Visual Data Systems is pleased to share feedback from a survey we conducted at the end of last summer to help prepare you for this year’s busy season. Our goal was to collect and analyze information from vacation rental property management companies, mostly rooted in beach destinations. We had 27 participants share excellent data from August 31, 2012 - August 31, 2011 compared to August 31, 2011 - August 31, 2010. Our participants were made up of those who are involved in our Online Marketing Promotion program, our Encore managed Email marketing program, both, or neither. The following is an explanation of our results along with an infographic of significant takeaways.
Based on our results, we found that:
- 77.78% of companies were up in reservations August 31, 2011 - August 31, 2012
- 36% of companies said they were up 11-15% in reservations from August 31, 2011- August 31, 2012
- 46% of companies are managing more properties
- 40% of companies raised rates
- 37.5% of companies say that 30-49% of their reservations are booked online. 66% are still taking 50%+ of reservations over the phone
Other things to consider:
1. If users need to call the office, make sure your phone number is in a prominent place on your website and that your reservationists are trained and friendly. This is customer service 101
2. Make sure your reservationist is guiding the user to the website, suggesting they bookmark it and taking them through the process of searching online. Users are much more willing to try the process on their own after a lesson.
- Discount seekers were seen as the primary challenge (39% of companies answered)
- 96% of companies surveyed said they offered mini week vacations (less than 7 days)
- Paid Advertising (44%) followed by Email Marketing (32%) were perceived as the areas of Online Marketing that produce the largest ROI
Encore Email Marketing Survey Results
- 50% of companies not in Encore do not perform list cleaning or are unsure if they do
- 89% of those currently engaged in email marketing were up in reservations from August 31, 2011 – August 31, 2012 by at least 6%
- According to results, the focus of email marketing is specials
- 92.31% of Encore clients felt their email marketing strategy was successful or very successful in driving last minute booking
- 88% of companies surveyed see summer reservations booked 30+ days in advance
- 66% of those in Encore for 4+ years reported that summer revenue was up
- 66.7% of clients engaged in Encore for 4+ years said that most summer reservations are booked 90+ days in advance
- 42.86% of companies in Encore found the CTR the most useful post email analysis statistic
- Of those who book a majority of reservations online (50%+), more than half (66.7%) are using Visual Data Systems’ promotion and email marketing services.
- 50% of companies in Promotion said they used social media to market a promotion focused on enhancing bookings this past year
\ In summary, we found that a majority of our participants, in beach destinations, were up in reservations from August 31, 2012 - August 31, 2011 vs. August 31, 2011 - August 31, 2010. Through a variety of traditional business tactics (like raising rates and expanding offers like mini weeks), online marketing, email marketing, and more, our participants found ways to maintain and grow excellent business standards. It is our hope to continue surveying those in the vacation rental industry, and provide important takeaways that we can all benefit from.