As a vacation rental industry analyst, I recently wrote in a HomeAway column that I believe 2014 will be all about creating optimal experiences.
I was led to this conclusion because of two trends that have been made abundantly clear over the past decade:
First, vacation rentals represent the most sustainable travel movement that has (and will) come along in a very long time.
And second, perhaps the biggest hurdle that exists in this nascent industry is to streamline the way guests experience rentals as a whole.
When I say streamline, I’m not talking about adopting the generic nature of chain hotels like Hilton or Marriott…
Nor am I referring to the human-less void of airline ticket kiosks or automated customer service phone calls (I absolutely hate talking to a computer).
Instead, to me, streamlining the vacation rental industry means the challenge of forming a universal set of expectations for travelers…
…Expectations that can then be met (or in the case of my subscribers, superseded) by property owners and managers around the world.
Establishing these expectations will benefit all of us.
And in very much the same way that BookingSync has set out to make the managing your vacation rental easy, I believe that the largest opportunity in the vacation rental niche, for owners and managers -- the way to make the most money and to conquer the most market share -- is to discover your own optimal processes on an even greater scale.
This could range from an optimal correspondence method: a sequence of questions or emails or actions that you find converts the most inquiries to bookings…
It could mean finding the most optimal bed linens: the ones that cost the least but feel the softest…
It could even mean picking the optimal property (yes, many of my subscribers are now going on to purchase second, third, and in one case NINTH vacation homes due to their success).
The point is this:
Vacation rentals evolved organically to make life easier for travelers.
Now, it’s our job to make the experiences surrounding those properties as optimal as possible as well.
This means testing, prodding, researching, learning, failing, improving and doing it all over again.
2014 will be an extremely influential year for vacation rental owners and managers.
How optimal can your business be?