Meet Gila Wilner Vacation Rental Owner
Gila Wilner is a vacation rental owner and a great person that I’ve had the awesome opportunity of working with.
Gila came to me a few months ago with real concerns about her VR business.
She owns several rental properties; one in Maui, a condo in Mammoth, California, and another rental in Southern California. She wasn’t satisfied with the bookings she was getting.
She saw the changes happening in the vacation rental industry and wanted to create a safety net for her business.
She was on the major vacation rental listing sites but still wasn’t seeing the results she was really hoping for.
Even though she purchased properties in popular destinations, there were many times when the vacation homes would sit empty especially in the shoulder seasons.
And when you have vacancies across multiple properties, the cost of unrented weeks quickly adds up to become a substantial loss of income.
Like many of you, Gila wanted to develop a more sustainable vacation rental business.
A business that relied less on vacation rental listing sites and produced more rental income helping to provide her with the life she wants.
She knew many owners are taking the path toward independence and wanted to become part of that group herself.
Last week I introduced to you 1 of those vacation rental owners who has generated 300 inquiries without using listing sites.
His name is Kendall – but what does Kendall have to do with Gila?
In that blog, I shared with you how Kendall has been generating bookings directly from his own vacation rental website consistently for awhile now.
But Kendall didn’t always get bookings from his website. At one point Kendall started out very much like Gila.
With the same type of questions, doubts, fears and concerns.
Will my website be able to get found online?
How do I use my website to generate bookings?
How do I use social media?
What’s the best way to go about blogging?
What are the best tools to use for operating a vacation rental business?
As you’ll see from the videos in this series, there are many more questions that Gila had.
As I started pondering on these owners and some of their common questions, it became clear to me that you probably have some of these same questions too.
Owners need to know that developing a kung-fu strong vacation rental marketing campaign does have many steps involved in the process.
It’s not something you do overnight. It does take some time to develop and execute.
Make sure you are subscribed to my free newsletter and stay plugged in because I will break down those specific steps for you, so you can use them for yourself.
Vacation Rental Success Past, Present Future
With teaching the process of a vacation rental marketing campaign as my motivation I decided that I should take you through the different phases and processes, and there are several as you will see.
I was thinking it would be insightful for you to do something like the past, present and future of successful owners where I can introduce you to owners who are in different stages of their business development.
For example Kendall is the future. An owner who is already achieving direct bookings.
Gila is the present someone who is on the launching pad of their marketing.
And for the past I will take you to a new client so you can see the process in its full scope.
I will also share with you some of the past progress of Gila’s and Kendall’s experience.
You see… I can actually do that because while vacation rental bloggers are talking about independence, website design, SEO and giving their vacation rental marketing tips, we are actually doing the hard work arm and arm with owners and have been for 11 years now.
We don’t just shoot off vacation rental marketing advice. Ideas are cheap; the execution is everything!
What we are teaching is what we are actually doing, learning and applying together with managers and owners.
Sometimes bloggers over simplify vacation rental marketing making it seem way easier than it is. Ever felt like that?
They don’t tell you how long it will take you to achieve success.
The truth is it’s hard!
Today I want to share with you a story about Gila.
In order to bring you up to speed with Gila’s story I have to let you know that she purchased The Investor Campaign from us.
In order for you to fully understand the process I’ll be sharing with you I’ll have to tell you what the Investor Campaign is.
The Investor Campaign is the most aggressive and comprehensive vacation rental marketing that I provide for vacation rental owners.
There are a ton of things that happen when we deploy one of these campaigns for our clients, and many of them happen simultaneously to help speed up the process of the business development.
I have to say that Gila has very successfully made it through the process of branding, business development and web development.
As part of Gila’s campaign, the team at Villa Marketers did keyword research, search engine optimization, logo design & creation, content marketing, social media marketing, power domain name research, video marketing, branded reservation email, sales content creation, and more.
It was a long process but I really have to congratulate Gila on her dedication to her business.
And that’s why I’m writing this blog post.
A lot of people quit before their success and Gila didn’t.
What sets Gila apart from others is that she was patient and dedicated to reach the finish line.
A customized presentation takes work. And she knew it was going to be a learning process.
She didn’t know anything about website design. She said we took her from zero knowledge to now knowing a whole lot about the process.
She worked with a lot of our experts. SEO guys, video creators, copywriters, developers, and logo designers, and the site is a reflection of her vision and our expertise.
Watch the video to see her old site and then see how we transform her vacation rental website from bad to fab!
In the video, I go through what we have done for her and share some expert tips on website design.
This is part one of the series. In the next episode, I’ll be answering some of Gila’s questions on social media, email and blog marketing, and how to drive traffic to your website.
Here are some points discussed in this episode:
Best Domain Names for Vacation Rentals
Gila has two properties, one in Mammoth, CA and the other in Maui, Hawaii.
We built two different sites with domain names that were keyword specific for each property.
The reason we created two unique sites is because we are reaching two different markets.
Her domain names have all the best keywords in them.
The keywords have different elements to leverage marketing.
Domain names with core keywords will support each website page better.
Vacation Rental Website Content
Content needs to have keywords, and each page of the website should target a different keyword.
Vacation Rental Website Design
It is important to transfer the virtual experience of what guests could have if they rented with you.
Vacation Rental Logo Design
Your logo should be used in all of your marketing- invoices, email marketing, social networks, etc. It’s the face of your business.
It brings out brand recall and will help you stand out when you’re marketing your property.
Gila envisioned her logo and she shared with us exactly what she wanted- the flipper, the waves, the sun, the flower. Gila understood the goal of the logo- to create a brand.
Contact Forms on Your Website
The purpose of the website is to drive traffic and convert traffic into inquiries. Contact forms should be front and center.
We also created a very important piece of material to be focusing on in 2016- Video presentation.
It’s important to have video presentation on your website, but you should also use that video for content marketing.
This is a marketing tool that should be promoted on different channels.
YouTube is the number one sharing resource, but there are other sources you can utilize to get your video seen. Anytime your video is uploaded to another website, it’s an opportunity for your video to get seen.
Here are some video sharing sites:
The ‘things to do’ section engages your guests the moment they visit your website. In this section, you create your content marketing strategy.
Include reviews in your marketing material.
They shouldn’t be just on your listing site or website. Incorporate your testimonials in all pieces of marketing such as video descriptions.
So how does Gila now take what she has to generate bookings?
Many of you with new websites may be wondering the same thing.
Stay tuned for part two on how to drive traffic to your website.