January 17, 2013 –As public awareness of vacation rentals as a lodging option increases, the professional vacation rental management industry has an opportunity to educate potential guests about the many advantages of renting from a professional property manager rather than an individual owner.
Aggregate listing sites such as HomeAway, Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Tripping are waving the vacation rental flag in the marketplace with the primary goal of bringing vacation rentals to the consumer, regardless of whether or not they are professionally managed. It is the responsibility of the vacation rental management industry to educate rental shoppers about the difference.
5 ways property managers can help educate consumers about the benefits of choosing to rent from a professional instead of an individual owner:
1. When reading an article, post or blog about vacation rentals, take a moment to comment about the benefits of choosing a professionally managed vacation property.
2. List the benefits on the company website.
3. Join the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) and any state/regional vacation rental industry alliances.
4. Work with state and local tourism officials to promote professionally managed rentals.
5. Train your reservations agents to compete with RBO’s.
A few of the many benefits of choosing a professionally managed home over a rent-by-owner are:
- 24/7 access to assistance
- Online booking and secure payments
- Professional cleaning
- Guest amenities
- Additional services (housekeeping, linen, concierge, etc.)
- Property inspection and safety
- Peace of mind when traveling with family many miles away
- Local presence and information
- Professional contracts
- Accountability and legality
“Professionally managed” is not a “distinction without a difference.”