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    Talking points for recruiting homeowners

    piece posted earlier this year discussed vacation rental industry trends so far in 2014. While such an overview is useful for a strategic look at your business, sometimes something a little more tactical is required. This piece will dive into such a tactical issue: talking points to use when recruiting homeowners.
    Increasing the number of properties you manage is the best and fastest way to grow your business.  Of course, adding properties is easier said than done. 
    A piece posted last year discussed different ways to grow your inventory. Rather than rehash those ideas, this piece will focus on specific talking points to use once you have a conversation with a homeowner.
    To begin, it is important to stay abreast of industry trends, not just from your own perspective, but also from that of a homeowner. What do things look like from where they are sitting? What are the implications from that? How might that help you when making your pitch to homeowners? 
    One good place to start is to join and follow online communities of vacation homeowners. Just like as a professional vacation rental manager you have the
    VRMA, homeowners have their own communities. Examples include the Vacation Rentals Community, The Vacation Rental Association, and The American Vacation Rental Owner’s Association. Once in these groups you can see what the top points of discussion are, what articles are posted and commented on, and who the influencers are.  You can see the industry trends through the homeowners’ eyes. 
    Once you have gained this perspective, what do you do with it? Rather than discuss this is theory, let’s look at a
    recent article from the homeowners’ perspective regarding industry trends. This article highlights four key trends that will impact the homeowner, and their renting ability in the coming year:
    1. Growth
    2. Regulation
    3. New entrants
    4. Professionalism
    Great, but what do these trends mean to you? How can you synthesize them into a coherent impactful story to tell prospective homeowners?  Here is an example:

    This is an incredibly exciting time in the vacation rental industry as more and more travelers trade hotel rooms for vacation rentals.  As a homeowner, this means your potential upside is greater than ever.

    That being said, it is anything but guaranteed.  The constant changes in regulation make it nearly impossible for a homeowner to stay on the right side of the law without professional help.

    In addition, the constant influx of new entrants, whether it is new online distribution channels, or entirely new business models, makes it difficult for a homeowner who is unable to manage their home as a full time job to compete.

    When you combine this with the increased push for professionalism, and vacationers’ demands for a more professional end-to-end experience, partnering with a property manager is your best bet.

    Now let me tell you why I am the best partner you can have…

    Your own pitch will no doubt be different, be in your own words, and be tailored to each homeowner’s specific circumstances, and that is how it should be. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are the pro, and the homeowner should immediately see what that means for them. You know this business better than they ever could. You don’t only know its past, but you know the current trends, and where things are headed. Having you in their corner is their best bet for success. 
    So what are you waiting for? Go out there and recruit some new homeowners!

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