The Best Thing I Learned In 2012

2012 was a great year for me, both personally and professionally. When it comes to vacation rental marketing, I’ve adopted the mantra that everyone (from the savvy expert …

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2012 was a great year for me, both personally and professionally. When it comes to vacation rental marketing, I’ve adopted the mantra that everyone (from the savvy expert to the first timer) and every property (from the world-class beach villa to the economical city flat) has room for improvement.

But in looking back, there is one true resounding theme that I believe rises above the rest from my vacation rental marketing work and that is this:

Momentum in marketing is your best friend.

We’ve all seen the baseball inning that turns a close lead into a major blowout or the final influential minutes in a soccer match where one team comes back from a goal down to win the game. The Law of Momentum states that once you kick-start something into motion, the easier it becomes to make it go faster. And when it comes to vacation rental marketing, 2012 has showed me that momentum is king.

2012 has taught me that for most vacation rental owners, the biggest challenge to gaining momentum is the start. For many owners, marketing their property has always been either (a) an after-thought or (b) an inconvenience. And so, just getting started is basically the most intimidating (and annoying) task in the world.

But not unlike a sports game, the owner that gains momentum in vacation rental marketing is the owner who practices good habits and puts forth honest efforts. Thinking, hoping, wishing, dreaming: these will not build momentum whatsoever because momentum requires movement. It requires consistency and forward progress and optimism.

2012 has taught me that vacation rental owners these days typically fall into one of two categories: either they are dedicated to the momentum and want to learn as much as possible about increasing bookings OR their stubborn (or lazy) nature impedes them from moving at all.

In 2012, I’ve seen owners go from a slow roll to full-speed in just a few months. And once they start to see the effects of their momentum, motivation is less of a problem. It becomes easier to keep doing the work because they start seeing the benefits.

There is no checklist to gaining vacation rental marketing momentum because it is a club. Are you on the inside? Or are you out?

I would encourage all vacation rental owners to set the following 5 New Years resolutions for their property, to kick-start your marketing momentum in 2013:

  1. Set occupancy goals for 2013, and make it at least 5% higher than 2012
  2. Promise to spend 5 hours per month working on your vacation rental marketing (that’s around 1 hour per week). There are plenty of effective ideas to keep you occupied on my Vacation Rental Marketing Blog.
  3. Target a high proportion of completed guest reviews per total guests (I like to start with 1 out of every 3 guests or 33%)
  4. Formulate a marketing budget: I like to say that 10% of your annual income should be dedicated to marketing your property (this percentage will guarantee you more bookings the following year)
  5. Improve on 1 strength every month: In my article "The 80/20 Rule of Vacation Rental Marketing" owners learn how to build upon their most effective marketing techniques.

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