The vacation rental industry is a unique market that is constantly in flux, but one thing remains certain: vacation rental companies are as adaptable as they are resilient. At the heart of this industry are the relationships built among property managers, homeowners, and guests. As the rental landscape changes and unforeseen challenges continue to present themselves, this relationship is key and will always be the foundation upon which this industry is built.
In times of crisis, the most important thing to remember is to keep the lines of communication open and clear. During these unprecedented times, we are all left feeling a bit confused about what our next steps should be. However, one thing I’ve learned through our COVID-19 webinars and by listening to our clients in the property management field is that we all have a lot of fight left in us. At ICND, we want to use our experience and knowledge of the vacation rental industry to help guide you to sunnier days ahead.
As marketers, we learn to think toward the future. Every action has a reaction, and it is our job, through data and analytics, to not only predict what that reaction will be but also to prepare a strategy to handle it and make it profitable.
While your focus should remain on nurturing the relationships between your homeowners and guests, your marketing team should focus on what’s next and on making sure that your brand messaging stays relevant through this crisis.
Here are our tips to help your team navigate this pandemic.
Communication and Transparency
Online Website Chat
With remote work distractions like pets, children, and spouses being inevitable, the best way to keep the lines of communication open while presenting a professional persona is through online chat.
By now, we’ve all received COVID-19 emails from every company we have ever done business with, including the company that we bought a washcloth from in 2005. Now we are all wondering what is next. Here are our suggestions:
Stay relevant and send emails once a month at a minimum.
Promote future travel and community engagement.
Partner with local restaurants that has been affected by COVID-19. This is great for brand reputation and for promoting community.
Share your story. Are you giving to an organization or providing meals to your local hospital? Share your community involvement.
Keep your presence up on social media. Everyone in the world is browsing and dreaming of better days.
Create a Facebook quiz that goes viral.
Start a photo contest to keep engagement active.
Share your company’s quarantine tips.
Highlight local businesses that may be struggling.
Ask followers to participate in an inspiration post by sharing their favorite memory of vacationing with you.
Share updates of your location to keep guests dreaming.
Share virtual tours of your homes and attractions to keep people interested.
The billboard effect carries a lot of value in future purchasing. Don’t pull the plug; just be smart. Reduce spending and narrow your keyword list to make it more targeted. As terms related to COVID-19 begin to trend, ensure that you add these to a negative keyword list to prevent spending on irrelevant searches.
Google My Business
Remain in front of consumers:
Link to prominent pages
Keep your hours current
Respond to reviews
Be an Authority
This is a great way to get information front and center during any crisis.
Use callouts to increase click-through rates and to push your most relevant content out.
New Landing Page
Show potential leads, homeowners, and search engines that you are an authority and are being proactive.
Travel insurance options
Local hospital information
CDC and WHO guidelines
Links to the local authority pages of the county/town
Rock Your Onsite SEO
SEO and Website
SEO should be a top priority. As the old adage goes, “this too shall pass.” When it does, you want to be prepared and not have any organic ranking loss.
Update content with relevant keywords
Create fresh content, blog posts, key pages, and FAQs
Stockpile your content now while you can
Google’s algorithms scan your content frequently. If your competition is consistently making updates and you’re not, they will have the upper hand when the market bounces back.
When the peak of this pandemic has passed, consumers will be ready to decompress in their favorite vacation spots. This isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when, which is why it is so vital to remain proactive in your marketing strategy and to be prepared for what comes next.