Why Pausing Your Homeowner Marketing Campaign Can Cost You Millions
When it comes to marketing your vacation rental management company, the competition is red hot! From national agencies to your local family-run shop, everyone is trying to capture owners. As of 2020, there are 23,000 vacation rental companies in the U.S. Each one of them would love to compel your owners to jump ship and snatch away your prospects. And they will consistently use tactical marketing to try to get them to.
By pressing pause on your marketing campaigns during the low season, you are giving your competitors the perfect opportunity to step in and get in front of your properties and potential prospects. By the time your owners are waving goodbye, it will be too late to start marketing to try to get them back. For vacation rental management companies, being proactive and marketing all year is essential to have the edge over competitors.
Is Homeowner Marketing in Low Season Effective?
Your vacation rental management business has a set marketing budget. You want to make sure you are getting the best return for every dollar spent.
You may think that spending your marketing dollars during the off-season or when owners aren’t shopping for VRMs is a fruitless effort. But that could not be further from the truth.
Gaining the trust of an owner to convince them to switch to a new vacation rental management company takes time. It’s not a trust that is developed overnight. From the first interaction with your brand to a signed contract can take months or even years. Have you heard of the secret rule of seven? The rule states that your prospective buyers will need to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they would be willing to buy your product or service. And this makes so much sense! The key to not only converting a lead but also retaining that customer is building a relationship and trust. Marketing is not a once and done approach. One study from a customer engagement company SDL found that it takes two years for brands to build trust with clients.
Not every part of your budget will generate an immediate return. However, carving aside a portion of your marketing budget specifically for keeping your brand at the forefront of prospects’ minds during the low season will have a positive impact on your bottom line in the long run. Consistency, consistency, consistency is key to building a long-term successful home owner acquisition marketing plan.There’s a reason why car dealerships, insurance companies, and lawyers are ruthless with consistent advertising. The reason is developing memorable moments over long periods of time that create actionable triggers at the time when needed.
VRMs that use off-time marketing come out way ahead of their competition. As competition gets tougher and many mergers and acquisitions take place in the market, acquiring new properties will become more difficult. This only increases the importance of establishing your brand and keeping “top of mind” awareness.
Lead and Data Collection All Year Long
Brick and mortar stores see spikes during the holiday season. Does this mean they close their doors and stop marketing for the rest of the year? Of course not.
Continuing to market your vacation rental management company throughout the year allows you to continuously grow your list of leads and accumulate more data about your prospects.
This data and these new leads will be invaluable when the high season rolls around and you can start pushing out more targeted and sales driven campaigns.
Retaining Your Current Homeowners
The marketing cost for acquiring a new owner is exponentially higher than the cost of retaining the ones that you have. According to Outboundengine, acquiring a new client can cost five times as much in comparison to retaining an existing client. In addition, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
Marketing in the off-season and keeping in touch with your owners will keep you at the forefront of your owners’ mind. You need to remind them constantly why they signed up for your vacation rental management services. People have short attention spans, and not continuing contact with owners year-round, will make your competitors offer more tempting.
Using Optimal Messaging In Your Homeowner Marketing
Common complaints VRMs have about running year-long campaigns is running out of ideas and wasting marketing dollars.
Both of these can quickly be resolved. By running seasonal campaigns for low and high seasons, you will find it easier to generate ideas. You can get more specific in your messaging and these more targeted messages will have a greater impact. Need some inspiration? Achieve a greater return on your marketing efforts with this messaging guide.
The campaigns you run during the low season don’t necessarily need the budget of high season campaigns. There are plenty of budget marketing ideas out there. Email drip campaigns, with plain text email, are simple to execute and require no design or production budget.
The content can be geared towards sharing your services and benefits. Focus on keeping yourself in the customer’s mind rather than trying to get them to switch VRM at a time when the thought is not on their mind. This way when the high season comes around and they are unhappy with their current VRM for not being in contact with them over the low season you will be the first manager they think to go to when they start shopping around.
Email campaigns are a great way to keep in touch with prospects and continue collecting useful marketing data during the low season. The insights you gain from this data can steer your marketing strategy for the high season.
Now is the time to up your marketing efforts, but like many VRMs you might not have the time. Vintory has just launched the first and only CRM and Sales & Marketing Automation Platform designed exclusively for Vacation Rental Managers to grow their inventory. Book a demo today!
Author: Randy Bonds
Randy is the COO and instrumental part of Vintory's operations and long-term strategy. Randy has been in the vacation rental and property management industry for decades, as well as having vast knowledge in the digital marketing landscape, making him a perfect fit for Vintory.