People buy short-term-rental properties for a host of reasons. They come to vacation rental property managers like you to help them make the most out of their investment by keeping their calendars booked and their vacation rentals safe and well-maintained. In order to retain homeowners (and attract new ones), clear, positive communication is paramount.
Successful vacation rental property managers rely on regular homeowner communications to keep business moving forward. Here’s how.
- Invest in a CRM.
- Respect homeowner communications preferences.
- Enhance homeowner communications with content-rich videos.
- Celebrate together.
- Be upfront and specific about your approach.
- Use data to inform your homeowner communications.
1. Invest in a CRM.
Vacation rental homeowners and guests are a lot alike. Generally speaking, both parties want to feel cared for by their property managers, with personalized communication that feels particularly relevant to them. However, there comes a point in your company’s growth where maintaining homeowner communications can become too time consuming to do manually.
That’s where a CRM system, or a customer-relationship-management system, can come in real handy. This AI-powered software is highly customizable. It can automate certain homeowner communications on the cadence that you select. Plus, it can tie in directly with your marketing campaigns, so you can continue to provide information-rich communication to your homeowners without crafting individual emails by hand.
Your PMS (property management software) may have CRM functionality included for homeowners. If it does be sure to use this! However, even if it does not, there are several low cost, or even free CRMs that you can use to manage the relationship and communications with your prospect owners and current homeowners.
2. Respect homeowner communication preferences.
Taking the time to understand your homeowners’ communication preferences is key to establishing positive relationships with them. Some homeowners prefer lots of communication and a more hands-on approach. For example, they may prefer regular phone calls and visits over email communication. Still some may not feel the need to communicate much at all—an email a month will satisfy them.
This is another great use for your CRM. This software can help you keep track of preferred cadence and method of contact for each owner. In addition, it can help automate some of that process for you on the backend. That might include pre-setting email sends individually, or setting up regular calendar invites for meetings over coffee or by phone.
During the property onboarding process, include communication preferences in the data gathering step. Don’t just gather email addresses and phone numbers. Instead, ask which is preferred and the hours that are best to contact the homeowner.
3. Enhance homeowner communications with content-rich videos.
The statistics surrounding video engagement are astounding, particularly on social media channels. Social posts with videos get higher engagement than any other kind of post—as much as 10 times more engagement on some platforms.
Video content can easily be adapted to your vacation rental management content, and can offer a unique way to share useful, even vital information. And it offers a dual benefit of reaching a large audience while creating a sense of connection and a personal touch. Here are some ideas for maximizing video content for either a broad audience, or specific homeowners:
- For specific owners you can create a quick video to share monthly or quarterly property reporting, or review the history and future projections of reservation build, or you can highlight amazing reviews.
- For a broader audience you can share company-wide updates like a new Smart Home tech strategy or a new housekeeping partner.
The best part is, you don’t have to invest a large amount of money to produce decent-looking video content. Services like Loom make it easy for you to record your screen or via camera view.
4. Celebrate together.
Your relationship to your vacation rental homeowners is similar to the relationship you establish with your staff. Celebrating wins—both of individuals and of the company at large—and enjoying one another’s company can help keep morale high and increase retention.
Consider a few ways that you can show you can show your appreciation and excitement with your homeowners. Cards on holidays and major events, like the anniversary of their signing on with your vacation rental management company, are givens, but what about a gift when they hit or exceed their revenue goal for the month, or increase their occupancy for the quarter? Celebrating your connection to your homeowners as partners in this venture together—maybe even as friends—can make a huge impact on homeowner relations.
5. Be upfront and specific about your approach.
Every vacation rental homeowner is unique, just like their property. Some buy an investment property strictly for financial reasons, while others treasure their second homes and regularly visit it themselves. Establishing trust is key to homeowner retention. No matter their attitude about their property, they want to know that you and your vacation rental property management team have their back.
Be very clear and upfront with homeowners on how you intend to manage their property, and work together to create clear, achievable goals. If you have investment-minded homeowners, lay out your plans for increasing their revenue. If the homeowner is more sentimental, offer insight into the ways you intend to protect their property. Treat their property, and their needs, as unique and specific to them, and tailor your approach appropriately.
6. Use data to inform your homeowner communications.
Offering data to back up your approach can dramatically improve communications with your vacation rental homeowners. Because really, who doesn’t love data?
In all seriousness, you and your team utilize different kinds of data to inform your rates, your booking windows, and property updates. Homeowners rely on your expertise to make changes that benefit their overall goals. Showing them how their property stacks up to similarly sized properties in the area, or historical data for particular months on their calendar, can help homeowners understand changes or get behind improvements.
Communicating effectively with your homeowners can make or break your vacation rental management business. By providing relevant information and tailored approach, you and your team can build trust and brand ambassadorship.
This guest post is from our friends at Rented. Rented’s Automated Rate Tool (Art) provides dynamic pricing for property managers. Revenue management is a key strategy to ensure homeowners (and managers) maximum revenue by providing the right price, for the right home at the right time.