation rental business and that true success does not happen overnight. A second mistake is depending too heavily on the listing sites. This can often be mistaken for overnight success, but in reality, if all the guests come from one listing site, the host is more a super-user of that platform and less an independent business owner. A good way to gauge dependence is to ask, “What happens if my listing site disappears tomorrow?” Another mistake is not clearly presenting a cancellation policy before it’s too late. The refund terms can vary greatly depending on preference, so the only wrong kind of cancellation policy is the one that doesn’t exist.

* What are the four learning stages designed to help vacation rental owners generate more bookings?

For a new industry with many definitions of success, best practices are key. The 4 Stages of Listing Site Independence by VRMB is an educational framework that provides hosts with a linear pathway to success: the chronological tactics necessary to build a vacation rental business on their own terms.

* How do vacation rentals fit into the luxury travel market?

Over the past five years, vacation rentals have been a disruption to the luxury travel market. To be clear, luxury vacation rentals are not new — private beach villas and mountain retreats have long been associated with celebrities and diplomats. But thanks to the rise of platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com, which make it easy to put a luxury home on the market, the amount of supply has blossomed, prices have come down and the quality in services has risen significantly. This level of access to the local communities is, to many travelers, the new luxury.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.