Home » Featured » The 3 types of characters in the vacation rental business

Vacation rental marketing guy Alan Egan      By Alan Egan 

Vacation rental players – A cast of millions

There are all sorts of characters in the vacation rental business.

Owners, managers, agents. All sorts. Literally millions of them.

All of these individuals fit into one of 3 basic types, each type has an over riding trait and this is reflected in their marketing persona. Where are you playing your part?

Act one – Group one – One dimensional players.

mr nobody

The vast majority of vacation rental owners and managers, maybe 80% or more of the business, are one dimensional.

Like one dimensional characters in a novel or a film they bring little to the overall plot. They play the walk on parts if you like. The bartender, the cab driver, the paramedic. They don’t have much to say. They don’t really get noticed.

Being one dimensional they lack depth and what you get is purely superficial.

Just like actors that have a walk on part in a play these characters spend little, if any, time centre stage and they speak very few or no words at all.

They advertise their property with one or more of the listing sites, show some photos, a short description of their property and a list of amenities. That’s it. There’s no flesh on the bone.

Their part is overshadowed by others.

Act two – Group two – Two dimensional players

The second group are rarer birds. These make up for 15% or so of the VR business population.

They are two dimensional. They are somewhat more rounded in development than the vast majority. They show a little bit of character through their words, actions, or emotions, but everything they reveal is of a one track (look at my house/s) nature that’s somewhat underdeveloped and often lacking in background, explanation or depth.

In the literary world these are known a bit part players or cardboard characters.

These people realise that being one dimensional in business has it’s limitations so they go through the motions of having their own websites, possibly a blog and they may even advertise their property on social media.  But that’s about it – their hearts not really in it. They do these things because they feel they need to, not because they want to. They don’t quite get the plot.

Being two dimensional their marketing efforts fall somewhat flat.

Act three – Group three – Three dimensional players

little miss helpful

The third group, maybe 5% or less, are in the starring role.  In books these leading 3 dimensional characters need to be engaging otherwise readers lose interest. These owners, managers and agents realise that people (potential guests) don’t want to do business with businesses. They understand that people prefer to do business with people. So they project themselves as such.

Their websites are alive, full of information, insight and stories. They post for their audience not for their business. They market socially instead of marketing on social. They talk with people as opposed to talking at them. 

These people are alive with passion, ambition and desire. They have character.  They create and retain crowd interest. They have high standing and reputation. They shape the storyline.

In marketing terms these professionals are in the spotlight and playing the leading role.

The epilogue…


The vacation rental industry is not dissimilar to a play or a film. Not everyone can play the main part –  that’s just not possible.

There will always be extras, bit part players and supporting actors making up the cast of millions.

The difference here is that there is nothing at all stopping YOU becoming a star.

  1. You can move from backstage to centre stage by switching your role from monologue to dialogue.
  2. Don’t try and sell to your audience, tell to your audience instead. Tell them your story, your loves, your secrets, share your passion, dispense your local knowledge.
  3. Allow and encourage people to play a part in your marketing.

It’s much easier than you imagine.

You won’t win an Oscar but you will will a lot of business.


Stage school…

I’m teaching owners and managers how to market for their audience as opposed to marketing for themselves (see here for more information). These same owners and managers are seeing great returns in the way of increased bookings by adopting these guest centric marketing methods.

Feel free to contact me for further details.

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