As we start the New Year our industry can expect more changes. From this, we expect to see more fragmentation that will impact us and the vacation rental traveler. Here are some of the ongoing challenges we will face in 2019:
OTA’s Policy Changes
For those vacation rentals manager who are in renewal mode . . . read the fine print as the terms are getting more and more onerous. These changes will only pull the traveler further away from your brand at a time when the traveler needs you the most. From cancellation policies to the limitation of fees to minimum stay requirements as a ranking factor, changes are coming. Many property managers are making the choice to invest in themselves and reduce the exposure to these policy changes. Your brand is your most important asset….don’t give it away.
Property Management Systems as OTAs
Property management systems are attempting to become the next OTA. We now have the benefit of hindsight to understand what happens when putting all your eggs in one basket. Many have been preparing for this scenario and benefiting from that preparation. If you have not figured how to diversify your distribution, with an emphasis on direct bookings, your time is limited in making sure that your business can remain profitable in the coming years. Learn from history and keep your business flexible for your benefit.
Mega Property Managers Ramp Up
Mega property management companies have done a great job of expanding market share in some markets. However, integrating those pieces while continuing expansion is always a challenge. Owners are starting to understand that local operators with a proven track record are the best choice for their properties. The local relationships cultivated over the years continues to add value to your brand.
The Common Denominator
The past few years we have witnessed many challenges that have impacted our businesses. Many of these challenges (regulatory, traveler FUD) have come from outside interests with no appreciation for what it takes to deliver on the most important part of the transaction—the experience. For all of the above challenges one thing is missing, our DNA:
- Our DNA as entrepreneurs to make adjustments as our industry grows and matures.
- Our DNA that understands the value of a great customer experience.
- Our DNA to go the extra step when others will not.
- Our DNA to lead while building organizations that serve our communities.
Travelers, more and more, are understanding the value of our DNA. Let’s make 2019 the year of the brand….your brand!