The Great VRMA Recap

By May 23, 2012 April 3rd, 2014 Strategy

10,000 miles and three VRMA conferences later, we finally made it back to WHQ after a busy month of traveling. Peter Scott and Robyn Scherrer hit Atlantic City for Eastern VRMA, while I hit Monterey CA for Western VRMA and then quickly off to Florida VRMA in Panama City FL. It’s always nice to shake a few clients’ hands and meet a ton of new vacation rental companies from all over the country.

Peter and I both presented on the same topics which included developing new biz models (using new tools), maximizing website performance (adding value), and optimizing guest, owner & operations experience. There is a lot of buzz around these conferences (and industry) about these topics and how they can allow you to differentiate yourself in the “sea of sameness”. This includes but is not limited to some of the larger portal sites out there that are gobbling up market share and search engine rankings. Making yourself standout does not mean that you need to avert what is still very important today when thinking about website usability and guest experience before, during, and after their purchase. After describing the following list of items in more detail during my presentation, you would be amazed at how many folks were not doing the basics well enough or at all. Take a peek at these and ask yourself if you could place a check mark by each:

  • Content Management System
  • Property Management System Integration
  • Online Booking
  • Lead Capture Form
  • Google Analytics
  • Maps Integration
  • Blog & Social Media
  • Email Opt-in
  • Professional Photography
  • Advanced Property Search
  • Saved Search
  • Property Comparison
  • SEO Optimized
  • Mobile Optimized

On top of checking these items off your vacation rental website list, we are finding new ways of holding on to these guests for return bookings by creating a unique experience not found by using a competitor or larger portal sites. Concierge services that go above and beyond just booking a Tarpon fly fishing trip while staying in Sanibel is becoming the norm when guests are trying to plan that perfect vacation. Activity planners are also becoming the standard for property managers trying increase revenue. More importantly, the planner enhances the guest experience so there is no need to look elsewhere when planning their next trip…everything they need is right there for them – powered by their trusted vacation rental company.

We received a ton of great feedback on some of the new things we are working on here at Blue Tent while VRMA conference hopping. As we develop new tools and services for our clients to integrate into their digital strategy we identify new ways to provide better service to our clients and their clients…keeping the business cycle strong from coast to coast. If you are interested in learning more about our new suite of vacation rental marketing services or if you simply want to pump up your digital strategy, give us a shout. Just don’t call this guy …

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