Home » Liza's Blog » The Demand for Detail

Vacation rental managers are faced with a monumental challenge.  Practically overnight, guests have become far more concerned with consulting social media reviews then we ever imagined. 


The industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years.  TV is awash with programs on travel, luxury experiences, how to remodel and update your home or the local poorly performing restaurant or hotel.  Guests want to know how many levels are in each house, the number of steps to the pool or beach, exact location of each TV and whether it's a flat screen, does the property have Xbox and Blu-ray, and do you have a recycling program.  In the past, it might have been acceptable to just give a rating to each property but now the demand for details seems to know no end.  The guests know exactly what they expect and are quick to let you know if your "top rated" property doesn't measure up.  As one client recently wrote to me, it's been the summer of the "entitled tourist". 


I can remember many years ago at a vacation rental conference, a property manager standing up and desperately trying to figure out a way to stop the vacation rent by owner movement.  Dream on.  It's much more important to differentiate your services starting with educating your owners on the national travel trends, your local market, the huge changes in the luxury segment since the recession, hospitality industry furnishing trends, and the fierce competition from other markets and industries (particularly cruises).  When I see social media blogs from vrbo's asking whether free Wi-Fi or property photos are necessary, it reinforces the value of a good vacation rental manager.  It's simply realizing that your owners don't have the same level of industry knowledge and it's your job to keep them informed.


There is no doubt that there are an abundance of great, beautifully furnished vacation rental properties but at the same time there are many older  homes and condos that are in dire need of an update.  There will always be a variety of properties.  The challenge is to educate your owners on the changing market and prioritize a list of improvements that will most impact the guest experience. 


Hope to see you all at VRMA in Phoenix, October 21-24


Liza will present Strategies to Develop 5-Star Owners

Colorado Hotel and Lodging Annual Conference

October 28-30, at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

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