1. Open API Property Management Systems
Whether you have 2 or 500 properties, your selection of property management systems can be a benefit or an albatross. Every year that passes the value of these open systems becomes more evident. Having an open API gives your business the flexibility to implement value add services that benefit your business. It is important to note the differences between having an API…and an open API. Be sure before signing up that your vendors are “open” and any charges that may be associated with using them. For those wondering what is an open API, here is an updated list of property management systems we can verify as API friendly.
Please let us know if we missed any open API vendors that we can share with our community.
2. Educational Networking Events
Be sure to make room in your budgets for these excellent regional events in 2018. These events are smaller in scale, but provide a powerful forum for education and peer to peer exchanges not found at larger events. What is unique about these events is they recognize and evangelize the value of the Vacation Rental Professional.
In addition to being known as the “go to” source for all things vacation rentals online or print, Amy Hinote is responsible for VRMIntel Live, the best multi city events in our industry. If you ever get a chance to attend one of these events, you will be glad you did!
Heather (Cottage Blogger) and Mike Bayer host this high energy educational event. I had the pleasure of attending this event in Toronto last year and it was incredble. This years event will be held at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio on May 19-20. Use offer code code FETCHMYGUEST-EB150 to get $150 off the tickets!
This is a powerful association that is driven by an experienced and forwarding thinking leadership team. The event venues and educational opportunities are unique and top notch. This is reflected in their rapid growth. This years event will be held at the beautiful Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine, WA on April 23 – 25.
3. Brand Focused Marketing Tools
2018 must include a commitment to connecting your brand to the travel community. As you know, the OTA’s are making it more difficult for the traveler to engage your brand.
Fortunately, the traveler is pushing back as they value the relationship they have built with our brands over the years. Diversifying your property distribution can take many shapes, depending the size and location of your business. Here are some tools that bring value regardless of size:
Chat: We have tried a few different chat boxes over the years. We found this tool to be an excellent way to drive quality leads to your business. For those that have been in business for more than 3 years, it will give you a good indicator on the value of your brand to the traveler. I know it has for us.
Retention Strategy: Quality leads are very important part of your sales funnel. You can no longer rely on the OTA’s to do the heavy lifting for you. No different than having a diversified property distribution strategy in place, it makes sense to have the same approach when it comes to marketing. Unique content, social media and partnerships that are beneficial to your brand will make all the difference.