"A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats" – John F. Kennedy
Think Outside The Box…
I’m going to challenge you to stay outside the box for the rest of this blog. Like 1,500 years of people before us who thought the universe revolved around them, we’ll need to change our thinking to realize the profitability of your vacation home doesn’t revolve around your area.
When we started renting our first vacation home in Anaheim in 2007, our house was the 13th listing on VRBO in our area. When I started writing this blog post last Thursday, there were 198 listings on VRBO. By the time I finished it, there were 201. No doubt some of you out there have seen the same rapid growth, maybe even more so.
Here Are 3 Reasons Why We Should ALL Be Happy About Increased Competition:
1. Competition Makes Us Better – The idea that someone is trying to take food off our table compels us to get better. What are you doing to constantly improve? Reading this blog for one. Not everyone in your area is, so you’re already gaining on them!
*Best Practice: After you’ve read through all the No Vacancy Blog Posts, try reading
my competitor’s, I mean my friend Joel’s blog on VR Success.
2. Competition Validates Us – If there are homes popping up all around you then you must be in the right place and doing something right, right? Give such good service that the number of repeat guests outruns the vacation home growth and ride the wave.
3. Competition Creates Loyalty – Now that you’ve read all the No Vacancy blogs you know that we’re trying to create Customers for Life (CFL’s) because they are great for ROI. By allowing #1 above to drive us, we create a gap that future CFL’s will recognize, appreciate and award you their ongoing business for doing so. And when your CFL’s friends travel to your area and say “there are so many homes to choose from,” your CFL will adamantly say “don’t even bother calling anywhere else, stay where we stay.” Smells like a Referral’s cookin’.
Here Are 3 More Things You Can Do To Leverage The Rising Tide:
1. Get In Cahoots – What local businesses other than vacation homes are also benefitting from the rising tide? Eateries, entertainment venues, touristy places? What are you doing to partner with them?
2. Partner With Other Homes – Find a home similar to yours in your area, establish a relationship with the owner/manager and fill each other’s vacancies. We’ve all turned business away when two inquiries for the same dates go out. Lob one over to your new friend in anticipation that they will do the same. Don’t forget to pay/collect that referral bonus!
3. Keep Your Sights Set On the Horizon – It’s easy to become narrow-minded and short-sighted when we are about to eat vacant nights, but remember we’re running an endurance race, not a sprint. Keep doing all the Little Things right and the business will be there.
But was JFK right about ALL boats rising with the tide? Let’s ask Dwight from "The Office."
Here we have to concede a point to Dwight. Sunken boats are indeed unaffected by tides. Don’t be a sunken boat.
Here Are 3 Ways to Not Be Sunk In A Rising Tide:
1. Don’t Cry About It – If you are committed to your business, always look for the upside. Whining is terrible for ROI.
2. Don’t Immediately Slash Your Rates – Continue to sell the value of your home to inquiries, and do it over the phone, not email.
3. Don’t Be Like Everybody Else – If you haven’t figured out your market niche, what is it? Value? Luxury? Family? Location?
The Bottom Line:
All boats rise with the tide, unless they are already sunk. As the number of vacation homes in your area increases, so does the number of vacation home guests. Every time one of your guests (or theirs) has a great experience in a vacation home an incremental potential CFL for you has been created. Do what you can to leverage the rising tide. The formula we are working from is:
More Vacation Homes = More Vacation Home Guests = More Potential CFL’s For You = Higher ROI
Here’s to high tides and higher profits.