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Holiday Rental Marketing In 2014 – The Good And The Bad

First off  –  Here’s wishing you all a happy new year.

We’re starting off the new year with a bit of a special. A special guest in fact –  Jay William (below) of villamarketers.com.

Jay William

Jay  is the author of the famous book “Vacation Rental Marketing, Secrets No One Will Tell You”.  He is a vacation rental marketing guru and a seasoned sales strategist who’s partnered with some of the biggest names in the vacation rental business to help empower owners and managers.

He and I had been speaking about the vacation rental market and I asked him if he’d put down his thoughts on where he thinks the market is going in 2014.

Here are his predictions, good and bad,  and you should be aware, this is the first time he hopes most of his predictions are wrong…

The Bad News

Bad News

Booking software came out big as predicted in 2013. Sadly with it, its rushing in “The Vacation Rental New World Order!” BUT, things need to change fast for this new system to work!

Therefore I anticipate in 2014 we’ll be forced to conform, comply and give up even more control this year! Keep up those calendars, log into your account, pay more for less OR ELSE! What’s next?

Expedia and HomeAway announced a partnership in late 2013, expect Expedia to offer vacation rentals early 2014. Do you think other travel sites will sit back and watch Expedia gain momentum in this market?

What other big travel sites will dive into the V.R. market in 2014 to compete with Expedia and YOU???  Travelocity, Orbitz,  Priceline….Google? YES, maybe even Google! Did you know Google Ventures invested approx 25 million in HomeAway?

Can you see where this is going? Now that VR properties can be booked like a traditional hotel room, the conditions are ripe for a big business takeover.

In the latter part of 2013, Flipkey forced owners to log into accounts to retrieve enquiries. Why does Flipkey withhold enquiry details, in their system? More control!? Is it to “lock us in” and  impose more commissions in the future?

We are moving toward hotelifying vacation rentals. Does this mean we’re likely to experience much of what hotels do, a ton of competition, extortionate commissions  (15 to 30%) and lower rates, is this where we’re heading?

 The competition will get tougher moving into 2014, for sure!

2014 may be the year the pendulum swings on the side of professional property management companies. Larger property managers may get an even bigger piece of the pie since companies have more inventory and will likely be considered a more reliable partner than an individual.

 Hotels will continue to feel threatened by vacation rentals and this resistance will likely lead to pressure for more regulations on rentals.

Whether it be to the big listing websites and their self serving policies, changes in Google rankings or the new V.R. laws that will popup, 2014 may be troubling for owners and smaller managers who have fallen behind the herd. I anticipate more frustrated owners. Many will be the first “culling of the cattle”.

Those weakest specimens who have failed to keep up, will be starved and begin to die out. The VR world will begin to be ruled by the elite owners and managers.

 I believe we’ll see a decline in subscription listing sites with commission being the bigger prize moving forward. Not all these things may fully be realized in 2014 but I feel for the first time the process is in full swing this year!

Someone is going to end up with the big pile of money this industry will bring and its not likely to be the little guys! It’s a new order in the V.R. world!

The Good News

Good news

It’s The Year Of Enlightenment! Owners are beginning to “wake up” to what’s happening. With owners and managers reading free marketing blogs like Alan’s Rentmoreweeks.com, which sparks intellectual thinking, owners are starting to respond to the changing market.

This year I predict more than ever owners will look to take some of what they’re losing back by creating their own websites and marketing their properties using alternative VR advertising solutions like SEO and online marketing, we can see that happening first hand at Villa Marketers.

I think we will see huge advancements in VR software and it’s features that help to market, book and manage properties more effectively and efficiently.

It looks like the vacation rental investment market will continue to stay hot this year with more investors looking to get into the industry. If you’ve been looking to sell your property 2014 may be the year.

With all the negatives it is still a year of great opportunity, you’ll just need to do more to survive. You won’t be the only one scrambling to get your piece of this new world market. Take advantage of that and do more than the others this year.

Work on your websites, create videos, start a social marketing campaign, offer excellent customer service, learn more, develop an inbound marketing strategy and become an elite owner or manager. The 80 / 20 rule is and always has been true, 20% of the people do all the work and get the biggest rewards.

Become a part of the elite 20% in 2014!