To catch a guest, you need to think like a guest.
Property managers are focused on their properties. Guests are focused on their holidays. There’s a mismatch here. To connect with potential guests and convert more customers, you need to think more like a guest than a manager.
People travel for new experiences. They stay in your property because they have to. They are concerned with their vacation, not their vacation rental. Their concerns are:
What they want to do
Where they can do it
Where they can stay
You are third in the list at best.
Whilst you can make this comfortable and enjoyable as possible, your property is never going to be the entire focus of a trip. When you put all of your efforts into managing your properties it can be easy to forget this. Create the DESIRE to travel to your properties, don’t just respond to the NEED.
The initial step is understand the thought process of a guest when selecting a property. Guests have no loyalty to properties. A single property is no reason to travel, no matter how nice it is.
So, what are the reasons guests would come to your area?
If you’re by the beach, they are coming for the sun, sea and relaxation. City properties are sold on culture, nightlife, restaurants and excitement. Sell your properties on what your guests travel for.
Hobbies. Interests. Wanderlust.
These are things your guests love. They are the luxuries that they want to think and dream about. Accommodation is a necessity and an expense. It’s a boring product, like fabric softener or an ironing board. The product itself is not exciting, it’s the result that you’re selling – the relaxation and enjoyment. Choosing the right amount of rooms, the closest place to the airport, or the square footage is not going to create this magic. Solely listing the features of your properties is a sure way to turn off visitors to your site.
Your marketing should start at the very first stage: Dreaming. Many property managers mistakenly focus their attention on the third stage: Booking. The later in the booking process, the fewer potential guests there are. You need to first create the desire to travel. If you try and jump the dreaming stage, you divert people to other, more romantic and captivating sites.
It is a mistake to assume a 3-bed property in Lisbon is a specific, niche product that needs to be sold in a detailed way, to a very limited market. It’s not. You are really selling travel. This means excitement, relaxation, new experiences and fun. These are the most attractive products out there.
The excitement of travel and enjoyment is what keeps people on your site. Having an area on your site for content is the perfect way to achieve this. Blogs, videos and pictures about the fun and experiences that people have when they travel will bring guests to you and establish you as the authority on this subject.
If your site and content are only focused on the accommodation you provide you are shrinking your own customer base. Your site is geared towards the people that have already decided to travel and are planning their trip. Aim at anyone with the dream of travelling. Your marketing is then so much wider and so much more effective.
‘If you only talk about your property, you’re forgetting why people travel.’
If you think about the first things guests will see on your website bear in mind the 5 stages of travel. The first time guests see your content they will likely be at the dreaming stage. Keep your language emotive. Focus on how your guests will feel and mirror their decision-making process. When it comes to describing your properties there is still room to be more creative. Don’t just list the features but use your marketing to highlight the benefits.
A balcony is not just a balcony, it’s a place to watch the sun dip behind the clouds as you relax. Make your guests fall in love with the idea of a vacation. Only then do you need to start mentioning your properties.
Understand why your guests your guests travel and then create a guest experience that reflects this. If you only respond to your guest’s need for a roof over their head then your business is not going to be remembered as the cornerstone of their experience.
The Vreasy way means catering for the entire guest experience, from start to finish. We create happier guests and property managers that have a sustainable, stand-alone businesses that will last for generations.