“Attract” and “Retain”, these should be the most important goals for a VRM. Attracting and Retaining guests keep your properties rented, and no one’s making money unless somebodies renting the property. Ok, so this is obvious, but how do you Attract and Retain?
The first thing you focus on is managing the prime properties, but there are only so many of those in the market. After that you need to figure out how to add value to average properties? Let’s face it, outside of begging the homeowner to remodel the kitchen, update the furnishings and purchase LCD TV’s, as a VRM your hands are tied. So you look to fancy marketing and SEO, partner with OTA’s, create virtual tours and post drone videos in order to drive more guests to your website. Now that you got them, how do you keep them?
You find a linen service and a dependable housekeeping staff to keep the properties presentable. Maintenance personnel to make sure everything works. You hire friendly and courteous staff members to handle all your guests requests in a timely and professional manner. In other words, keep them happy.
Congratulations, now you’re just like every other VRM in the market!
Today, savvy VRM’s are looking more and more to Experiential Amenities as a value proposition. Including a couple beach chairs or bikes with the property or having a concierge service to help facilitate activities. After all, we live in a world of convenience. This is really smart and let me tell you why. If you provide the foundation for your guests to create a “vacation experience”, this transcends the property itself and truly sets you apart. This is how you create value, and this will “Attract” and “Retain” guests.
So why isn’t everyone doing this? I don’t know, maybe because in-house programs require capital expense, operating expense and staffing resources to manage and support them. Maybe it’s because managing property owners, guests, housekeeping, linen service, maintenance, marketing, billing, and whatever else is already a 70 hour a week job.
This is exactly the conundrum Scott Colson, the owner and founder of VayK Gear, found himself in. He built a successful VRM business in St George Island, Florida, but felt compelled to provide his guests with more than just the roof over their heads. With all the moving pieces, Scott quickly realized that successfully managing an Experiential Amenity program was taking away from his VRM business, so Scott sold his VRM business and started VayK Gear.
VayK Gear is a turn key platform and handles every aspect of your Experiential Amenity program. The program is seamlessly integrated into the reservation process, so there is no hand off to third party vendors. In this way, the program remains a value added amenity of the VRM itself. What really sets this apart from typical in-house programs is that the guests are provided “Beach Gear Credit”, which allows them to choose from a wide variety of gear including beach chairs, beach umbrellas, adult bikes, kids bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, boogie boards, skim boards, coolers, wagons, and corn-hole games. Each guest selects the specific gear that best suits their individual needs and personal lifestyles, ensuring a positive experience. VayK Gear brands beach chairs, umbrellas, and bikes with the VRM’s logo in order to help drive marketing and brand recognition. VayK Gear also partners with local service providers and offers guests negotiated rates on experiential services. Oh, and lets not forget dedicated customer service and field personnel to handle all support issues.
This type of program is truly a godsend for today’s VRMs. It allows them to focus on their core business units while adding incredible value to their properties by enhancing their guests vacation experience. All this with no capital expense, no operating expense and no staffing requirements.
To learn more about this amazing program, please contact Michael Ball to schedule a meeting.