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So you've just enhanced your presentation by redesigning your old vacation rental website. You created a fresh new design with a better look and feel. Great job on getting that completed! But what if designing a new website cost you big? Let’s say, $10,000 in lost income. Pretty steep, huh? It could potentially cost even more for larger earning vacation rental businesses. And I'm not referring to how much it… Read More
I can tell you from firsthand experience, there are groups of “grammar police” who’ll shout you out when they see you’ve used a word incorrectly. It may even be one of your competitors! The more content you write, the more chance for error. And unfortunately, there may be people who will try to make you look stupid. I don't know about you, but I just can’t afford to give anyone… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Thank you Jay for the walk through. I skimmed through the tools but it was clearer how they all worked together after watching the video. I must admit I have sent responses to inquiries and later realized there was a typo. It eats away at your profes...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Super Josh - tightening up your email templates is a great way to put these tools to work. They can be a great aid to those who don't have a copywriter on their team. Typos slip by even big brands and businesses, sometimes people just don't see them ...

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How To Overcome The Fear Of Travelers Have you ever felt a traveler was even a little bit nervous about making a payment or deposit? When you sense that vibe, don’t taint the deal by taking it personally. Their uncertainty is just a sign that you haven’t yet fully earned their trust. If you react, rather than respond to their insecurity, it shows a lack of professionalism on your part… Read More
artificial intelligence vacation rental hospitality marketing
In 2018, artificial intelligence will affect your vacation rental business whether you embrace the technology or not. When you hear about artificial intelligence, or AI, you may think of movies like I, Robot or The Terminator where the heartless machines turn their backs on the human race. But no matter your opinion of AI, there’s no denying that artificial intelligence is here to stay.  By 2025, the artificial intelligence market will… Read More
  • Profile photo of Break Away

    I love the ideas Jay. I'm excited to give some of my work to the robots. Anything to make the marketing and managing easier! Very forward thinking!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    My assistant Marisol loves that I am using Alexa to do some of the things she used to help me with like reminders, setting meetings and making payments. She's now able to work on more meaningful things. It just takes a little time to set up the voice...

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What's going on in the vacation rental world? HomeAway is at it again with pricing changes! The Expedia-owned, multi-billion dollar company has announced a new pricing structure that will raise the listing subscription fee by 25%. Beginning in March 2018, one HomeAway listing subscription will cost $499- that's a $100 jump from the current cost. Upsetting, but that's not what's really stirring the pot. HomeAway also announced a new policy… Read More
The law of supply and demand states that generally, a low supply and high demand will increase the price of a product. So our goal today is to help you translate your offer to travelers as being “low supply.” If you do this, you’ll raise demand, interest, and yes, even your rental rates. If you don’t differentiate your vacation rental from others, travelers will perceive your property as one of… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tom McCauley

    Makes sense to us...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Tom - Glad the message landed :) Great to hear from you!...

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  • Profile photo of Joseph

    Sorry, Jay, I'm just coming across this article. Really great info and ideas you're sharing. I've been doing marketing/branding for over 20 years and it NEVER ceases to amaze me how the same sales tactics translate from product to product. You've ins...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey there Joseph, better late than never ;) Glad you've stopped in. All the sales techniques do work for vacation rentals. It's our job to teach people how to use them in a relatable way in this market. The big BUT is, this is a business where much o...

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Trust is an objection that we must overcome As more managers and owners are leading people away from listing sites and onto their own vacation rental websites, they need to immediately show force with blaring trust signals. Why? Well, some owners have shared with me how they’ve had spooked travelers when asked to pay outside of a vacation rental listing site. In fact, an owner just shared with me how… Read More
  • Profile photo of Break Away

    Nice post! Trust is important for any transaction. I appreciate the resources you've shared. I am going to research how I can get involved with our Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau in the Smoky Mountains. Keep the tips coming! Thx J...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Cameron, a big welcome! There is definitely more to come!...

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  • That's sucks to have a traveler find your website then ask to book through VRBO. Smh...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I know right! We have to work extra hard on creating trust. But this trust needs to be created upfront and baked into everything we do. Including these badges on our websites will help fight back against that fear these sites are instilling in travel...

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breakawayvr-vacation-rental-website-launch
BreakAway Is More Than A Listing Site! The last several months have been an insane hustle! Developing our vacation rental listing site BreakAwayVR was a HUGE project- challenging and, at times, frustrating. I wanted to push it out sooner, but I couldn't until it was ready. The team and I have broken many nights while working on BreakAwayVR, so you can imagine how ecstatic I am to finally announce…Today we are officially launching BreakAwayVR! It's a big… Read More
The instant booking model is the one that everyone prefers, with the exception of a few. In a Skift article, Andrew McConnell from Rented.com called those few “the minority.” He stated it’s an illusion that people are in revolt against online booking. Here are his exact words: “You get a very vocal minority [objecting to instant booking], which gives the sense that everyone is in revolt,” says Andrew McConnell. “In… Read More
  • So many apples and so many oranges here. 1. Online booking does not necessarily = instant booking; one still can book online with X number of hours confirmation (if on the OTA platform). 2. also, for example, if someone submits inquiry via my websit...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Andrews view is slanted his business is focused on property management companies and leans on the side of larger companies with more inventory obviosly. Property managers dont feel the same way about instant bookings as owners do. They want us, owne...

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  • I second BlueMountain Lodges comments below. I am online bookable also, just not through VRBO, et al... so I'm sure they don't consider me online bookable as I do it outside their "system", I email, answer questions, and visit on the phone with my po...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Wendy! They have been making small changes over time that now looking back- we know have a led us to this point. How long will it be until we only have the option for instant bookings? We are following a model not of VRBO but of Expedia where all ...

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  • I agree Josh....

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  • NO, I have not accepted and never will accept the 10% fee of Expedia. That money needs to go to the people cleaning the house, to upgrading the website, to newer linens or furniture, to fresh flowers or orchids or wine for the Guests, to an organizat...

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  • I too concur! Thanks for calling this out and giving us the opportunity to speak in contrast of what is being said. If lies are consistantly repeated they become true at least to some and we need to let others know not to be swayed by this. DO NOT gi...

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  • Consider the source of the quote of what most people want. Someone who works for a company with 0 inventory/product. What is more telling is what most owners want. Most owners don't want to let anyone that can pay have free reign over what is at min...

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  • Nope, haven't given up. As small as we are, on a distant Caribbean island. 14-20 wks per year is our goal. The corporate giants do forget we don't have the same goals as they do and some of their inventory hosts might have. For us to book every nig...

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  • I agree too...

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  • They should ask the question right. What they ask tavelers ' do you prefer instant book?" of course most will say "yes". Now, if they asked "do you still prefer to instant book if it costs you 10-15% more above the listed price", I bet you in over ...

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  • Profile photo of Rose William

    I find very FEW of my guests want instant on line bookings! Most new guests want to establish a relationship with the owner to get a "feel" if the property they are interested in reserving matches what they want! That can only happen with a convers...

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  • Andrew forgets that each complaint represents hundreds of others who feel exactly the same but don't voice their opinions. Expedia is holding us hostage and I don't like if one bit. The day will come when they'll collect and keep our money until afte...

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  • Online booking is one thing, and instant booking is just ramping up online booking. Statistically, at least for my property, online bookings happen about 1 in 7 inquiries, and instant booking happens 1 in 20. Most people still inquire, ask questions ...

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  • There's no reason, with the digital tools available today, that an engaged owner can't offer that 'instant booking' option from other direct marketing with the added bonus of a personal touch. I think for every guest that wants instant booking there'...

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  • Profile photo of Pamela

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ca10a4819be7c701fcb37a365ad826be45c28e2973eed2e8ff2f21eef7b1242.jpg If things weren't bad enough Homeaway is not refunding service fees to guests due to a cancellation if the owner holds onto a cancellation fee...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Andrew's comment was a strong statement to make without data to back up that claim. I tagged Andrew, in hopes that he would clarify his thoughts for us. . If he cant provide data it might just be #FakeNews With this coming from a VR executive in the ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Here's another comment from an owner - "It's the new business model. Sorry people but the old way of doing short term rental is going away. The younger crowd prefer the easy and quick click to book without the interaction."...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Jay what you have shown me is that we as owners aren't on the same page. How are we supposed to win a "fight" when we arent really all willing to fight?...

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  • HomeAway/VRBO (Expedia) rates owner's higher on the search list if they are doing online booking. Many of my clients often pay by check to avoid the "joy of booking online" fee. Travelers are looking to save dollars and 10% relates to a very nice ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Exactly! ...

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  • Jay, but is the "younger crowd" are customers? Do I really care what a 18 year old 'prefers" because by the time he/she is 40 and finally becomes my customer, his/her preferences may change? And by the way why was my post deleted?...

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  • Jay - Thank you for the mention. A lot of good comments here, but want to start with the data as that seems to be a concern. According to HomeAway surveys, presented at VRMA conferences and others, over 90% of guests when questioned state they prefer...

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  • I do not think we need to "fight" OTAs per se, it is pointless. let them do their thing, as we disentangle and become less and less dependent on them. Use them when it suits you, don't use when it does not. I am sure OTAs will work fine for "commodi...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Good points Victoria! I agree we as individuals have to do what is right for our investment property. I think the fight is not so much against the OTA's but rather a fight for survival. We have to make adjustments and evolve our businesses if we are ...

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  • Sorry, but I have to disagree with your statement, "Guests are the primary customer for HomeAway"...could not be further from the truth. We, THE OWNERS, are the primary customer for Homeaway...we were there first! Without owners, Homeaway has no bu...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey there Andrew, thank you for taking the time to participate in the conversation!...

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  • Chris, just to clarify, I was not saying Guests should be the primary customer. I was just making the observation that given their business model, the sheer numbers on the guest side, and the fragmentation involved, in reality, that is who the busine...

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  • Andrew, do you know HOW the questions was asked? Is it a secret that one can get any "survey" results they want based on how the question is posed? I have example before. Were they asked " do you prefer to book now" (whatever definition of "now" s )...

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  • Profile photo of Pamela

    Well Jay you finally picked a topic of interest to everyone. 32 comments. Pretty good when many blogs are never responded to....

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  • Have to add a few thoughts here and there is no simple answer, its far more complex than a yes/no. We have lots of data and surveys and information and spoken to many guests and managers. Each rental needs separating into categories to understand t...

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Tools to Optimize a Vacation Rental Website   Over the next several posts we’ll cover 8 areas that are often overlooked when developing a vacation rental website. What we’re talking about are issues most people aren’t aware of. You may not realize these issues exist, and how they could be costing you bookings. They can also affect other areas of your business. In this post, I’ll share the # 1… Read More

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29 FREE & CHEAP TOOLS TO DEVELOP YOUR INDEPENDENCE AND BRING IN BOOKINGS!

FREE DOWNLOAD - GET THE BREAKAWAY KIT NOW - ($49 VALUE)

Don’t worry! We don’t spam :)