When I first went to Fiji in 1999, I had no thoughts of buying a lot, designing and building a house, and becoming a vacation rental expert. Of course, life often turns out better than we ever imagined…and I’m living proof of that.
In 1999, my only thought on that trip to Fiji was escape. As a single mom of a toddler, working from home as a travel consultant, I needed a cheap break. So, when a trip came up for travel agents to visit Fiji—for $600, airfare and meals included—I jumped at the chance.
Two years later I bought an oceanfront lot, designed a house where every room had an ocean view with an architect in Asheville, and hired a builder. The plan was simple: the resort would rent it out for me. Then the resort was sold. The new owners didn’t want to manage my property. I was 24 hours away, newly married, and without a single, viable idea as to how to make the property work.
And that’s when I started learning the vacation rental basics and high-level marketing tactics. Like the importance of having your own piece of real estate on the web, rather than just using listing portals like HomeAway and VRBO…keeping your email list and reaching out when you have low periods you need to fill…creating lateral relationships with those who are seeking to serve the same guests—tour companies, spas, dive operations, and creating packages.
Now, instead of working with a resort that was giving me 25% occupancy and pocketing half the rent, I was maintaining 85% occupancy and keeping all the profits.
No matter what age you are or where in the world your dream takes you, you too can make your dream vacation rental a success. By creating an atmosphere focused on guest happiness with low cost amenities and experiences, you can buy your dream home now and have travelers pay for a substantial portion of it.
Instead of me telling you more about it, let me show you. Watch this video from an International Living conference where I speak about how to make the most from your vacation rental…
Main Image: ©iStock.com/NCHANT
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