How To Compete In The "New" Super - Crowded 2020 Season
Stuck Between the Marriott, Airbnb and Your Neighbor's Coastal Property?
Did you know that Restoration Hardware, the retailer is also jumping into the Destination Rental Property business?
One of the hottest trends in the home-share industry right now is the entry into the market of large hotel chains such as Marriott. Perhaps it was inevitable after years of seeing their profits seriously eroded by the likes of Airbnb that they'd take a leaf out of its book and look to offer bespoke experiences at a premium. Now, with the creation of a dedicated Homes & Villas division, prospective guests can rent an Irish castle in the wilds of County Clare, or an oceanfront mansion in St Barts, under the auspices of the Marriott brand.
Never one to stand still, Airbnb is fighting back with its Airbnb Plus initiative, which puts the emphasis on validated homes that meet more than one hundred separate criteria. It's a similar kind of high-end offering to the one currently being promoted by new competitors such as Sonder and Domio. Indeed, it's hard to keep track of all the hospitality startups looking to replicate the Airbnb's enormous success, and yet still they keep on coming. One thing's for certain – this already crowded marketplace is set to become more competitive yet.
It's a situation that not only effects the CEOs of hotel chains, but anyone who owns a holiday property, second home, house-share, or other coastal rental that brings in significant yearly revenue. In order to protect your investment, an ever greater level of professionalism is becoming all but mandatory. In other words, you might not think that you're in competition with the likes of Marriott, but Marriott sure knows it's in competition with you.
On the plus side, it's more proof of people's growing preference for coastal home stays that privilege unique experiences over all-too-predictable luxuries. For this same reason, it's absolutely crucial that you leverage your own uniqueness to the max. A process that we employ at Grande Interiors, and gets to the heart of our own value offering. Which is why we've made it the subject of our blog post and thought to offer a few salient tips.
Finding Ways to Over Deliver and Impress Your Guests
It's natural for the owner of a coastal rental to get defensive when their property comes under criticism. Especially when that same property has been lavished with no shortage of loving care. We all want glowing reviews and repeat bookings (in an ideal world, both of them), but at the same time there's plenty of hidden value in acknowledging those aspects of your rental that somehow failed to inspire.
However happy paying guests generally are, you should always make a special effort to discover what could have made them even happier. It may be painful to acknowledge any existing flaws but it's where you'll find the most ready source of improvement. And on the plus side, you'll often find these changes can be effected at a relatively low cost. For this same reason, it's crucial to not only heed any negative feedback, but also invite it whenever possible. In that way, if several guests comment on the same issue, then you know that something has to give.
The same goes for those features that your guests invariably fall in love with. It's no good simply resting on your laurels and giving yourself a pat on the back (not in this current climate!). Whether it's the décor, the spectacular view, or the surrounding neighborhood, you need to ask yourself if you can enhance this particular asset. As there's no way you can compete with the likes of Marriott in terms of big data, this kind of personal testimony is all the more vital to your long-term profitability, which means that you need to put this precious knowledge to best use.
IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE.
DO YOU OFFER THE BEST EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR GUESTS?
This tends to be a critical area that hosts overlook. We have seen repeated success when hosts incorporate the features of their coastal community into the guest experience. Reach out to local establishments, artists, and craftsman for opportunities to offer guests an added plus while staying in your coastal home. We have watched homeowners who have worked with us on design improvements get noticed with not only great photography but more importantly the experiences they offered guests. Boat trips, wine tastings, complimentary pastry at a local shop, pottery, weaving or glass blowing class, private bike tours of the area, etc. It is a winning combination to stand out from your competitors while supporting your local community. It really is all about the total experience!