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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
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
vacation_rental_entrepreneurs_business_tips
5 Traits Essential To Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur In The VR World!   You’ve probably heard the saying “no risk, no reward”, right? It’s no different when it comes to your vacation rental business!   1. “You Gotta Go All In” - Commitment   If you don’t risk some money, some time, and yes, even your reputation, you won’t be able to achieve your full potential. There’s just no way.… Read More
  Sales Secret: In the world of sales, sales professionals have been trained to understand that to "sell" successfully, you'll have "to transfer a feeling." When booking a vacation, you have to get the traveler to feel excited and stir up their emotions -but how? How do you make someone "feel?" (Hitting someone on the nose to cause pain doesn't count) :) On a serious note, I'm sharing some marketing mojo… Read More
  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I wanted to provide an example of how you can use Sonic Branding and music to help drive the message home. I found that HomeAway has done just about everything right with their commercial. Compare the points I talk about in the article and see how th...

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So we hopped out of the hummer and took off on foot - here's what we saw.. Posted by Jay William on Sunday, March 12, 2017 Instantly Double Your Bookings Like I Did For This Property Manager You may have heard I was recently in Aruba. If you follow me on Facebook, I shared a few pics of the ocean view from our condo. I also posted photos of some… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Aruba looks beautiful! Jay, could you come to our villa to help us out? It would be nice to get to pick your brain ;)...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Josh Aruba was awesome! It's always breezy, friendly people and the night life was surprisingly lively! The experience allowed me to learn more about Prestige, Aruba and it created a dynamic environment for learning. Email me jay[at]villamarketers.co...

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The 6 Culprits Responsible For Slowing Down Your Vacation Rental Website   I just shared with you how to test your vacation rental website. If your website’s performance isn’t good, Google is limiting it’s visibility in their search engine results. So how do you tune up a bogged down property website, boost it’s SEO and increase bookings? I’ve had to ask myself these same questions while developing our own alternative… Read More
vacation_rental_website_speed_optimization_seo
  Domination Is In The Details Getting a vacation rental website to rank on Google successfully means you’ll have to pay attention to the details. I just wrote about the importance of tracking your vacation rental website and making yourself accountable for your site’s traffic info. That’s the first step to improving your SEO and generating direct bookings from your website. Be Accountable! My goal in writing that blog was… Read More
  • Profile photo of VacationGuy

    I got a D :(...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey John, D is still passing - lol This is an area many of us never consider but Google can give you a good boost if you speed things up to an A or B....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Just a note: just because you get an "A" doesn't necessarily mean you're doing well. What I mean is that, if you haven't made any enhancements to your website to improve it's speed,yet you're getting an A grade - you'll want to also consider if your ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Any F's? Share it with me here on the blog and I'll help you track down the issues....

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    I got an E? How do I fix it?...

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  • Cannot enter anything in the "Test Your Site" section. Is it browser sensitive?, or a glitch that needs correction?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Greg - the website tool I use is shared in the video - here is a quick link to it - https://villamarketers.wistia.com/medias/xlli8s8ypy It also explains how to read your results - Please let me know if you're able to access it. Thanks for comment...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Josh - hi there! Good to see you! There are a couple areas you want to check. You'll use tools to help fix it. One of the common issues are photos but it can be other things as well. I will break things down - in my follow up post. Good stuff coming!...

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  • Speed test link does not work...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Tim are you using this link to test your site. It worked for me. www.gtmetrix.com ?...

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

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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 :)