Many consider the vacation rental industry to be polar opposite from its hotel counterpart: Less professional, less established, less technologically advanced.
But property managers occupy a space in the hospitality industry that’s something of the best of both worlds: selling a niche product (vacation rentals) that are proving to be superior in many ways to hotels, yet embracing the marketing savoir-faire of bigger business.
Here are five tools that can turn any level of property management agency into the local marketing force to be reckoned with:
1. Rapportive: Rapportive allows PMs to get a quick glance at potential guests through their email address keychain. Those who haven’t discovered Rapportive yet, don’t realize how powerful it can be to see what a prospective guest looks like, what he or she does for a living, and where they live before sending their tailored reply. This not only gives PMs a better idea of who they’re talking to, it provides insight into any given guest demographic (awesome for marketing too). Read my Rapportive review here.
2. Open Site Explorer: Any PM marketer who’s looking to defy competition needs to be using Open Site Explorer (up to 5 free searches per day). It allows you to spy on your competitors’ organic SEO rankings, backlinks, domain and page authority, top pages, and even anchor text. Once you have all this valuable intelligence, exploit the nearest competitor without anyone ever knowing you were there.
3. Litmus Subject Line Checker: Any top-level PM in the industry is utilizing email marketing in their portfolio of marketing techniques. And anyone who’s leveraging email marketing knows how important subject lines are in scoring optimal open and click-through rates. Litmus Subject Line Checker is the primo tool that allows PMs to see precisely what your potential subject line looks like in any email provider platform. From there, simply tailor accordingly.
4. HARO: Much like a savvy hotelier, the best PMs in the world are also in the business of public relations. But fortunately for us, these days, getting your rentals featured in major publications doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, it can be free. HARO (or Help A Reporter Out) is a platform that allows PMs to follow any given news feed (Home & Garden, Travel, Lifestyle) and pitch themselves as expert sources to any given journalist.
5. Yesware: For any PM who’s been curious as to which guests are opening their emails, which links are being clicked, and when’s a good time to follow up, Yesware is for you. Free for 100 tracking events per month (Warning: it is addictive), Yesware allows you to spy on your email recipients and maximize your profits through the intelligence gathered.
Matt Landau is the Founder of Google’s #1 ranked Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, as well as VRLeap, the first online marketplace for tools and services for vacation rental professionals (from 50-90% OFF).