Archives For Marketing

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We have had a busy fall and have launched several new features that you’ve asked for – we hope you love them!

Here’s a brief summary:

Automated check-in & check-out emails – you can now send automated emails triggered by a set number of days before or after check-in date, check-out date, or the midpoint of a renter’s stay.

Inbox improvements- we made a few improvements to our messaging interface, including:

  • attachments – send and receive attachments in your MyVR inbox
  • cc/bcc support – send or receive emails with cc’s and bcc’s
  • subject controls – we give you more control over the subject line of each message you send, including the ability to change the subject during a conversation
  • message delivery & open notifications – we now show you data around whether your message to a renter is known to have been delivered and opened

Multi-property maps – for clients with a multi-property website, you now have the option to add a ‘map view’ to your website to show the locations of your various properties.

Email design controls – we’ve exposed some simple design tools so you can better match the look and feel of emails we send on your behalf, so that they can include your own logo and colors.

Transactional emails controls – we send a number of transactional emails on your behalf (e.g. reservation confirmation emails, payment reminders, etc).  We now expose these templates to you so you can see what’s being sent, we give you the ability to customize these messages, and we warn you when we’re sending them.

Booking & calendar widgets – if you have a 3rd party website managed outside of MyVR, you can now embed your centralized MyVR calendar onto that website, and you can add online bookings to your website with MyVR’s mobile-responsive booking flow widget!

New custom fields – add custom fields to your property data for fields you use often (driving directions, a PDF home manual, etc) and then automatically populate these on your website, automated email communications, and more!  You no longer need to customize certain web pages or automated emails by property!

New channel management offerings – we are excited to announce a significantly revamped channel management offering, providing centralized management of listings on HomeAway, VRBO, VacationRentals.com, TripAdvisor, and Flipkey:

  • HomeAway for Property Managers - we have re-launched our channel management offering with HomeAway (with 5+ properties), and have added support for online booking and pay-per-booking, in addition to our standard inquiry-based subscription listings
  • HomeAway for Owners - we have also added a lighter weight version of channel management with HomeAway for owners (with under 5 properties) so you can also benefit from the automation that channel management can provide!
  • TripAdvisor / FlipKey for Property Managers - we have re-launched our channel management offering with TripAdvisor (with 5+ properties) and can support subscription, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-booking.
  • TripAdvisor / FlipKey for Owners - we have also added a lighter weight version of channel management with TripAdvisor for owners (with under 5 properties) so you can also benefit from the automation that channel management can provide! Our TripAdvisor for Owners offering supports inquiry-based subscription listings (without a booking commission) and you always receive the renter’s contact information.

 

Please let us know what you think, and also what other features you want us to work on by clicking on the “Suggestions” tab at the bottom of the MyVR dashboard when you’re logged in!

Guest post by Jeff Caldwell 

When you’re trying to rent your vacation property, your first priority is to attract interested renters — and to do that, you need features that will catch people’s attention when they’re searching online.

Some of the most important are outdoor amenities: the right kind can grab the eye when someone is browsing hundreds of online listings, and can help someone choose your rental over the competition.

Continue Reading…

MyVR has a platform that delivers the tools you need to market and manage your vacation rental business — but what does that actually mean? For people looking at their marketing options, not to mention owners who are new to the industry, it’s hard to capture what we offer in a brief but engaging way.

We contacted Adelie Studios to create a video that would explain what we offer in a way that was quick, engaging, and not full of “marketing speak.”

Continue Reading…

"Oak Terrace Preserve's Walkable Neighborhoods" on Flickr by North Charleston (CC BY-SA 2.0)Referrals are a common way for businesses to grow, and rent-by-owners (RBOs) aren’t any different; you likely already know that word-of-mouth marketing from happy guests can be one of your most powerful assets.

But what about referrals from other businesses — and other vacation rental owners in particular. Is it weird to get referrals from your competitors, or is it a potential source for new bookings that you’ve overlooked?

Continue Reading…

Sydney Morning Herald || The hottest travel trend of 2014? We know everything about you

We’ve talked about different ways to connect with your guests and provide truly personal service, something vacation rental owners are in a great position to provide. But hotels are upping their game, too. In this article from Australia, industry executives say they’re focused on detailsfrom remembering a guest’s preferred room temperature to buying personalized gifts inspired by their social media posts.

Vacation Rental Marketing Blog || 4 vacation rental guru predictions for 2014

Will 2014 bring more competition or more opportunity for vacation rental owners? Likely a good dose of both, according to the four vacation rental pros interviewed for this predictions post. From new initiatives by big brands to the need for better systems and more comprehensive marketing, our industry is poised for significant growth and change over the next couple of years. Continue Reading…

Once they decide where they want to go, travelers want to know what they can do when they get there, relying on the Internet and a sense of exploration to serve their needs.

However, new and emerging websites and smartphone applications are popping up all the time, many of them delivering information that’s local, socially curated and—in some cases—highly personalized. And they require little if any extra work from you!

Pointing your guest towards resources like these can help make their travel research much easier. Continue Reading…

Skift || HomeAway Sues Airbnb Over Use of Birdhouse Mark

Having long argued that Airbnb isn’t a competitor and operates in a different market, HomeAway is suing Airbnb over their use of a birdhouse in their latest national marketing campaign—something HomeAway says infringes on their trademark.  The battle between the two companies has seemed inevitable to many, and has certainly just increased a notch (or 10) with the news of the lawsuit.

Skift || Why Hotel Brands Should Care About Airbnb’s Disruption

"hotel" by Daniel Zedda on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Airbnb has made a significant dent in the hotel market, building on strengths that every vacation rental has—whether they use the rental site or not.

Vikram Singh of Skift says brand loyalty has lost its power; people care most about location, value and good reviews.

He also notes that transparency helps build trust and community: “The host is the brand, and you have access to him at every stage of your travel experience.” Continue Reading…

Guest post by Madoline Hatter

MyVR on Pinterest

Connect with MyVR on Pinterest.

While sharing interesting content via a blog can support your vacation rental business, adding images—and taking advantage of an image-based social network—can improve the experience exponentially. Like the adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Pinterest is a growing social media hub that can help boost your blog; pairing the two creates a powerful way for you to connect with new visitors.

Draw in new travelers

Even though it’s relatively new, Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than several other social networks combined. It’s easy to direct people back to your blog: add short snippets of information to each picture and link them back to your main blog or website.

Unique and well-developed pictures can spread, generating additional traffic from other sites such as Facebook or Reddit—a strong argument for hiring a professional photographer. The more attention any single image can receive, the better your chances of getting attention from a potential guest.

Boost your marketing efficiently

It’s not just about pointing people back to your website, either. By adding a Pinterest link to your website, it’s easy for visitors to find more images from you or others. Use these photos to showcase your rental property and nearby attractions. This could easily entice visitors to explore further and find out more about your property or the location itself.

The more you can draw website visitors in with eye-catching photos, the more often those visits will turn into bookings. And Pinterest makes it easy: not only can you integrate it with your blog, it’s also free to use. Continue Reading…

Guest post by Tyann Marcink

It was three weeks ago.

Well, maybe just two weeks—but it seems like an eternity.

No emails. No phone calls. Just a message from “Marie in NY” that was obviously a phishing attempt. Why haven’t the inquiries flooded in? How is it that a scammer found your property, but the legit folk seem to no longer be taking vacations?

"click" on flickr, by inna dee (CC BY 2.0)

After checking the number of views on the brand new listing, the realization hits: nobody is even clicking through to look at your property.

Take a deep breath. The travelers are there. They really, truly do want to find a vacation rental just like yours. But are you giving them a reason to click? Continue Reading…

Air New Zealand Hobbit Plane on flickr, by Simon Clancy (CC BY 2.0)Having your city or neighborhood featured in a movie, TV series or book can bring a sense of pride—even some residual acclaim—to the people who live there.

A new report from Skift confirms that status can also draw tourists, bringing a direct boost to the local travel industry.

Whether it’s the spectacular backdrops or a connection to their favorite stories, people are drawn to follow in the footsteps of their favorite characters. New Zealand has developed a booming business around first the “Lord of the Rings” franchise and now “The Hobbit”, as evidenced by painted airplanes and the recently-launched “Book of New Zealand”.

But your efforts don’t need to be quite so epic. In their report, “The Rise of Destination Marketing Through Movies and TV”, Skift cites a number of examples from the past few decades–including some you might not expect. Continue Reading…