What you don’t know CAN hurt you, short term and long term. When it comes to owning a vacation rental, there are pivotal considerations you need to make of any vacation rental sales company you’re thinking of hiring — whether you’re a first time owner or you have multiple properties.
How many of these might apply to you?
Does Size Matter?
A handful of individuals assume that the larger a vacation rental sales company is, the better it’ll be for them as homeowners — because of course, that firm is successful, right? Often, that’s far from the truth. Nonetheless, rental sales companies with large numbers of properties too often treat you the same way: like a number.
That’s not just unfortunate; it is rude and wrong. Your investment deserves personal attention, from an assigned sales associate — someone who is passionate about your property and understands how to best sell itsomeone who understands you and the amount of service you expect; someone you can have a relationship with built on trust. Ask who you’ll be working with, and ask to satisfy her or him.
You are Afraid to Change Horses Midstream
This applies to anyone who’s purchased a home or condo that’s already in a rental program, or anyone who’s been with the same firm for a number of years. The notion of change can be, well, frightening — you are afraid you may lose future bookings or long-term customers by making a switch.
Don’t be. Just do your research. Find a rental sales company that (see above) will bring a personal, passionate approach to you and your sales.
Armed with this, along with an aggressive sales and marketing program, your new vacation sales team should be able to maintain most if not all of your current bookings — by being proactive, positive and personable when reaching out to your existing customers, while adding new ones.
In addition, don’t ever allow the rental sales firm you’re currently contracted with suggest that you will”lose all your future bookings” if you cease to work with them — that’s just intimidation and unprofessional.
Ask If They Have a Plan — Or Even a Clue
When interviewing rental sales companies, make it a must to ask them to explain or outline their marketing plan — for their company and your property. Odds are, you’ll be surprised at the variety of answers you get. What you want to hear is:
We have an annual strategic plan for both our company and your property.
We integrate our marketing efforts to reach potential renters of your home via a handful of high-performing digital means, including: website; search engine marketing and retargeting; e-marketing; professional photography and videography; professional writing; social media; multiple sales channels (such as Home and Away, VRBO, etc.) that they manage for you; even employment of a professional branding or marketing agency with expertise in vacation rentals.
We can supply you statistics, analytics and testimonials to back this up.
What you don’t want to hear is: “Ah, well, um, you know, we do stuff, trust us.”
Ask If They Have an Incentive Program That Rewards Them for Sales.
According to the site Larger Pockets (a real estate investing system ), a vacation rental owner may expect to pay 25% or more in commissions to the sales rental company.
Make sure you ask about not just commissions, but also incentives — does the company have performance goals that will reward them (and you!) For increasing your rental revenues? You want the answer to be: Yes!
It’s What You Know, and Who You Know
It’s true in life, and it is true in the vacation rental sales business. After you get past the”what they know,” be sure to ask”who they know” — in other words, what kind of networks and connections does the company bring to marketing your home, helping to increase your rental earnings and profits. Key influencers you want to look for are:
Affiliated entities such as resorts, restaurants and attractions (and the chance to leverage those outlets to help create more rentals for you and provide a much better vacation experience for your clients).
A preferred group of real estate professionals that are always fielding inquiries about vacation rentals, and who can refer potential renters to your sales team.