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How To Get Your Vacation Rental on Top of Google I often have owners ask me “Jay, how can you help us market our vacation rental?" As a matter of fact, I recently had an owner inquire about getting a free trial to see what kind of awesome vacation rental marketing services we could provide to them. Now, you know I give a lot of my stuff away for free... but unfortunately, due… Read More
  • Hi Jay, I checked Pepe's site, nicely written, not over the top keyword stuffing, but..... turn on spell checker and fix the error for the word "Supurb" on his first page.... look for it here; "All are special and perched almost on the water where t...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi there Peter, Glad to have you stop by! With Pepe we didn't design the site or create the initial text. I began with keyword reseach and then optimizing the site with SEO tags. Some of the folks updating the site for them are from Mexico, so engli...

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  • Hi Jay, thanks for the reply. We are here in the Philippines so I do understand the typo issues. We keenly look forward to all of your posts & really appreciate your "non - jargon" style of disseminating information, after all we are hospitality ...

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Vacation Rental Entrepreneur Series: Part 1 I've decided to start this series because: 1.)  It's never been done before... 2.)  I want vacation rental owners to do better and make more bookings and... 3.)  I want to help property management companies go farther than their current business structure is allowing them! So, subscribe to our blog to get the latest vacation rental business tips!   A Vacation Rental Is A Small… Read More
  • Profile photo of Megan Yelverton

    Wow, I love this post! I feel like I definitely have a better understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur. I never thought about a business owner having to learn how to work "out" of their business, because conventionally, it makes more sens...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I know Megan, this goes against everything we are taught. I always thought we are to do as much as we can in our business, boy was that thinking wrong! Thank you for sharing how this blog has helped you. I hope it has done so for others....

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  • Jay -Great article, glad that you're writing about that the Vacation Rental as a real business. Most people who invest in a vacation rental don't have a clue about the amount of work and marketing effort it takes to get a guest through your front do...

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  • The older I get Megan, the more I delegate out to other "experts". I also understand more about what "I'm good at" and "what I'm not so good at". I'll give the part of my business that "I'm not so good at" to someone who is much better at the tasks ...

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  • I find it hard sometimes to pull myself out of the work because theres always something that is needing to be done. This is a huge struggle for me but your blog Jay has reminded me how important it is to stop and think to myself, is this a task I sho...

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  • Profile photo of Megan Yelverton

    Maria, I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm learning each day that I have to learn how to turn things over, both in business and everyday tasks. We've all got our strengths and weaknesses...recognizing that is so important in being successful! ...

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  • Excellent points, Jay! Utilizing a team is important for sure....

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  • This is so true and afflicting my partner and myself right now. But, finding the right people to take over all the jobs that we do at a price that makes sense does not seem possible. Our business is too small to support a full time Australian worker ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Nick, your comments are going to play into my next posts, so I'l save some of my suggestions for then, but don't give up on this Nick, because your life and sanity count on you making this switch in your business. Its worth whatever you have to do...

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  • Thanks for the encouragement Jay....

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  • Hi Jay, very thought provoking, I like it! As someone who is 1 year in to a new business those stats scare me! But having a little "scare" is good, it forces you to focus on what really matters. Which is? Ensuring you prioritize your list of tasks...

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  • Another consideration too--It is a small business--back to staying ON it, if you're listing with the big dogs (VRBO, Flipkey, Airbnb) they create work additionally from the day to day tasks. You always need to keep up with changes they make, many th...

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  • Profile photo of Amy Blomquist

    Very timely article Jay! I am the 'chicken with its head cut off' as I wear ALL the hats in my business. I NEED to hire help!! Theoretically, I know if I out source some of the more mundane jobs (like cleaning, maintenance, getting supplies...) I can...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Andy those stats are scary and make us all aware of what the stakes are and how many people lose everyday at this game we play called Business.I believe this series hits at the core of many of the issues owners and managers face and explains why the ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Amy, I know that feeling of running around crazy all to well but part of the reason thats happening is that you're fighting against yourself and there's no way you can win that fight. If you're like me your probably the biggest problem in your vac...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thank you Maria! I wasn't sure how it would be received. I know many owners reject this idea of "business". They don't see themselves that way and I feel that some of them think they don't want to be in "business" they want to 'rent their second home...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    With a team you'll achieve the dream! Tyann, glad you liked!...

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  • Profile photo of Amy Blomquist

    Ha ha Jay! You haven't offended me yet! ;-)...

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  • Being in business since 1982 and owning my Vacation Rental for the past 15 years. I realized that I can't run a business alone, you need a team of experts who know more than you do, at skills you don't have or haven't acquired as yet. Why take the...

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  • Ha ha you're right Jay! But I would say that, for the early start up period, there is no other way - you are required to multi-task. But the same logic applies - prioritizing will help to focus you on the important goals, some of which will be workin...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Blamona a big welcome! So true, it has become such a task to keep up with these listing sites....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thanks Andy for clarifying that for everyone following and for adding value!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Update: Part 2 of The Entreprenuer series has been posted Check it out! http://www.villamarketers.com/vr-business/...

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 Vacation Rental Inquiry Tips! How Many Times Should You Follow Up with a Vacation Rental  Inquiry? Recently, we posted a step-by-step process showing you how you can make the most of your inquiries by responding to a vacation rental inquiry more quickly using a free app. In another video, we encouraged you to set a five minute rule: respond to a vacation rental inquiry within five minutes! Today, I want to… Read More
  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Has The Vacation Rental Inquiry Series helped? Should we continue it I do have more to share if you'd like, or should we retire it? I'm leaving it up to you? What do you think?...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    I have made it a top priority to respond in minutes of the inquiry and I have seen a move upwards in bookings. Please keep the vacation rental inquiry series going, I still have so much to learn. I'd like to see what other tricks you have up your sl...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Josh , thanks for sharing with us how the series has helped your bookings. I think there are still so many areas that managers and owners could use help with when it comes to responding to their inquiries. What did you think of this video?...

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  • Profile photo of Tracey

    I see that I'm quiting way too early. I'm embarrassed to say I only try one time. If they don't respond I assume their not interested. I realize that's a mistake knowing half of the people arent ready to book at the time when they're inquiring....

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  • I would like to see more of this series. This was eye opening, I would thought 5 times is too many times but you always seem to change my thinking on things like this Jay. Thanks for that. I will be more patient with people working on the trust. Whe...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Consider this; 80% of bookings occur after the 5th engagement. That's a big reason you need to follow up at least 5 times before giving up!...

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  • Jay, this really makes sense! Especially, when you consider that the people who do respond to you after the first or second attempt don't actually book until after approximately 5 emails/conversations. So, it is important to carry this logic through...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Ok, so I received a comment from Serenity Vacation Rentals on YouTube and I'm sharing it below. The last sentence is exactly why I have been working on this series for you and why we WILL keep it going! " Hi Jay - Rockin the beard now! What we...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Irene, thanks for jumping in here The key is "top of mind" , where they're reminded every so often about you, thats why email marketing works so well. You know the saying "out of sight out of mind"... remembering that will get you more bookings, co...

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  • Can't wait for more information... : )...

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  • Hi Jay, This is a great tip for vacation rental managers and I absolutely agree. Can you tell me where you got the "80% of bookings occur after the 5th engagement" and "only 20% of leads are ever followed up on statistics" from? We are big data hea...

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  Homeaway.com Worst Reviews Ever From Property Managers   Above is a snapshot I took from the HomeAway website, notice the image in the background, is Brian Sharples telling us what their strategy is... to create a  vacation rental monopoly called the VRBO-OPOLY???? LOL If you've been keeping up, you know I wrote a very popular blog titled "Will You SOON Be Paying More To Advertise On HomeAway" This post… Read More
 Vacation Rental Interior Design With Mercedes Brennan Meet a vacation rental interior design expert! Let me introduce to you one of my favorite people to work with in the VR world, her name is Mercedes Brennan. She is such a pleasure to work with. Mercedes is a gifted vacation rental interior designer AND one sharp marketer. Don't let her pretty designs fool you, shes an aggressive marketer too. She  knows… Read More
  • I appreciate Mercedes for these great interior designs of rental apartments. I also saw these type of interior designs at Paxos Glyafada Beach Villas, when I spent my vacation with family there. Interior decoration is the most important thing for an ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Doreen, thank you for your comment. I agree 1000%. There is a nearby place that I visit over and over again in a little town called Ruskin, its sort of out in the middle of nowhere not so much a "vacation spot", but we keep coming back because it fee...

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  • Profile photo of MERCEDES BRENNAN

    Hi Doreen, yes an apartment is a really good example. Apartments especially need good design to stand out from the ones next door. Thanks for commenting!...

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  • I couldn't agree more! When I look to book a VR the decor gets me every time even if I have to spend a few extra dollars. I even admit to spending $25 to $50 a night more if the VR is to my liking aesthetically (my husband never has a opinion and is...

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  • I am happy to to see Mercedes on your blog, Jay! I've been following her for awhile and love her work as both a designer and a blogger....

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  • Profile photo of MERCEDES BRENNAN

    Thanks Tyann! And what goes hand in hand with good design is good photography. The one cannot thrive without the other!...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Tyann! We think Mercedes brings a unique flavor.....she's got that rock star flair! Looking forward to seeing what else Mercedes shares with everyone. ...

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  • I have a small, brand new guest house in Nepal overlooking the Kathmandu Valley in an ancient village. I have original, Tibetan thangkas and historical masks, clean, etc. throughout. We are in full season and all the 5 stars are completely booked, bu...

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  • Profile photo of MERCEDES BRENNAN

    Hi Frugal Travels Nepal, I would love to see more of the guest house. Can you provide us a link to the house so I can take a look. It might need a little tweaking here and there. I would be happy to help....

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  • Here's my Airbnb link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2533847 I am also offering the rooms for long term retired and work-abroad expats with food, transportation and even help with obtaining a long term visa. It's very inexpensive. I have great reviews...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    @FrugalTravelsNepal Post a link to your website, I'll give you a free website review and I'll see if there are any tips I can offer you that will help your presentation....

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  • Profile photo of MERCEDES BRENNAN

    I checked out your listing, Frugal Travel Nepal and it looks like you are doing a lot right. However, give yourself a little time if you are a new rental. It takes time before people start getting to know you. Jay has some excellent marketing advice ...

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  • Would love to have a website review: www.TheCapeEscape.com...

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  • Profile photo of Charmaine

    Hi Jay, Thank you for 'following' me. I'm a bit new to Disqus, so here goes: Would you like to comment on my website? I would welcome your observations. I have read your advice on Keywords, so I will obviously have to improve! www.manoirdegurson.co...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Charmaine, welcome to the blog and to Disqus! I have an idea in mind for you, make sure you keep up to the blog, I am going to take you and Wendy (below) and do something really cool for you both, just because you responded here on the blog. Stay...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I'll be happy to help, stay tuned for a post about your website!...

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  • Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to seeing what you suggest. I know there's a lot to do here and a lovely property-well worth it....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I see the link here for the Airbnb listing but not for your personal website. I understood that you had one, if so please post the link here and I'll check it out for you. ...

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  • Yes Jay, I will take the challenge....

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expedia-homeaway-partnership
Will The Homeaway Expedia Partnership Cost You More?   Have you heard about the Homeaway Expedia partnership? Could you soon be paying more for your HomeAway bookings and subscriptions? In November of 2013, Homeaway announced an epic partnership with the travel giant, Expedia. Less than a year later, the market- shattering partnership between Homeaway & Expedia has formed.   It is beginning to take its true form, as it reshapes… Read More
  • My listing with HomeAway has dropped in placement and I've seen a noticeable decline in rentals. I've been considering dropping the listing all together. Their prices are increasing but the inquiries aren't! Frustrating...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    I do not like HomeAway's attempt to force us to automatically except on-line bookings. This is not Hotels.com. I have no security service. I have a multimillion dollar oceanfront vacation rental, not a hotel room. I am not about to turn over the k...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Larry, welcome..What an amazing property you've got, I wish I was there now! You bring up a good point about security, wonder if others feel the same. Google Adwords is not a "marketing plan" its just a component, which many of our owners don't e...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Did you turn on the booking module?...

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  • No Jay. we use our own reservation system. I've spent time setting up my system and I don't want to use theirs. ...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    Thanks so much, and yes I did look at some of your suggestions (ie. using longer search words) But the point is, using the normal search words, (people do not use a long trail of search words nomally) I do not see anything except big companies on ...

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  • Great piece. I recommend trying to promote on different portals like Tripping.com. They have an option to promote your listing if you are already on HomeAway, Flipkey or others. See it here: http://www.tripping.com/how-it-works/rentals/premium-placem...

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  • Another problem is also with "Instant Quote" it's always wrong! I have a 3 bedroom villa in Caribbean willing to rent to 2 persons, then different price for each extra bedroom DOUBLE OCCUPANCY like hotels do. VRBO doesn't allow double occupancy, n...

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  • Try airbnb.com.They kept me in guests through last winter, my first time renting. Not continuously, but enough that I could pay the utilities. I DO get bookings from Flipkey though. They are usually larger parties, primarily Summer season guests, and...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I completely understand... I have been wondering if HomeAway is working toward dominating the booking software market as they're doing with the listings. Especially since they've acquired the Glad To Have You App and now forcing owners to use their b...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hi Blamona, thats interesting...HomeAway is sending guests emails as if it were you? I too have ran into the pricing problem, several of our clients operates the same way. They charge a certain nightly rate for 2 guests and then more per person, its...

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  • Yes, our guests see emails coming as Blamona.hospitality@Homeaway.com for example, so the guests think they're coming from us owners. It asks them to download the Hospitality app-- then they get spammed to death. (welcome letters? Review requests bef...

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  • Profile photo of Sherry

    Blamona, my husband and I were just talking about the problem with the quote. We are in the Caribbean too and have the exact problem. He has spoken to Homeaway about this for years and nothing. We paid all that money for the platinum package and have...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    The Co Founder of HomeAway said this in one of my Linkedin Groups. Do you agree.... Please let your voices be heard.... they're listening! "Jay, this is rampant speculation hiding as "objective'" blogging. You should really do direct research in...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    This is my response to HomeAway Co-Founder Carl Shepherd Carl.... You're avoiding the question, which further confirms at least in my mind that owners and managers should be prepared to pay more to advertise on HomeAway and that is what this post is...

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  • I have to say, Jay, that the best rate schedule I've seen out here is Flipkeys'! While I'm not overly fond of them, they DO have a very comprehensive rate schedule in place that takes in just about everything we Owners/Property Managers would want to...

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  • I have said it on other forums and blogs - Homeaway wants too many of my bucks to gain exposure in a very competitive market (my home is in Florida) - there is no way I am going to be paying anything like that sort of money to get bookings from them...

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  • I actually got a customer rep who understood what I meant about it, because he had 3 same examples with owners in Costa Rica for the same that day--he admitted he was as frustrated as I, and was sending to whomever sets this up and asked me to do the...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    This is the response I received from Carl Sheperd, Co Founder and Chief Strategy and Development Officer at HomeAway, Inc. : "Jay, Jay, Jay. When did you stop beating your wife? That's a joke, but that's the type of "questions" you're asking her. Yo...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    My reply to HomeAway Co-founder, Carl Sheperd: "WOW! I'm very suprised Carl that a professional like yourself would say such an inapropriate thing. Domestic violence is not a joke! Its not funny! The question was will owners soon be paying more f...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    It sounds like Flipkey has listened to what their customers need. Susan do you mind sharing why you're not so fond of them? I hope Dwellable is very succesful, we could use a mix up in the market....

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  • Okay. Flipkey. Their support system leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, I needed support one evening with an inquiring Guest and, guess what? They were closed. That's correct, closed. ??? Apparently their support team is only available during "...

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  • This is for Carl Shepherd. I am advertising on VRBO and HA for several years an luxury apartment in Brussels. We were among the first tu get BIN. We received a booking for two men arriving 48 hours later. They answering their emails not phone calls. ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thank you for sharing your expereince here. I want this to be a place where owners like yourself can speak freely without censorhip or worry of someone shaming you for having an opion they may not agree with. So thank you for being courageous to spea...

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  • Profile photo of Larry Meyer

    I am not understanding MoorgateVilla's claim of a $2,500 HomeAway listing fee. they start at $349. And while I disagree with Carl Shepherd's claim that they (Homeaway) are the cheapest listing service ( they are not), they DO come out the cheapest ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    That is one bizarre story Maurice. Sorry that happened to you. I agree with you, that if you are going to get in between the deal you should be there when there is an issue, especially in cases when the "middle man" makes money on the deal....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Thanks for sharing Susan!...

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  • Indeed. Well they didn't make money on that (beside my subscription) since nobody has been paid. I lost money on that, since one of them didn't return a key and so I had to change the lock. This is an issue that is getting more and more disturbing si...

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  • Just found this thread... I think that's almost certainly true. HomeAway have recently brought in Two-factor authentication. Apart from the fact that half the time it doesn't work, and assumes that everyone takes their phone with them when they tra...

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  • Jay, I'm not sure you can answer this...or no one knows right now...Will this effect the software that homeaway provides for VRMs - like Escapia?...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Hey Adam, yeah tough to say with certainty. I will keep probing for you.They did announce today that subscriptions will be faded out. So no telling, what else will too. Follow the discussiom here www.villamarketers.com/expedia-buys-homeaway...

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(Here is a direct link to the video I've created for you > http://youtu.be/jQX8d-VUifQ ) "How To" Search Engine Optimization   Welcome to part three of our Vacation Rental SEO series. If you're just joining this series get brought up to speed by reading our first post Keyword Research SEO 101. If you've caught the first one but missed the second one you can watch it here  "Keywords What Your Marketing Is Missing" In… Read More
  • Makes a lot of sense. Thanks. I did an ad campaign on google adwords and the first time was great, but the second and third times were $100 for zero....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    I'm glad that you got something from the video. This strategy can help your Google Adwords campaign. But these tips are not just for Google Adwords, keywords will get your listing seen by more travelers too. Google is all about searching..... and if ...

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video marketing reviews for vacation rentals
Video Marketing Strategy For Vacation Rentals http://youtu.be/79HU-d4ZtXc?list=UUaOVCyIWaiq2KaklvWnoh_A   Say Hello to John & Anna Nowlan my friends from Canada. They've also been my clients for years. It was about that time for John and Anna to have their existing vacation rental website redesigned. They were recently in town so they stopped by the office. We talked about where they were at in their vacation rental business and where they wanted to go.… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tracey

    Another great post Jay!...

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  • I usually just observe but I want to try this for our properties, how can I get travelers to give me a video review without coming off annoying or weird? I think I would be hesitant to ask....

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Jeff, welcome! Customers in general only care about whats in it for them. In this case it's OK to bribe them! One little trick is to include an offer of a vacation rebate in your emails maybe $50 to $100, if they submit a video review of them enj...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Glad you enjoyed it Josh.....

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  • If you're going to do this - please invest in an inexpensive lavaliere (lapel) mic. It will make it sound so much better. Remember the old film maker rule - bad sound = a bad film....

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3 Vacation Rental Website Design Tips   Want to help make your vacation rental website design better? Want more travelers to inquire about your vacation rental directly from your site? The way a website is designed isn't just about its looks and appearance. Design your vacation rental website to lead interested travelers to inquire and book your property, once they've landed on your website. If your vacation rental website isn't designed to do that, we've got a serious… Read More
  • Profile photo of Bonny Chacko

    I work for a technology services company which provides technology and architecture consulting exclusively to vacation rental companies. Let me know, if I need to help you on the technology side of your vacation rental website...

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vacation rental seo success keywords
 Vacation Rental Keywords The 1 Thing Missing In Your VR Marketing   I've created a short SEO video to help simplify this teaching about vacation rental search engine optimization and the best practices to consider when researching vacation rental keywords. Its a raw unedited audio file so there are a few warts and wrinkles in the audio but I believe you'll get the concept better with this short audio rather… Read More
  • Profile photo of Tracey

    WOW! Great one Jay. I wish I would've known about this before I started posting all of my advertisments online. This would've been good to know in the beginning. However, I do appreciate you sharing this with us, but what can I do now that all of my ...

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  • Great advice! I wish I had known this before, but now that you are helping me with my keywords, website and SEO, I am confident my traffic will improve greatly! www.BransonVacationRentalCabins.com...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Josh, after I started to write about it I thought.... I should've posted this earlier. Since you already have content out there, you'll need to rework your content. It usually will take some rewriting of the content but its worth doing. Just don't ...

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  • Profile photo of Jay William

    Yes Darla for sure! Together we are going to make a huge improvement for www.BransonVacationRentalCabins.com I am going to post the improvements we make for you on this blog and hopefully inspire other owners and managers. Its going to be great!...

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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 :)