Home » Featured » Vacation Rentals – Mad March Hares And April Fools

Vacation rental marketing guy Alan Egan      By Alan Egan 

As many of you know, I live on a farm and early yesterday morning I was standing on the terrace looking out over the fields watching half a dozen March Hares jumping up and down, chasing each other and running around in circles.

Mad March Hares. You have to laugh.

But in many ways they remind me of many vacation rental owners and managers.

For quite some time now VR owners and managers have been jumping up and down in reaction to the big listing sites behaviour, attitude and outright greed. Many have been chasing each other in search of “new” listing sites (in order to teach Expedia, Homeway, Tripadvisor, etc a lesson!!). But most are just running around in circles.

The problem doesn’t lie with the listing sites upping their “take rate” (what an offensive term that is) or with them building walled gardens so that we can’t talk to prospective guests or even with some of these companies introducing price parity so we can’t offer better deals.

The inherent problem lies with the listing concept itself.

Who on earth thought that it was a good idea to list your unique property with another 100, 1,000 or 1,000,000+ unique properties? Sort of dilutes any uniqueness doesn’t it?

It’s just an outright crap idea. From an owners point of view.

Fair enough it’s a great idea if you run a listing site. It’s a money spinner. But it’s your money that we are talking about.

So what are you going to do about it?

Well you have a few choices, you can do nothing, accept the fact that you are going to give more and more of your income to these companies while at the same time losing more and more control.

Or you can hang around on forums, Facebook groups and the like bemoaning the latest round of changes.
You can write letters to Homeaway CEO Brian Sharples (lots of people have been doing this for some reason) in the vague hope that he will alter the way his company does business.

This is no April fool. This is more fool you.

Like a mad March Hare you can run around in circles in search of some new listing utopia that doesn’t exist or you can change your thinking, spend your time in a positive way and concentrate your efforts in marketing your unique qualities.

PROMOTE YOUR UNIQUENESS

Instead devote your time to your own website. Morph it from a property showcase into a destination info hub. Spend your time sharing your local insights, tell people about the things to see and do in your area and spread the word about the great beaches, museums, adventure parks, restaurants and more that are on your doorstep.

To give you an idea of what you can produce, here’s a website that we made for a client in Florida
Click on the image below to see how the owner, Sandra, is sharing all sorts of information regarding Disney (and much more). You can do the same.

Have a good look around this site, especially her Florida guide and her booking calendars as Sandra has already sold 38 weeks this year and 18 weeks next year. All of this in Orlando where there are over 10,000 competing properties.

SANDRA DOESN’T LIST WITH ANY LISTING SITES.

Arkvilla Disney Information

We also offer an easy to follow course on how to create you own site like this if you prefer to make your own website. Here’s a short video of the latest owner created site to go live via the course.

Don’t get mad, don’t be a fool. Take back control and sell your uniqueness instead.

Feel free to contact me via the contact page for further details.

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What do you think?
Are the listing site driving you mad? If you are then please tell us more about what you are doing to break away the madness below.
Please leave your thoughts, ideas and images in the comments section below.