We all know what is happening in the vacation rental industry, and we know we have to do something about it.
That’s why most of my recent content has been focused on helping you break away from HomeAway.
Today’s post will be interesting, I promise, just follow along.
In order to wean off of vacation rental listing sites, we have to optimize what we have in our hands right now. We have to get more out of what we are using today.
This is one of the first steps to developing your independence from the big vacation rental listing sites like HomeAway and AirBnB.
Look Inward for Improvements
You’ve got to start thinking ‘how can I do more with what I have?’
This approach will allow you to create more revenue from what you already have access to.
Reposition Your Vacation Rental Business
Any additional funds you can squeeze from your existing marketing will help make it possible to achieve further success because you’ll have more resources than you do now to help you reposition your vacation rental business.
And we all know managers and owners both need all the help they can get in 2016.
A Little Selling Drives A Lot of Bookings
With that said, we are going to talk about the most important thing that can help drive up your bookings. Sales!
If you’re signed up for my newsletter, you know I spoke about the importance of concentrating on the money for 2016.
Its a really good piece of advice that I hope you follow, it’ll help to keep you out of financial trouble.
Improve Your Rental’s Sales Presentation
One place we can have a huge positive effect on our bookings is with our content and improving how we are presenting/selling our vacation rental services to travelers.
Did you know there is a difference between someone who can write and a sales writer? (There’s a point to this.)
Create Content That Really Sells Your Rental
There’s a huge gap in knowledge between someone who can write content and make it sound good (a writer) versus an experienced sales professional who creates content that’s designed to drive continuous clicks, increase sales, conversions and bookings.
It doesn’t matter how professional a piece of content sounds. It could sound like Shakespeare for all I care! If it doesn’t get people to take an action, you lose! Period! And you lose more than you think.
You don’t want your potential guests to take just any action, because clicking off of your website or clicking off your listing onto another is an action too.
Your Content Could Be Costing You Bookings
The truth is, if you haven’t already created amazing sales copy for your marketing material, that’s probably what’s happening with the majority of your website visitors and your vacation rental listing views. People are bouncing off!
Here are 10 indicators that reveal if you desperately need help with your content.
- High website bounce rates (check your website statistics)
- Little to no social media interaction
- Poor replies to your inquiry responses (yes, that’s sales copy too)
- Inconsistent blog posting schedule
- Zero or very few blog comments
- Low visibility in search engines
- Website pages with no or very little copy
- You copied and pasted the same description to all listings
- You’re not getting people to inquire on popular listing sites
- Low open and click rates with your email marketing campaigns.
Are any of these happening to you?
Your copy, website content and inquiry responses need to make travelers take the desired action and that’s where the sales skills come in.
The Missing Yin To Your Marketing Yang!
You see, marketing is only half of the equation, so to market without selling is useless.
Sales is the Ying to your vacation rental marketing Yang. I explain that in an article I wrote called Sales Vs Marketing
Why isn’t your vacation rental marketing as effective as you’d like it to be? You’ve left out an important piece of the marketing puzzle – sales.
Does your vacation rental marketing and website content make people take an action? It’s a costly oversight if not.
I’ve talked before about including a call to action in your copy because it’s a very important component that should be included in every piece of content you create, but a CTA just isn’t enough.
You have to persuade people first before they’ll do anything with you. And there is a science to that, it’s called psychology.
So how do you create copy that inspires but also encourages more bookings?
The Psychology of Selling
The secrets are in psychology and mastered selling strategies.
You can leverage the power of persuasion by infusing selling strategies and psychology techniques into all of your content and watch how more people will want to book it.
I’m going to teach you some of those money making strategies in my upcoming posts, so make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter. But you’ll first have to be receptive to the idea of selling more.
But a problem is some of you have been given the advice “Don’t Sell”. I think that is a huge mistake.
The funny thing is that these same sources are selling you every day. Buy this book, join this group and sign up for my course.
What do you all think that is? It’s called selling!
I find that ironic.
Did you know that “not selling” or not appearing to sell is actually a sales strategy? Is this getting interesting yet?
Embrace Your Inner Salesperson
Sales is not an ugly five letter word. Sales is simply a communication technique that helps your customers better understand how they can benefit from renting with you.
I wrote an article that explained that, like it or not, vacation rental owners are salespeople.
So to say to someone “Don’t Sell” is like saying don’t communicate, don’t persuade, don’t really help people, don’t achieve your full potential.
I think the advise of “Don’t Sell” can be good for beginners to prevent newbies from sounding like a pushy car salesman or a desperate person.
Vacation Rental Marketing Meat or Milk?
But for those of you vacation rental owners and property managers who want to get off the “marketing milk” and start “eating meat” it’s time that you graduated and started selling more.
I’ll explain the psychological buying process and exactly how you can sell more in my vacation rental sales series.
I know that some of you are a bit uncomfortable with the idea of “selling” but you’ll have to start selling if you want to obtain your listing site independence.
If that’s you, the good news is selling is not what you think. Its really the reason you got into this business but you may not realize that just yet, and that’s OK.
Selling doesn’t have to be so intimidating, with technology you can do most of the selling in your content.
And that is what we are talking about today.
Improving your sales content starting with your website, listings and inquiry responses are the most impactful thing you can do today to turbo charge your bookings.
I have a mantra for you “Help More – Sell More”
If you help more people, you will sell more. Remember that selling is helping and to remove either helping or selling from the equation creates an imbalance.
I’ll explain; if you help more only, you’ll make a lot of friends and people will love you for it. But they will end up buying from the person down the street who sold them on the idea.
Zig Ziglar once said a timid salesperson has skinny kids.
Maybe thats why your bookings are not where they should be.
The sales are the blood of your business. Cut off the blood flow and guess what, you’re dead!
Thats why this is so important for me to share with you. It’s knowledge that will enrich your marketing and your life.
The idea is to create a balance between selling and helping.
If you sell more and don’t help more, you’ll run across problems with lower sales conversions because people will know you’re only in it for the sale.
You’ll run into more customer issues because you only wanted to sell more and make money, opposed to helping someone get what they really need.
So the two are the Ying and the Yang of a vacation rental business’s success and they need to be balanced.
If you believe in your product (vacation rental) and truly feel that it does suite the travelers needs, then you have an obligation to that person to do all you can to show them why and persuade them to book their best choice by renting your vacation home.
If they don’t, they could end up with something else from someone else that didn’t fit their needs. You have a duty to sell!
And back to my point earlier… that is what a professional sales writer will help you do. And they’ll do it without sounding pushy or off-putting and they’ll get this strategy implemented super fast for you.
This will help you to increase your cash flow and allow you to invest in alternative forms of vacation rental marketing.
I’m sharing a follow up post tomorrow, yes tomorrow. I’m moving as quickly as I can to get this content in your hands, with all the changes happening now so quickly. We can’t delay not one bit.
HomeAway is moving lightning fast and that means we have to as well.
What do you think?
Tomorrow’s blog post is 6 reasons you need a sales writer on your team.
If you need help with your sales copy or content I’m here to assist and answer any questions you may have. Just ask!
#11 You have a website but no one is inquiring
Jay what is bounce rate and how is that effecting our bookings thanks for helping me understand. I am not a very techy person
Bounce rate refers to the amount of people who visit your website and end up leaving (bouncing off) without clicking another link. They dont explore your site further.
If your content is not clear of what you offer and quickly get people interested in reading more they leave your website and that is how high bounce rate indicates a possible problem with your content.
Do you think that is what is happening on my site? I know I need to get some better descriptions and do more SEO on my pages – I just never seem to get around to it.
Hey Darla, the truth…yes absolutely. Lots of room for improvement in that respect.
That is why I wrote this post because no one is selling and every one can benefit from it.
Sales has a ton to do with your conversion, you’re not going to convert website visitors into inquiries without being persuasive. There are lots of little persuasion tips that can mean the difference of making or losing a booking to a competitor. You only have seconds before they click of your site, your copy has to grab them!
People who think “my property will sell itself’ are feeling the pressure now. And a side note Darla, these big brands coming into the market know how to sell very well. You’ll see a lot more selling in our space. Every one of your listings and website pages needs to have a purpose. We need to look at every page of our website and ask ‘what is being sold here’ where am I leading them next’. I’m sharing more about SEO and this in my next post, so look out for that.
Almost all your vacation rental problems can be solved with money but it takes more sales to earn more money and making these adjustments now and knowing in the future your goal is to persuade can be monumental for your business.
Jah, I like your mantra of balance. last year I drove over 17,000 visitors to my site, but no sale. I wait patiently for next article.
17,000 visitors no inquires or no bookings?
Thats way too many visitors without converting into actual bookings. You should look at a few things.
1, does your content sell and persuade.
2, are you using keywords? If so are they the right ones? Poor keyword content can bring in less relative traffic which means less visitors will convert because they weren’t looking for what you offer.
3, Are you using conversion techniques to get people to take an action when their own your pages?
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