Furnished rental tips to survive in the world of Expedia

5 steps to financial success and control of your furnished rental property!

Yes, landlords got spoiled with their furnished rentals when the internet allowed them to efficiently and economically connect with potential renters around the world. Furnished, unfurnished, daily, weekly, monthly and annually leasing all got easier with the connectivity offered by the internet.

Today a lot of these landlords are living in fear because those internet tenants are going away and costing more. How did this happen?  How can you, the landlord, protect yourself from financial ruin?

Simple answer: Go Back to the Basics!How To Make Money

No business, no landlord, should ever sit back and rely on one source of income. It is that simple, you need to diversify your marketing. Take control of your destiny by taking control of your marketing.

Somewhere along the line landlords got comfortable with getting all their rentals from one source. I was talking with an associate last week who has been managing a vacation rental property in Winter Park, Colorado for the last 10 years and getting 100% of her renters from VRBO. Good for her, but the game has changed. I asked if she had been developing repeat clients over the past 10 years. “No,” she said. “I didn’t need to develop relationships with my renters because VRBO gave me new ones every year.” “Do you have a website to market your rental property?” I asked. “No,” she replied. “I get everything from VRBO.”

OK, Time to wake up! The nice little website VRBO which has been diligently sending property owner’s renters is now GONE for GOOD and it is not coming back.

Fact: The reason Expedia paid $3.9 billion for HomeAway is because it was under monetized. This means that HomeAway was only charging 3-4% of each rental where Airbnb was taking 10-13% and Booking.com was taking over 15%. Marketing fees are going up and they are not going up by a little, they are going up by a lot.

There are a lot of issues with the new Expedia / HomeAway / VRBO monopoly that will be hurting the individual landlord but we will talk more about those later.

Today we need to talk about marketing your furnished rental property so you are in control of your financial success.

Step 1:  Setup a simple Property Website.  This can be done for free on platforms like WordPress.com

Step 2:  Tell your story.  Get great photos and tell potential renters the story both visually and in words what it would be like to live in your property.

Step 3:  Connect all your friends, all your social media, all your other marketing back to your website.  Did you know in your CHBO property listing you can reference your property website?

Step 4: Learn what else you can do to stay in control of the rental income potential on your investment property.

CHBO understands the importance of having more than one source for renters. Each year as part of the CHBO Annual Report we ask property owner to talk about all the ways they market their properties.

We do this to make you the most success property owner possible because we know no one source can do it all.

Step 5: Read the following details for our recent CHBO Annual Report and use this list to add to your property marketing so you can stay in control of your financial success:

Marketing Trends for Furnished Rentals

The key to annual rental revenue success is high occupancy, which can only be achieved with quick turnover between tenants and effectively lining up the new tenant before the previous one departs. That’s where marketing plays a significant role.

Getting a property rented is about having the right property at the right price and being able to connect with the right tenant. There is never one, perfect place to find a renter. As the economy and business trends change, where you find those right tenants will change too. Marketing means creating the correct formula to connect with individuals and businesses on a local, national and international basis.

Key findings: In 2015, property owners spent less on marketing, and they were less satisfied with their results.

Meanwhile, the number of respondents who say they have professional photos of their properties hit an all-time high of 80% in 2015.

Tip! Before you even look at new places to market your property, it’s essential to make sure your property listing is accurate, well worded and includes fabulous photos to make it easy to rent your property sight unseen. Talk to a CHBO Property Specialist about the CHBO Platinum Package if you’d like help with all of these.

Marketing Resources for Furnished Rentals

Knowing where other people are marketing their properties can give you ideas on where to list your rental property to achieve the annually occupancy you desire. Typically, the key is to find a balance among several marketing options.

As we mentioned before, respondents invested fewer dollars in marketing in 2015. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that more than half of the marketing sources that have been used in the past hit all-time lows. Because property owners were also less pleased with their marketing results in 2015, we expect to see a large percentage of these numbers rise in 2016. Surprisingly, with the strong emergence of other options, the use of Craigslist remained consistent at 40%. In 2015, we experienced a merger between Zillow and Truilia, which is now combined at 14%.

In the “other” category in 2015, respondents listed: Google, HOA, Apartment Guide, Yelp for Business, Sublet.com, Flipkey/Tip Advisor and Wimdu. Whereas in 2014, respondents listed: VRBO, FlipKey, Chamber of Commerce, Postlets, Domu and Building Front Desk.

How do you market your furnished rental? (Check all that apply*)

* More than one option could be chosen; thus % is the % of respondents, not the % of the whole

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
CHBO Basic Listing 62% 57% 67% 64% 68% 80% 55%
Craigslist 40% 40% 50% 44% 46% 55% 67%
Airbnb 36% 30% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
CHBO Premium Listing 27% 16% 17% 21% 20% 5% n/a
HomeAway 27% 22% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Vacation Rental Website 20% 18% 28% 22% 24% 31% **
Facebook 14% 21% 16% 17% 17% 19% 14%
Truilia / Zillow *** 14% 9% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Real Estate Agent 11% 16% 17% 16% 14% 16% *
Property Specific Website 9% 14% 13% 13% 14% 16% 32%
Referrals/Commission 9% 14% 14% 16% 15% 21% 12%
Marketing to Prior Tenants 8% 14% 10% 11% 11% 14% 19%
Real Estate MLS Service 7% 8% 8% 8% 10% 8% 19%*
CHBO Power Owner 6% 6% 5% 8% 7% 9% n/a
Online Virtual Tour 6% 6% 4% 7% 6% 5% 6%
Other Paid Internet Site 6% 7% 10% 15% 19% 28% 41%**
Management Company 5% 11% 9% 10% 7% 6% 15%
LinkedIn 4% 10% 7% 11% 6% 8% n/a
Printed Brochure 4% 10% 7% 9% 4% 9% 12%
Sales Calls 4% 7% 4% 8% 5% 8% 7%
YouTube 4% 7% 3% 3% 3% 4% 3%
Other Social Media 3% 4% 4% 3% 3% 5% 7%
Fliers/Bulleting Boards 2% 6% 7% 8% 5% 6% 9%
Newspaper 2% 2% 3% 5% 4% 6% 11%
Pinterest 2% 3% 1% 3% n/a n/a n/a
Twitter 2% 4% 3% 4% 4% 5% n/a
Window/Yard Sign 2% 4% 5% 4% 5% 6% 11%
Rental Magazine 1% 1% 2% 3% 0% 2% 7%
Zillow n/a 11% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
* In 2009, Real Estate Agent and MLS were combined in one category.
** In 2009, only “Other Website” was asked. In 2010, we were more specific about the website.
*** Truilia and Zillow merged in 2015.

Learn more furnished rental trends in the CHBO Annual Report and be the most successful furnished landlord possible.

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