Why Are Vacation Rentals Going "Evergreen"? | VRMB
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Why Are Vacation Rentals Going “Evergreen”?

Vacation rental owners and managers – not unlike most small business owners – have limited resources.

Which means that every ounce of energy you put towards your marketing (let’s say answering a question about your rental) really consumes your day-to-day life.

What’s bad is that most professionals in the industry invest their time and money in activities that are one-and-done.

In other words, the moment the activity is complete (for example, walking a guest through your payment process) you’ve got to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

This repetition is not just boring. It’s inefficient and it will likely burn you out.

So I’d like to share with you some ideas how to change all that and make your VR marketing go further and last longer…

Are You Evergreen?

Many years back, when my rentals were just getting started, I was sitting on a beach in Panama drinking a beer with a veritable marketing maharishi (my mentor, Casey Halloran) when he explained something that would change my life:

In botany, Casey described, an evergreen is a plant that has leaves throughout the year, always green. The evergreen, once you plant it in your backyard, is sustainable and long-lasting.

And the evergreen marketing technique (as you may have guessed) is a tactic that – once implemented – stands the test of time and requires little maintenance.

Quite oppositely, Casey pointed out that all my existing marketing (at the time) were one-off campaigns that were consuming me whole. Doing the repetitive thing over and over again.

Thus began my crusade to instill at least some component of “evergreen” in everything I do.

Why Make It Evergreen?

Making a marketing activity “evergreen” does a few things for your vacation rental marketing:

Because It Saves Time

For instance, if you are currently typing out beautiful and compelling messages to each of your inquiring guests, the act of taking the time to turn that message into a template (that can be copy/pasted for future use) would save many hours of repetition in the future.

Because You Build An Asset

Let’s say guests always ask, “Can you please send me directions to your rental?” Instead of constantly answering this frequently asked question in long form, the act of posting the answer on your blog (like Holly Webb explains here) becomes an asset to your marketing. In other words, if you sold your rental along with your website/blog tomorrow, the future owner would be able to benefit from that work.

3 Ways To Become More Evergreen

Evergreen tactics (not unlike other sustainable investments) mean getting better results with the use of less resources.

Below are 3 ideas on how to invest in holistic practices that will free up time to spend on more important stuff (like your family).

> Canned Messages

Instead of typing out each email correspondence message, spend time creating really great copy for each response (the initial availability request, the “You are confirmed” note, the “How was your stay?” follow-up…etc.). Once the evergreen copy has been written in the form of a canned message, it requires very little maintenance.

Tip: If you don’t like writing or want to be really savvy with your copy, use a vacation rental copywriter like Jessica Vozel from GuestHook.

> Guest Posts

Most owners know the most amazing places to eat in town (and the best dishes to order). And when they share that expertise over the phone or via email to a potential guest, it’s great. But it’s also one-and-done.

On the other hand, sharing that advice in written word on someone else’s website (a blog or a local newspaper/interest site) is evergreen. Once it gets published, it will feed you web traffic for life.

> Marketing Automation

Manually sending a guest the “confirmation” email or the “get ready for your stay” email or the “thanks for your stay, will you write a review?” email is redundant and requires more time than it does brain power. In fact, roughly 75% of email correspondence with guests can actually be automated.

So implement an email service provider (FREE course just published HERE) or leverage the automated messaging feature of your online booking software to make these sequences evergreen.

Now Ask Yourself This Question…

When you are preparing to do your next vacation rental marketing activity, ask yourself the following question:

Is this activity a one-off? Or will the effort go on to pay for itself many times over?

And to help each other grow, I would love if readers could share your most time-consuming vacation rental marketing activity in the comments section below.

I will then spend some time to see how (if possible) we can make it evergreen!

About the Author Matt Landau

Matt Landau is the Founder of the VRMB and the Inner Circle, two online resources dedicated to helping vacation rental owners and managers generate more bookings. Google+ | More Posts (230)

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