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Panel of Vacation Rental Experts Donate Free Marketing Help

The Panel of Vacation Rental Experts are Here!

It’s almost too good to be true. Three experts in the vacation rental industry are teaming together and will be offering free feedback for you on your vacation home and website!

Why?

Its part of our commitment to help you as members of The Vacation Rental League of Extraordinary Experts.

We know how important it is for you to have a great website and rental listing. You want your home to attract travelers. You want your website to answer the questions travelers are asking so they don’t go looking somewhere else. You want to showcase the best your home has to offer.

Maybe you’re just getting started in the vacation rental business.

Perhaps you’ve done everything you could think of to market your vacation home, yet your rental still stands empty.

Maybe you’re getting good bookings, but you just aren’t fond of your website design or would like to rely less on listing sites.

Or perhaps you inherited or purchased a run-down property and want to get things turned around.

Whatever you need help with we want to help!

Get Free Help From Vacation Rental Experts

Once a month, our Panel of Vacation Rental Experts will review someone’s property listing , website and other areas affecting their bookings. Then, each one of us will offer feedback in our area of expertise – for free! And this won’t be just general feedback you can get from anyone with an opinion; it will be specific and tailored for those in the vacation rental industry by the experts.

By implementing just a few suggestions from our team of vacation rental experts, you can get more bookings, increase your income, grow your vacation rental business, and get more return guests.

No matter who we end up helping it’ll be something everyone will learn from! We will be sharing the advice on the blog so make sure you follow along.

In addition, the lucky winners website links and listings will get an extra boost online from being showcased on our popular blog. There are multiple benefits for all. Without further ado let us introduce to you The Vacation Rental Expert Panel.

Meet Our Panel of Vacation Rental Experts

Jay William, sales, marketing and website expert, Villa Marketers

Jay is an entrepreneur with a heart for those in the vacation rental business. Founder of Villa Marketers, he helps vacation home owners and managers to market their own properties using content-based sales strategies. Villa Marketers partners with some of the biggest names in the industry, including TripAdvisor, Expedia, HolidayLettings, and AirBnB. Jay is author of the book Vacation Rental Marketing: Secrets No One Will Tell You and a sales expert you can’t afford not to know. Sign up for his newsletter here

Mercedes Brennan, interior design expert, 1 Chic Retreat

Read Mercedes Brennan’s interesting “superhero” bio by clicking here

Mercedes comes alongside vacation home owners to help them learn how to decorate their rentals in such a way as to stand out from their competition and increase bookings. After receiving her Master’s degree in Interior Architecture, Mercedes worked for the famous interior decorator Windsor Smith. Her work has been featured in Cottage Blogger, Dwellable, VR Owner’s Guide, and here on Villa Marketers.

Tyann Marcink – photography expert, Marcink Designs

Read Tyann Marcink’s interesting “superhero” bio by clicking here

Tyann is passionate about photography and website design. Her two ebooks help vacation rental owners use photos to market their properties. She shares tips about both photography and vacation rental marketing on her blog and newsletters at Marcink Designs. She also has a line of hand-painted children’s decor called the Little Elephant Company, a two-time Martha Stewart Handmade Award Nominee.

Interested? Here’s How to Apply

Simply submit your property by leaving the following information in a comment below:

· Name

· Link to Property Website and or Listings

· Your Biggest Challenge

We’ll select the winning entries based on a few criteria: what you identify as your biggest challenge, if you are sharing our post online with your friends and colleagues, and entries that otherwise catch our attention and interest.

The first review will be February 28th.

Enter your property now so you don’t miss out on free advice from the vacation rental experts!

Join Thousands Of Smarter Owners & ManagersClick Here to Subscribe Now
  • Excited to see who we will be helping!

    • commentfromme

      I NEED a new website….and one that blends both of properties together. Hope you can help!

      • Thanks for posting. Is there anywhere we can see your property; listing, photos anything?

    • Me too!

  • John Phillips
    http://www.torontopremiumvacationrental.com/
    VRB0 500652

    have to be honest, not a lot of challenges, been doing very well since I started in Oct 2014. I wish I had more properties, and could move from my full time present job to management of VR properties full time.

    • John, thanks for submitting your property review. Any particular area that is sluggish or process that could be better?

      • Not so much in the day to day running or marketing of our place. More in the branding of our company to expand beyond AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway

    • Wow, I love the design of your property, John! The colors, lighting (especially the chandelier over the soaker tub) and layout everything is stunning. I think your photos could be a bit more personal though. Tyann could put some life into them for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dean Curtis – Serenity Vacation Rentals
    http://www.serenity-vacationrentals.com
    Biggest challenge – Looking for a good client retention management program. We have been doing well with rentals but I feel we are lacking in reaching out to past guests…….

    • Dean, always a pleasure!

      Are there any tools you are currently using are there any systems you have in place right now or is everything currenlty being done manually?

      • Hi Jay,

        Currently just working off of an excel spreadsheet. It does the trick but I’m sure there has to be better software out there. I’m currently just copy and pasting email addresses, names, and info that I have recorded on the spreadsheet file, and pasting them into my regular correspondence emails which go out before and after their rental. Also after their stay we don’t really offer any incentives to past guests. Our rentals are on a “first come, first serve” basis. I’ve often thought it would be nice to offer something to our past preferred guests such as a “pre-booking” window before the summer becomes open to the public…..but then of course it’s nice to have lots of NEW guests because then the word spreads faster to more people and demand increases…. would love to hear your opinion! I’m really on the fence on this because there are a lot of pro’s and cons both ways……

    • Looks like an amazing location, Dean. Thanks for applying.

  • Jacqueline Keddy

    Central Florida Villa Rentals

    http://www.centralfloridavillarentals.com

    homeaway: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3810454

    I have a website, it may need some tweaking and I know I need professional pictures. My biggest challenge is to create backlinks to my website and learn how to create an email outreach program so I can get traffic to my website.

    • Hi Jacqueline, it looks like your villa is immaculate. I can see that it needs some personal touches though. Thanks for applying!

  • Jack Pope

    After over a dozen years, I recently made the transition from operating a B&B to VR. While there are similarities, it’s still a bit of a learning curve in other areas, as there are some significant differences in the target market. I’ve been involved in our local B&B Association for several years and notice that several of my colleagues are making the same transition. This appears to be a trend among those who enjoy the business but want sustain what they have worked so hard to create. Jack at Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite http://www.coraclecove.com http://www.homeaway.ca/cottage-rental/p3718415

    • How interesting, Jack. I had no idea B&B owners were making the switchover. Your property is gorgeous. Thanks for applying.

    • Jack I found this to be an intriguing topic

      Switching from a B&B owner to a VR owner…. that’s definitely bloggable!

      • Jack Pope

        It’s an interesting transition and one that I’ve seen many of my former B&B colleagues make themselves. While I feel I have a leg-up in certain aspects of accommodation marketing, as I get into my third year, I realize that a large number of my bookings are from a different market audience. That’s the area that I definitely need to work on.

  • Laurie Bixler

    Jay: I certainly hope you select me….and develop a new website for me, or update my old one. Tyann I am open to all your photo input! Mercedes, we just added a new bathroom and I am struggling to redesign the 2nd master. I have 2 houses in Mount Pleasant, SC, a suburb of CHS. One has a pool, and one is on the water. A new website would be deeply appreciated…..I am struggling with it and it is out of my skill level. Thanks

    • Laurie Bixler

      I guess I should have listed my sites to get help: 1) My site that needs help/updating = http://bigchillhouse.com 2) My homeaway house #1: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p922038 and 3) My homeaway house #2 : http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3727532 Okey dokey !

      • Tyann Marcink

        Laurie, I still think you just need to have me over for a week or two. 😉

      • I love both properties, Laurie. You need some tiny decor tweaks here and there and better photos (and of course, a new website). Good luck and thanks for applying.

        • Laurie Bixler

          Yes the website and photos on the website are not current now. I am relying solely on my homeaway sites ( and verb, flip key, and airbnb) . Our new bathroom addition is completed as of today….and I am struggling with a photo shot ( Tyann ! ). The backyard of the pool house is getting an overhaul tomorrow, …. and will need to be re-photo when Spring greens everything up again. It is a never ending / ungoing process. It never stays the same for more than a couple months.

  • Darla Brower
    http://www.BransonVacationRentalCabins.com
    Always looking to improve! One of my challenges is photographing the interior of a log cabin, it is difficult to get enough light. Another is getting the decor to look different in all the cabins when the log walls are all the same color. SEO is also a challenge for me!

    • Darla quick question, do you currently receive inquiries coming directly from your vacation rental website?

      • Yes, but I get very few. I keep track of where all of my bookings originate. Last year I only received about a dozen inquiries from the website for the whole year. So far this year, I have received eight. The majority of my bookings come from listing sites.

  • Newport rental

    Hi, my name is Barbara Cioffi and I just purchased a condo in beautiful Newport, RI this past September and listed it in October. I’m getting my education as I go along, but I feel my biggest challenge so far is getting people to understand that my place is not a “party place” despite the way it looks. After hosting a couple that had a huge party which left the place filthy and my neighbors unhappy I have had to be really strict about the no party policy. I have it stated that it is not an event space but most inquiries I get are still for hosting parties ( although they try and word it differently – such as ” I understand your no party policy BUT we would like to have my son’s team of 8 and their parents over for dinner”.
    I feel like I may be putting people off with the wording?
    Thanks for your consideration – here’s the link – http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3848306
    B

    • Hi Barbara, thanks for sharing! Interesting issue….

    • Hi Barbara, that is indeed a dilemma. Your decor, although very nice, is very stimulating. If you don’t want people to use it as a party house, you should calm it down a bit, which is not hard to do. Thanks for joining us and applying, and good luck! 🙂

  • Maria Rekrut

    Great group of experts. Let’s see who get’s picked. http://niagaraonthelakecottageretnal.com
    Good Luck to everyone,
    Maria Rekrut

    • Maria, can you give us your link again? The one above did not work.

  • Lois

    The biggest challenge to me would have to be a great working website

    • Lois, do you have a website now? Or listing?

  • Monia Otis

    Monia Otis, http://www.chaletcharlevoixquebec.com

    Hi Jay,Mercedes and Tyann. My biggest challenge is that I am doing a lot on my website to rank well with the key work Luxury chalet and it does’t work and it’s worst in the french website, key word Chalet de luxe à louer. Also, my pictures were done by a professional but people say that it’s way nicer then what it’s shows on the pictures. The cottage is immense and the picture is not capturing it.

    Hope you can help,

    Thanks

    • Hi Monia

      Thanks for submitting your property for review. You can increase your chances of being chosen by sharing this post. I do have some thoughts why this is happening. Good luck and stay tuned for the announcement Monia.

    • Monia, your chalet is gorgeous and very well decorated. It’s just needs a bit of character and personalization. Thanks for applying!

      • Monia Otis

        Thank you for your comment, hope I get picked. I’m interested about how to make some character to the property.

  • Theresa r

    Theresa Robertson owner of Rich Summit a View Cabin Rental. http://www.myboonecabin.com or http://www.vrbo.com/509063
    Thank you three for your time and consideration. I could use help from all three. I know I need some better decor. I need help with the top of my cabinets, wall art ideas and furniture layout in living room. I could also use help on my website as one day I would like my bookings to be generated by my own traffic and I could also stand better images. But if I had to pick one I would be the website. We are projecting new furniture this year and I expect to do more pictures on each of our subsequent trips so I expect those two to improve. But, I don’t know how to drive traffic or make my page any better. Thank you Theresa

    • Thanks for applying, Theresa. Your property has so much potential and that location cannot be beat. 🙂

  • Cristobal Barrionuevo

    Cristobal Barrionuevo (cristobal@debarrionuevo.com)
    http://www.verbier-luxury-chalet.com
    Our biggest challenge is becoming visible (SEM and SEO) in a highly competitive area in which there are many VR managers with hefty budgets. Despite the fact that we believe that we have done everything that the SEO handbook recommends, after more than 1 year the property still does not appear in the SEO section. Without this, our property is virtually invisible and we are not getting enough demand. We would also welcome any Website improvement tips. Thanks for your consideration

    • Tyann Marcink

      Cristobal, you are definitely in the right place. And I have now added your chalet to my travel wish list!

      • Cristobal Barrionuevo

        Thanks for your consideration. It is always great to know that our product entices people to want to come (that is the whole purpose, isn’t it?). But if you had tried to find a chalet in Verbier, you probably would have never found out our chalet. That is the problem!

  • So Fun! I look forward to seeing the results! Great idea Jay, Tyann and Mercedes!

    • Thanks Nancy, I think it will be a lot of fun, being that we will be helping various people. After hearing everyone’s pain points I believe it will be dynamic with something for everyone to take away. Thanks for commenting Nancy

  • Jamaica villa

    Thanks, what a great idea. I have some challenges, with gaining qualified traffic to my site,bounce from my booking page ( after date availability check) I would also like some advice on the decor of the villa
    http://www.jamaicaoceanviewvilla.com/

    Thanks for offering your service

    • Hi I can see some places on your site where you’ve taken some of our advice, love to see that! Thanks for joining in Cavel

      • Jamaica villa

        Thanks Jay

    • What an amazing location! Thanks for applying, Cavel. 🙂

      • Jamaica villa

        Yes, it is. Just need to get the right traffic to my site and convert them into paying customer. Its hard to believe I have not had a single inquiry from my site this year or last year.

  • Sharon Wilmshurst

    Please fell free to give constructive criticism on our website and villa http://www.villamagic.com in order to generate more rentals in this competitive market.

    • Thank you Sharon for throwing your hat in the ring! Your property is just a short drive from me.

    • Hi Sharon, your villa looks like it has great potential. There are some very specific and easy decor strategies that will get you more looks. Thanks for applying!

  • Passepartout Homes

    Paola Van den Brande, http://www.passepartout-homes.com. paola@passepartout-homes.com
    Our main challenges in this highly competitive, saturated market are mainly two:
    – SEO: how to make ourselves visible and rank higher. No SEO expert so far has made any significant contribution to our SEO strategy so perhaps you are up for the challenge?
    – USP: how to differentiate ourselves from the thousands of competitors. We operate mainly as a private members club and would welcome your input on how to make our membership packages more appealing , scalable and profitable.
    Thank you for considering Passepartout Homes.

    • Hola Paola!

      I do like a challenge (smiling) I gotta say though, I don’t see a lot of SEO practices being done on the site. Thanks for applying!

      • Passepartout Homes

        Jay, hence why I need your advice on SEO !!! My current SEO advisors are obviously doing a poor job.

    • Hi Paola, what are your design challenges? From what I see, your rentals are stunning. 🙂

      • Passepartout Homes

        Hello! My main design challenges are actually to get nice, professional photos from the owners. We rely on the owners to provide us professionally taken photos showing staged properties. Often not the case. Perhaps you could write up a quick guideline for me to pass on to the owners?

        • I have a ton of useful suggestions on my blog – http://1chicretreat.com. Subscribers get my latest tips and suggestions, including how to stand out from the competition and get bookings up. Tyann also has a lot of wonderful advice in the photography department. She’s the best!

  • Hi Tyann, Mercedes and Jay! My property is located in Sitges a lovely beach town very close to Barcelona in Spain. http://www.casitasitges.com is my website developed by Antonio Bortolotti over a year ago. It is my duty now to keep it more fresh and to keep up with the guests/prospects needs and I surely need help. My big challenge is to be found on the internet, I am fairly hidden at the moment. My emotional goal is to have my guests to naturally consider my Casita as their “love nest” and “boutiquify” my VR further with the right decor. Be able to take photos to transmit my prospects that sense of freshness, romanticism and originality and maybe take some picture myself instead of delegating everything to professional photographers (I suffer from the “click fear”). I wonder if my European Casita can be enough of an interesting challenge for you three super expert. thank you! Paola

    • Tyann Marcink

      Paola, your place is on my bucket list.

      • Great Tyann! apologies for acknowledging only now your reply, I did not get a notification of your comment. Ok, now we are all SO excited waiting to find out who are lucky ones!!! 🙂

    • Hi Paola, your home stay is gorgeous and just needs some small tweaks to get it to stand out. Thanks for applying!

      • Hi Mercedes, thanks! I don’t know if needing just small tweaks this is good or bad for the selection process :-)) just kidding, thank you, very flattered and hope to be chosen. At any rate, I will continue to follow you and sharing your posts. In fact, I recently implemented one of your advice (of which I am extremely proud of!) on closet for small vacation rentals. As soon as I take a good photo, I would like to send you the before and after, so you know what your raving fans do after they have read your blogs! Thanks again 🙂

        • Wow! That is really great to hear, Paola! I can’t wait to see it!

    • Beautiful Paola — just beautiful! My hubby and I used to live near Ceret, France, just over the French border. (Wish we had known about your place when we lived there… it’s so lovely!)

      • Hi Claire, you also have a Casita!!! how exciting! I love it, very original, great taste, colourful and fun. I know where to stay if I go to Arizona! Thank you so much for your comments on mine and so very happy I met you!

  • Our website is http://www.TheCapeEscape.com. We used to be on p.1 Google, Yahoo and the others until I had my site re-done. I am very frustrated with that and often see some of the problems as I’m looking at the StatCounter etc.

    The 2nd frustration is folks finding what they need on it. I have spent 12 years adding the information that folks have asked me. If I have heard the question a couple of times, the answer is on the site.

    The problem is, we have 13 rentals (all in the same neighborhood, on the same beach and with essentially the same amenities. The difference is only that 6 are direct beach front and the other 7 are just 20 -200 steps to the beach. Folks have champagne taste and a beer budget, so often they look at the gulf fronts, can’t afford it and don’t get that the other options are RIGHT there!

    A final frustration, is my mobile site is OK, (and just OK on a phone) but SUCKS on an iPad and I’m losing business over that!

    Would love to go back to having the stellar SEO I used to have and make the website a valuable resource to helping folks that are looking for a wonderful Cape Escape!

    Thanks for offering this opportunity!

    • Tyann Marcink

      Wendy, I love your places! Oh, we can do so much with your decor, photos, and website. You are in the right place!

      • Tyann, thank you! Love our beach and love to share it with folks, just know I could be doing things better! Any and all help will be gratefully accepted :-)!

    • Wow, looks like an amazing location, Wendy! I agree with Tyann: with some decor, photo and website tweaks, your rentals will shine! Thanks for applying. 🙂

      • Love to have you tweak anytime!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Tyann Marcink

    So many fabulous properties here! Wish we could just meet you each at your place for a week, but via Internet will have to do for now. Good luck to everyone this month!

  • Dina

    Free advice! How exciting. I’m going to throw one of our properties in the ring. It’s located in Vail, Colorado. We have great bookings in winter and summer. But, how do I increase rentals in the off season? I’m sure everyone would love to solve that question…lol. I do not have a website and rely solely on VRBO. http://www.vrbo.com/483155

    • Hi Dina,
      Thank you for participating. Is there a reason you haven’t taken the leap and gotten a website?
      Counting down the days for the big day….. it is exciting!

  • Hi Tyann, Mercedes, and Jay,

    I own and manage our vacation rental in Oceanside, CA, http://www.tremontvilla.com. Tyann recently took lovely photos of our house last fall and it appears to positively impact our inquiries and bookings (don’t have enough traffic to do A/B testing so this is just a feeling based upon comments from inquirers). Oceanside is a competitive market within itself and the San Diego county area in general. My challenge is to improve our organic SEO ranking for our personal website. (The majority of our bookings still come from our VRBO/HomeAway listing (#106998) since they rank so high.) My goals this year are to implement a blog and email mailing list of our past guests.

    I look forward to seeing all your tips!

    Jody Nakashima

    • Hey there Jody, love your property. The pictures look superb! Jody I do have a few concerns, can you share with me if inquires are being generated from your vacation rental website? Have you been using Google Analytics? The competition doesn’t scare me and neither should it you! 😉 Thanks for entering Tremont Villa

      • Tyann Marcink

        Jody’s place is simply fabulous. And the beds are super comfy, too! 😉 Jay, we need to get Jody’s SEO better so travelers can find her!

        • Thanks, Tyann! Your photos do showcase my home! 🙂

      • Thanks for your kind words, Jay. Yes, I have Google Analytics on my personal website and look at it every so often. Honestly, I’m not sure what to do with the information. I see that I receive some organic traffic from Google and Yahoo, and referral traffic from our “Visit Oceanside” listing which backlinks to our personal website. I have received inquiries directly from our website, but I would like to see more. For example, last month, I received 27 inquiries and 5 bookings from our VRBO/HomeAway bundle, 8 inquiries/0 bookings from TripAdvisor/Flipkey, and 3 inquiries/0 bookings from our website.

  • Hi Jay! Cool idea! Thanks for the opportunity to be considered!

    My vacation rental is located in a tiny arts-y village in rural southern Arizona that’s growing in popularity with northern visitors looking to get away to a warm spot. We just launched this VR in November 2014. This coming Fall (2015), we’ll be adding our main house (where we currently live) to the vacation rental market, (and buying another house for us to live in).

    Here’s the casita:

    http://www.CasitaEncanta.com

    Here’s the main house

    http://www.casitaencanta.com/coming-soon-main-house1.html

    My main challenge is how to marry the marketing so I’m not doubling my efforts. Each house has its own very distinct vibe, and price point. Each have their own websites, (though cross-linked). And the casita sleeps 2 and attracts couples, while the casa sleeps 4 and attracts families.

    I’m also getting quite a number of inquiries from other folks in our village who are interested in having me decorate/market/manage for them. I haven’t said yes to anyone yet, because while I’m very interested, I wonder about spreading myself too thin when it comes to marketing a number of very different properties at different price points. My goal is, in fact, to offer my services in this way, but I want to be smart — and sane — about it. I’m a complete newbie to thinking in terms of blending all of this into a cohesive big picture, and am very interested in learning all I can before I dive in.

    (The other challenge in this rural area is finding reliable housekeepers. So owning and managing multiple properties may be impacted by finding — keeping — experienced, reliable cleaning help.)

    Okay! That’s probably WAY more info than you needed, hah! But there ya go! (Pick me! Pick me! 🙂

    • Laurie Bixler

      Nice Claire! Very inspiring. Wish I could rent both in Charleston…..but we are required to live in either the main house, or the accessory, and cant rent both!

    • Hi Claire, you certainly have a lot going on here and plenty of material we could work on. This is such a special time for you…. a time when your entrepreneurial spirit spreads its wings. It’s awesome to hear where you’re at…. I read your post and I remembered the excitement I felt first getting into the VR industry and the adrenaline of following my dream! Awesome! With that said I did make A LOT of mistakes that cost me BIG along the way. The first thing you need is the master plan! Thanks for sharing Claire and for submitting your properties.

  • Joyce Jones Jay

    My website is http://www.pinnacleport.net and my biggest challenge is interior photographs – lighting and small area to take photos for best layout.

    • Hi Joyce, a small feat for Tyann…. I do however think Mercedes and myself could offer some help here for you as well. A few things jump out at me.

      Thanks for entering your property, Joyce

    • OMG Joyce, my father and his wife have wintered at Pinnacle Port for years. They love it and all of the activities that are offered there. Small world!

  • Jack Pope

    I think those B&B operators who are switching over to VR still love the business of hosting people in the communities, but are looking to simplify it a bit by concentrating more on the hosting and less on the cooking. It’s a way of sustaining a business that you’ve worked very hard to grow but are not ready to walk away. But it’s not a simple switch as the two industries have some basic differences.

  • SSBN

    Two Palms Retreat – https://Littleriverinnsc.com – I’m a new VR owner and I’d welcome any help I can get.

    • Welcome to the community and thanks for entering Two Palms Retreat. Do you have photos of the property?

      • SSBN

        I do and they are available on my web site.

        • SSBN I think we’ve just pin pointed problem #1

          • SSBN

            Are you referring to Mercedes’ comment?

    • Welcome to being a new VR owner. I would say looking at your photos that you need help with wall color and bringing some personality into the space. Not hard to do. Thanks for sharing and applying!

  • Summer Cottage

    Valerie Gates
    http://www.summerpinescottage.com
    Biggest challenge is to stand out in an already crowded Cape rental cottage market. I would love my little place to be the best decorated and most comfortable place around. Also need help driving traffic to my website and getting more PR.

    • Tyann Marcink

      What an adorable cottage! I can see you have absolutely delicious sunlight there. Oh, what you can do with that light!

  • I’m in for some help!
    Drew Renshaw from Memphis TN.
    Owner of a beach rental duplex right on the water in the Turks & Caicos Islands
    http://www.Beachsidebungalow.com
    My challenge is to get my summers booking as well as my winters. It seems easy enough to me since we here in the south (Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham) all like to go to the beach in the summer, but my winter demand is way stronger from northerners escaping the cold. How can I better target the SE United States to drive up my summer demand?

    • Hi Drew,
      Ahhh…. Turks and Caicos! The fishing and diving are amazing! Are you targeting any of these niches? Also where are you currently advertising? Thanks for submiting your Beachside Bungalow!

      • VRBO, Flipkey, Airbnb, Dwellable, Booking.com, and my own site of course. Diving is amazing on our little island, but there is zero fishing available on Grand Turk. Everyone with a boat wants to take you snorkeling or diving. Since I’m not a diver, I don’t have any ideas on how to break into that market.

  • What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to see the ‘superhero’s’ in action! I know I’ll be incorporating lots of tips along the way.

  • Claudia

    Hi!
    Thank you for doing this, I can’t wait to see the results!
    My name is Claudia Prenter, the link to my property is: http://vrbo.com/260743 and 2 of my challenges are to market and rent my condo without depending so much on VRBO, I need a website but not sure how to get started. Also, how do I keep it looking fresh and inviting without spending a lot of $$$?

    Thank you,
    Claudia

    • Thanks for participating, Claudia! Gorgeous location you have there in Kaui. There are several things I see right off the bat, mostly involving lighting. Good luck!

  • Darla, do you use Lightroom? It will improve a lot your pictures and if taken with a up to date reflex or hybrid you can work at high iso. What you do need is a good wide angle. We once used airbnb pro and it was average.

  • You guys are great for doing this! It’s like a 3-in-1 awesome deal. I look forward to all your comments, regardless of whom you choose.

    My homes are at http://www.oregonshearwater.com. The Romance of the Sea has dark pictures (photographer coming soon!), and I have not changed the decor for 5 years. Is it time?

    My biggest issue is keeping up with the complexities of managing them. Since google frowns on duplicating descriptions, is there some magic trick for changing the description enough to be seen as unique in a multitude of places? Many of us advertise on VRBO, Flipkey, Airbnb AND have our own websites. I could literally spend weeks changing each listing description. Help!?

    • Tyann Marcink

      Debi, your site from WebChalet is beautiful! Yes, the pro photos will make it even better. Hang on for this ride. 😉

    • Hi Debi, thanks for participating! Your rentals do indeed need some updating, but nothing major. Little changes here and there will make a big difference. Love your location. It’s gorgeous!

  • Barbara C

    Hi All – I just love looking at all these wonderful vacation rentals – My name is Barbara Cioffi and I’ve only been renting for a few months. I have no idea how to start a website of my own so I have it listed on Home Away, AirBnB and FlipKey. My property is in beautiful Newport, RI – http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3848306 – I have several challenges but I think my biggest is my bedroom -( I bought the place just as it is in the pictures) It is dark and small and the layout is weird – I only have a queen size bed and I would love to squeeze a king in there but I’m no sure if people prefer more bed for more room 🙁

  • Hi, My biggest challenge is decorating. My listing is http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p119394. I purchased this home 10 years ago, decorated as you see in the pics. It shows well on the internet because of the color, and my guests seem to love the bright colors (I have another totally neutral home for rent that satisfies the others). I would like to put this colorful home up for sale, and the realtors tell me it needs to be neutral, neutral, neutral! I need to update the decorating to make it saleable without doing away with it’s uniqueness. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Luann
      10 years wow! You could probably teach a few things to all here 🙂 Thanks for joining in with us!

    • Thanks for sharing, Luann. I think you can make it a bit more neutral without sacrificing the colors. Are you selling it as a vacation rental or a normal home?

      • Most places sell there with the intent to rent them if they have a rental history, while new owners decide what they want to do…some tear down and rebuild, some continue to rent. I will continue renting it while it is for sale. Even though it rents well, realtors say the colors don’t make it look upscale and current.

  • Kitty Masôn
    http://www.kitty-mason.com/real-estate
    rent and sale challenge.
    Thank you in advance

  • Teena Kulakowski

    http://www.FourSeasonsLodge.com http://www.vrbo.com/301861

    I’ve owned and rented this vacation rental for 24 years.
    I’m feeling VERY challenged these days since HA/VRBO announced that “book it now” is going to be required by year’s end. My Lodge hosts groups of 2-20. There is no way for me to survive having to quote my highest rental rates for every date I list as available on those sites!
    I NEED to be able to generate bookings off my website and other listing sites that are not commission based but subscription based.
    HELP! 🙂

    • I agree! Their BIN doesn’t work for MANY for MANY different reason! They are getting very frustrating!

  • Jorge Martelanz
    http://www.legacydisneycondo.com
    Chalenge? More and happier returning guests!!

  • Ann

    Jay, I think my biggest challenge is the slow season, which is late August through late Dec. It’s just never done well then. I’ve been on vacationrentals.com since 2001 (before HomeAway owned it). I do get a lot of renters, but definitely need more. It has done very well this year, through July then “dead.” Help! I’m open to suggestions. Website is vacationrentals.com #7003137. I appreciate the information you give. Thanks!

    • Hi Ann, can you give us the exact link again. The link above goes to the general website, and not your specific listing. I didn’t see a way to get there by your listing number.

  • Fred W

    Jay, Filling up the year with bookings is my biggest challenge. The month of May and Oct~Nov are very, very slow. There are weeks in November that I have not had a single booking for the past three years. I have a F-book page for the property but don’t understand how that is supposed to work for me.

    http://www.regalvilla.com

    • Hi Fred, when I look through Regal Villa, I see a vacation rental that is furnished like a hotel. I think you need some updates, as well as some personal touches to make people feel more comfortable. Thanks for sharing!

  • Update! We’ve launched the 1st Vacation Rental Expert Makeover Show! Go Here to See The Video > http://www.villamarketers.com/vacation-rental-expert-makeover/

  • Karen C

    Karen Cottrell
    http://www.kdvacationhome.com
    More photos, show more like a hotel resort, how to incorporate 2 properties to 1 webpage.

  • Jennifer Pecci

    Jennifer Peccihttps://airbnb.com/rooms/2198298?s=8
    I would like to know how to make my pictures appear larger and more appealing. I heard some guests use photoshop. Is that true? I took the photos using 15 mm lens at an angle that was spouse to be flattering but they didn’t turn out exactly what I wanted.

  • Nemanja

    Nemanja Vujacic
    http://www.maki-apartments.com
    Extend main season period. We are fully booked for high season (July and August), but would like to increasy occupancy in mid-season and low season (before 15th June and after 15th September).

    • Jay William

      Hi Nemanja,
      Wondering if you are still interested in being selected for the expert panel. We are doing our fourth round and we would love to makeover your presentation!

  • Brynette Tagg Harding

    Brynette & Alan at Villa Casa Albryna Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
    · Lanzarote Rural Retreat http://www.Albryna.com
    · Listing at https://www.espanabreaks.com/lanzarote/tahiche/9228
    Our Biggest Challenge is being a very small fish in a very big pond!
    We have many returning guests and lovely reviews.

    Offering a very warm welcome. We just need to let more people know about our special place!

  • I am now looking for the next property manager/owner to help! Who’s it gonna be?

  • Hi everyone. I’m Amy, a Vacation Rental Property owner in San Diego, CA. Our listing on VRBO is http://www.vrbo.com/333740

    I would LOVE to be selected for a free consultation by this fabulous team of experts! Each expert on the panel has the expertise my hubs and I have sought out to help us bring our vacation rental business up to its full potential. Jay – many thanks for reaching me via G+! I’m eager to participate in this engaging community and gain more experience and knowledge about how to run our family business. Thank you for having me. 🙂

    The major challenges we face include:
    1. A strong, targeted Marketing Plan which attracts our desired clientele to our Property. Is it time to develop our own website to draw more business and receive more inquiries from the clientele we seek? (Jay’s expertise)

    2. Creating eye-pleasing design within our Home to attract the type of clientele we wish to service. Does the decorating reflect the feel we wish to convey – a calming, neutral, zen-inspired, and beachy environment? (Mercedes’ expertise)

    3. Creating aesthetically-pleasing, professional images which highlight the most attractive features of our Property. Should we hire a professional photographer to shoot images, or do the ones we currently have suffice?

    Once again, thank you. I am eager to hear all this dynamic, passionate community has to share. 🙂

  • Zoe

    Zoe Courtier
    http://www.geckoeslodge.com/
    Our biggest challenge is reaching our target market without being lost in the OTA’s… hoping we win so we can increase occupancy! Pura Vida.

    • Hi Zoe,
      the Geckoes Lodge is a good candidate for a project like this. Thanks for entering!

  • http://franceapartmentrentals.com/ Pretty well complete – need the book it now option and integration with reservation manager…soon please!! Comments welcome

  • http://franceapartmentrentals.com/ Pretty well complete – need the book it now option and integration with reservation manager…soon please!! Comments welcome

  • Wendy Jackson

    Just hired professional photographer to take new pictures of our Cape San Blas rentals. Can’t wait to get them and a few videos. Would love some help from the expert panel on presentation on our website and getting the key information out to the “skimmers” (people who are not reading much, just skimming site. Want more quality leads to work with. Want to grab attention so they will dig in and fall in love with the beach I love. I could use to improve in tons of areas so open to any and all feedback!

  • Wendy Jackson

    Just hired professional photographer to take new pictures of our Cape San Blas rentals. Can’t wait to get them and a few videos. Would love some help from the expert panel on presentation on our website and getting the key information out to the “skimmers” (people who are not reading much, just skimming site. Want more quality leads to work with. Want to grab attention so they will dig in and fall in love with the beach I love. I could use to improve in tons of areas so open to any and all feedback!

  • Lyle Walker
    http://www.gringowasibnb.com

    Don’t know if BnB’s are welcome or even if you would be
    interested in a South American property but I figured I would throw my hat in
    the ring. For our biggest Challenge, I would say attracting the right guest,
    everyone that stays loves it here, but still have a hard time filling the
    place.

  • Lyle Walker
    http://www.gringowasibnb.com

    Don’t know if BnB’s are welcome or even if you would be
    interested in a South American property but I figured I would throw my hat in
    the ring. For our biggest Challenge, I would say attracting the right guest,
    everyone that stays loves it here, but still have a hard time filling the
    place.

  • Melanie Gowen – new property, construction almost finished for June 2015!
    “Nantucket Art House & Cottage”
    http://www.nantucketarthouse.com
    SEO is a challenge for me. Also is knowing what to post on social media like twitter and Facebook to drive traffic frequently. Thanks!

  • Melanie Gowen – new property, construction almost finished for June 2015!
    “Nantucket Art House & Cottage”
    http://www.nantucketarthouse.com
    SEO is a challenge for me. Also is knowing what to post on social media like twitter and Facebook to drive traffic frequently. Thanks!

  • Jennifer Pecci

    Jennifer Pecci
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2198298?s=8
    I really need help in photography taking pictures and marketing. I have emailed Jay and done all the photographer suggestions. I have invested so much time and money on new pictures and rewording. I’m at my last end. I also want to leave Airbnb and go somewhere else. I want to know how to market myself without them. I have asked so many people and really desperate for extra advice. I am doing everything I can and reaching out to friends but it’s been difficult. Please please help!! Thank you!!

    • Hi Jennifer, Looking at your photos, I would say you need help on your living room decoration and specifically your lighting. There are so many positives to your design and yet, you need some tweaks here and there. And then, yes, I agree, the photography needs work. Fyi, some of the photos aren’t loading. I don’t know if that’s a problem on Airbnb, or on your end.

      • Jennifer Pecci

        Hi! Thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate it. The pictures not loading is on Airbnb end. I had a professional photographer come out three and both times he didn’t see my vision. I can’t afford another one. My dad has a Nixon. I can try taking my own but not sure how well they will turn out. This is my dilemma. What do you recommend or suggest?

        Jennifer

  • Jennifer Pecci

    Jennifer Pecci
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2198298?s=8
    I really need help in photography taking pictures and marketing. I have emailed Jay and done all the photographer suggestions. I have invested so much time and money on new pictures and rewording. I’m at my last end. I also want to leave Airbnb and go somewhere else. I want to know how to market myself without them. I have asked so many people and really desperate for extra advice. I am doing everything I can and reaching out to friends but it’s been difficult. Please please help!! Thank you!!

    • Hi Jennifer, Looking at your photos, I would say you need help on your living room decoration and specifically your lighting. There are so many positives to your design and yet, you need some tweaks here and there. And then, yes, I agree, the photography needs work. Fyi, some of the photos aren’t loading. I don’t know if that’s a problem on Airbnb, or on your end.

      • Jennifer Pecci

        Hi! Thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate it. The pictures not loading is on Airbnb end. I had a professional photographer come out three and both times he didn’t see my vision. I can’t afford another one. My dad has a Nixon. I can try taking my own but not sure how well they will turn out. This is my dilemma. What do you recommend or suggest?

        Jennifer

  • Update #2 Hi Everyone We’ve released the second edition of the Vacation Rental Expert Panel. Watch the show here >> http://isbeingbuilt.com/villamarketersold/design-a-vacation-rental-website/

  • Update #2 Hi Everyone We’ve released the second edition of the Vacation Rental Expert Panel. Watch the show here >> http://villamarketers.com/design-a-vacation-rental-website/

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