Finding Focus in 2018

As we start another year, we see a myriad of changes in the industry. Noise and distractions are at an all-time high. Changes in distribution, new technology and increased exit opportunities force vacation rentals managers to dedicate time, effort and energy towards these changes. These changes are important, but how do you prevent these industry changes and opportunities from taking over your business? It boils down to finding focus and being diligent about time management your business.

Numerous vacation rental managers have been consumed with recent distribution changes and business model shifts in recent years. Distribution of available inventory is an important part of every vacation rental business. It is paramount to be smart when it comes to distributing inventory. However, distribution should not be the marketing program, but simply a facet of your marketing plan. Too many vacation rental managers are overly dependent on distribution. In certain cases, this dependency has led to an increased time investment and distractions. It is important to note that distribution channels are in business to make money. Numerous changes are ahead. Knowing this allows managers to plan ahead, make much needed marketing changes, diversify their approach to assimilating more reservations and create less dependency on underperforming marketing programs. Return on investment is a measurable metric and should be continuously evaluated in every business. In the event, cost outweighs benefit, make a change. Until then, continue to garner a positive return on investment, research diversification opportunities and invest time to stay ahead of change instead of being consumed by it.

New technology is one of the most exciting developments in the industry. From keyless locks, to pricing management to qualities housekeeping and maintenance management software tremendous efficiency can be obtained by embracing new technology in the industry. As we review new technology, we’re excited with how effective our businesses will become. However, vacation rental managers seem to resist new technology or over analyze the options with in the industry. Products and software require diligence and focus to ensure its fits within your business model. Each of these new developments must interface directly with a company’s property management system. Too many managers are wooed by limited demonstrations of services that do not fundamentally fit within a business. We’ve seen numerous instances of onboarding new technology that does not fundamentally fit within an operation only to be underutilized or uninstalled. More front-end focus and diligence should be applied to ensure the right fit, this will save time and money while making your business more effective.

Exit opportunities abound, as the purchase and sale of vacation rental businesses increase throughout industry. As literally every management company has had been solicited to date, much thought and consideration should be giving to selling. Many managers are flattered with the interest in their business and seem to start down the pathway to exit without proper diligence and focus. For many managers this is the biggest transaction of their career. Preparing a offering memorandum to depict the qualitative and quantitative attributes of the business and disseminating a professional to numerous qualified buyers will ensure your transaction will be a success. Taking a strategic and methodical approach to selling a business is paramount. Utilizing transaction consultants, like Weatherby Consulting, can shepherd the process, present the business in the most attractive light, garner the highest possible purchase price, provide access to market rate deal terms and protect the seller throughout the transaction. Exiting a business is too important an endeavor not to properly pursue a transaction in a diligent and focused manner.

Deliberate and meaningful management of a vacation rental operation is imperative to ensure sustainable profits and efficient operations. Numerous opportunities for additional information and networking with other vacation rental managers or consultant can help ensure your business is focused and prepared for the changes to come.