Sense of Place [Episode 1, Kauai]

A Sense of Place is a travel show that meets destinations through the eyes of vacation rental properties and their most incredible hosts. Follow our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel for updates. ​

​I am so honored and excited to share with you the first episode of the first travel show to showcase our magnificent vacation rental movement! In Episode 1, we visit Kauai and Great Vacation Retreats, operated by Amy and Scott Grant, and Linda Sylvester, some of the most advanced property managers in the USA. 

My big takeaway from this incredible vacation is that while vacation rentals may not be as predictable as traditional hotels, what ​we lack in standardization, ​we make up for in personality. The quirks and nuances of both properties and their hosts, never fail to create memorable experiences for the traveler. No two are exactly the same. And the industry’s most cutting edge professionals embrace that fact — even using it to their decisive advantage.

Anyone who's visited a good friend in a new destination knows the privileged feeling of having your own personal concierge: getting access to a local’s Rolodex is the new luxury nowadays. It’s this personalized sensation that people are willing to pay for and invest in. Stepping beyond the fancy sheets or expensive meals…introductions to the people of a destination have the power to many any vacation an unforgettable one. 

My aspiration is that as professionals we can finally begin introducing our vacation rental movement to newbies (both travelers and hosts) in a way that's concise, educational, and most of all fun.

Kauai: Deconstructed

​Each destination and host has multiple layers to its success. So we decided to pull back the curtain and share commentary on the people, places, and best industry practices that made this destination so unique.

​To record this video, we've used the Logitech c920 webcam, the Blue Snowball microphone, and Camtasia screen recording software.

​The Learning Corner

The following series of videos are designed to help better understand ​Great Vacation Retreat's secrets to success. Watch each short clip and think about how it might apply to your vacation rental business. 

1. We Were Young

Deciding to up and move to Hawaii was no obvious or scary task. And in hindsight, Amy and Scott attribute some of their decisions to naive youth. But in this case, the outcome was anything but irresponsible. In fact, it was that exact mindset which set them apart.

2. Under the Lindafluence

Hiring a new manager can be daunting. But Amy and Scott look back at the moment they hired Linda as the moment everything changed. When backed by a healthy dose of trust, a set of fresh eyes can mean all the difference.

​3. Give More, Get More

As small business owners we're taught to sell, sell, sell and win, win, win. But in doing so, we realize that inevitably someone feels like they lost. Instead, Linda and Amy leverage the "help, don't sell" style of marketing, harnessing reciprocity and goodwill to draw the best kinds of clients forth.

​4. Pack for a Purpose

​All vacation rental managers possess a huge ability to impact the local community they call home. ​Playing on the idea of Pack for a Purpose,​ the team at Great Vacation Retreats contemplates asking guests to reserve a corner of their suitcases for donations to local causes. 

​5. Wow Moments

​Linda and Amy meet with their team once a week to review incoming guests -- to determine any special interests, motives, or qualities about the stay that might give hints on what "Wow" moment to curate. It's a signature ​initiative that has real impact on their bottom line. 

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