A lot of the people who contact VRP or myself personally, whether they be luxury vacation home owners, or individual investors, even investor groups like private equity firms or family offices, they typically already have their own idea of what marketing a luxury vacation home will entail, and they’ve already made up their mind about what they want.
To be blunt, it’s usually wrong. DEAD WRONG.
And this plays a very big role in why most luxury vacation homes significantly underperform, when they could realistically be generating an extra $100K, $250K, even $500,000+ more rental income per year.
WHY MOST MANAGERS UNDERDELIVER ON MARKETING
Traditional marketing strategies simply don’t work, and can be detrimental to the rate of return of a luxury vacation rental’s investment cycle.
Using generic marketing and distribution tactics that are really just ‘shinier’ derivatives of mass-market strategies is NOT what’s going to help generate $400,000+ in bookings for a $2M vacation home.
Unlike the rest of the vacation rental industry, the luxury segment plays by a completely different set of rules.
Its rules are often counterintuitive, and are notoriously misunderstood.
Most luxury vacation rental managers misinterpret the principles of the luxury vacation rental strategy and utterly fail in its execution.
What’s more is that most luxury vacation rental managers are plagued with a catch 22, if you will, with their margins for marketing and booking operations being stifled in direct response to an operational value chain that is already broken at the source, which in return, only further reduces the vast majority of all growth and revenue potential for each individual asset.
Internally, this is what we call a ‘downward spiral of value dilution’, which actually causes a deadweight loss in the marketplace that we at VRP capitalize on. We explore this concept in more detail in a separate piece that I hope will help explain this situation a little better
In contrast to the way most managers market luxury vacation homes, VRP focuses on accentuating the uniqueness of each independent asset, building each their own individualized brand, style, story, and booking funnel in order to maximize each asset’s perceived value within its own dedicated market segment.
In order to do this properly, VRP invests upwards of $30,000 — which is more than what most luxury vacation rental managers earn in commissions per property per year — into the onboarding and marketing asset creation for each individual property we work with.
WHAT LUXURY VACATION RENTAL MARKETING REALLY IS
Marketing a luxury vacation rental property is not a task, or a function. It’s the way to do business.
Fundamentally, for a luxury vacation rental property to be truly successful, its marketing has to be holistic, all-pervasive, and ingrained in every aspect of the operation and design — including the bones of the asset itself.
The luxury vacation rental strategy is holistic, and must include a significant amount of market research for proper positioning and strategy development, for visual asset and booking funnel creation, yield management, distribution management, booking and rental operations, design & decor, and asset management — with all aspects working together, harmoniously.
When one component changes, so must all the others.
All aspects of the luxury vacation rental strategy must maximize the perceived value of an asset in the marketplace. In order to do so, it must properly manage rarity and scarcity, and must create a relationship of respectful dominance with affluent travellers, through the process of education and by providing a sense of social elevation, simultaneously.
Marketing, in both luxury real estate and luxury vacation rentals, is THE most important sources of value creation.
We could actually write an entire book on the intricacies and nuances of the luxury vacation rental strategy. In fact, every new person who joins our team first goes through a rigorous 6-month long apprenticeship training on our strategy before they can even start the regular day-to-day operations of the position they were hired for.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to the luxury vacation rental strategy, and to cover every aspect on this page would be impossible. And if any of the above seems completely foreign to you, that’s totally normal. As I’ve said previously, it is to most people we come across.
It’s also why we always start new potential partners and investors off with a Discovery.
We have such a deep understanding of our market that we know it’s much more effective to actually show clients and discuss concrete examples, and without this critical first step, it’s unlikely that a person will know the truth about how much strategy is involved when increasing a luxury vacation home’s NOI by 300%+, or generating a 20%+ annual return on a $2,000,000 vacation home.
Ultimately, this is the absolute most effective, and realistically ONLY way to truly maximize the growth in equity built within the luxury real estate asset class.
I know this challenges most traditional beliefs in the industry, but our record doesn’t lie.