Lexicon Travel has added vacation rental industry veteran Michelle Marquis to its leadership team as Chief Revenue Officer. Lexicon is a channel management and revenue management platform that is designed to strategically place its client’s properties across industry-leading distribution partners by providing integrations, specialized merchandising, and revenue management services.
After spending over a decade at NAVIS developing and bringing to market its technology products, Marquis spent the last year working with an online reputation management tech platform for hoteliers.
We sat down with Marquis to talk about her experiences and why she decided to join Lexicon.
AH: What attracted you to Lexicon Travel? And what need is this company meeting that other channels managers are not?
Michelle Marquis: When the idea of joining Lexicon was put in front of me, I had some hard questions around this crowded space for Joel [Inman] and his team. I wanted to make sure I was joining a company that had some real differentiators. It was important that these differentiators were not just about the product itself, but also how the industry was served. The vacation rental (VR) industry is complicated and solving the distribution problem is not just a technical one, but a human capital one. Lexicon’s technology is by far the leader, specifically with how they can merchandise the unique properties and avoid commoditization of the product. Humans need to understand the three P’s of marketing anything (product, price, and position). Having a partner who is committed to developing easy-to-use technology and continuing education on the topic is the quickest way for a property manager to see increased revenues from their different channels. Also, their revenue management tools (currently free) are cutting-edge and perfect for anyone wanting to understand how to price their products among the different channels. Lexicon is positioned perfectly to lead this space, and I am so excited to help them do that!
AH: In coming back to the vacation rental industry, what are you most excited about?
Michelle Marquis: First and foremost, the people. Being in the VR industry is a little like being involved with a startup. Obviously, it is not a startup industry, but the changes are happening so quickly that is feels like one—it is exciting all of the time!
AH: In working in hotel and travel marketing technology for the last year, what have you learned that can help property managers—and what is coming for VRs that they haven’t seen yet?
Michelle Marquis: My experience before joining the VR industry was in the hotel industry so it was kind of like going back to what I knew prior to the last decade or so. Probably the funniest thing is that not much has changed in the hotel industry. I have always said the VR industry is a cousin to the hotel industry, and I still believe that. One thing that the hotel industry does really well is plan their distribution strategy. This will be an ongoing theme coming from Lexicon. There is a time and a place for most channels, you just need to plan this out. Secondarily, reviews! Reviews, reviews, reviews. There is so much data around the ability to increase rates with a review rating higher than your competitors.
AH: You’ve been on both the hotel side and the VR side. In looking at the OTA landscape, is commoditization of vacation rentals inevitable?
Michelle Marquis: As I mentioned above, if we merchandise like hotels do, we are in danger. As an industry, we need to show that every home or condo available is unique and priced based on that individual home or condo’s value. Many of the channels allow you to market who owns that listing. Pay attention to that when deciding which channels you want to have your inventory. Not all channels have the same policies or cost of sale.
You can see Michelle Marquis at the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit in New Orleans, Feb 19-20, as she discusses vacation rental distribution channels and leads a workshop on developing a fresh SWOT analysis for property managers.
Welcome back, Michelle!