Effective vacation rental management is about establishing and maintaining a strong brand presence. A brand’s job today is actually quite similar to many years ago: identify what matters and share it in a meaningful way with the people who matter most. The strength of your brand is measured in that coveted prize – increased bookings. But what if you included brand advocacy and loyalty as success metrics? Let’s explore how to take your business to the next level through brand marketing.
A Look at Branding
Hubspot’s “Introduction to Brand Strategy” makes several strong points we can apply to establishing your unique vacation property rental brand. Key components of branding strategy include:
- Purpose (or mission)
- Emotional appeal
Defining Your Purpose
What is the mission of your vacation rental management business? If your full response is “make money by renting vacation properties”, it might be time to brainstorm. Your competitors likely have the same common goal: to make money. But what characteristics do your customers share? And what makes your business unique?
For instance, imagine a group of ski cabins. All properties are the same average daily rate, are the same size and are located within steps of each other. Why would a potential customer choose one property over another? And what are the needs and characteristics of that customer? Establishing a strong brand requires defining your customer profiles and then marketing your business to those customer trip types. Reach the right customers through thoughtful, targeted digital campaigns and spend less marketing dollars.
Striving for Consistency
Once your brand and marketing goals are defined, your guest communications should reflect those goals. Establish a consistent voice on your website, customer emails and guest review responses.
Kigo’s Channel Manager helps vacation rental management companies maintain brand consistency regardless if a potential guest finds you through your website or through partners like Booking.com or HomeAway.
Email correspondence should also be brand-consistent. Craft messages that reflect your unique brand values at every guest touch point. Respond to email inquiries quickly and consistently, thereby remaining at the forefront of a potential guest’s mind. A special feature of Kigo’s reservation management solution is fully customizable email, which can support your branding efforts while integrating seamlessly with your booking system.
Influencing Emotional Decisions
Planning a trip certainly involves emotional decision-making. VRMintel’s “Guest Communications: Is Your Brand at Risk?” notes: “In order to become a successful “professional host” one must develop an intimate relationship with guests – before, during and after the stay. At each stage, your brand should be front and center.”
So how do you increase bookings through emotional appeal? In short, be a human. Get to know your customer interests, concerns and needs. Your property photos or video tours should be recent, varied and high quality. Your property description should be authentic yet warm and helpful. Consider leaving personalized welcome notes in your properties that guests find upon arrival. Respond to previous customer reviews and show potential and existing guests you are sincere and engaged. The human side of vacation rental hosting is what can truly influences loyalty and doesn’t require any marketing spend. Customers will always have more than one option, and if they value the relationship with you, they are far more likely to become loyal or repeat customers.
Starting a Loyalty Program
Consider other ways to influence loyalty, such as offering a small discount for referrals or repeat bookings. It might seem like an expensive option, but the potential to create brand advocates who will help spread your business through their social media channels is likely worthwhile.
Kigo Revenue Management
Stay competitive by utilizing dynamic pricing. Kigo’s revenue management solution helps you track supply and demand in your market. It manages your occupancy rates and prices your properties according to current market conditions.
Branding for Success
Working on your brand marketing and getting to know your customers can only influence your revenue stream. Kigo’s software will help you establish and strengthen your brand. Get your free trial today.