Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vacation Rental Success Story

Once in a while you just need to let people know about a great story. Here is one!

I was contacted by Don Wilkymacky this year about buying his first vacation rental. He is a professional in the medical sales industry and is very busy. He made it clear that he wanted a turn key operation and needed to rent the unit. No problem.

We talked about a great tax incentive in Gulf Shores Alabama called the GO ZONE. He liked that idea and I was able to view some units for him in February when I was in Gulf Shores. He purchased a unit, sight unseen and started on the financing process.

Long story short, Don closed on the unit, followed our system to the T, read our book, Vacation Rentals For Profit (several times he tells me) and joined to manage his property with the online booking system. I am writing this as of Sept 12, 2007 and Don has not had a vacancy yet since he closed (End of May)! He is trying for 100% occupancy in 2007 and he may get there! We hope he does. He is very happy.

Here are some of the reasons Don has been so successful.

1. He listened. We talked many times on the phone about ideas and business strategy. He had some great ideas and he also did exactly what we suggested and used proven business techniques.

2. He priced his unit right. Since he was coming on the market right at the beginning of the summer rush, we had concern he would miss the high season. We suggested aggressive pricing as time was of the essence. He priced his unit, just below what we figured the market should be. The market responded.

3. He set up his unit, number 497 on and completed everything he needed. He put the time into making his unit a pleasure to book online. He put up his PHOTO ALBUM, that was a huge help.

4. Don takes credit cards online with online booking. He did not have time to waste. Emailing WORD documents back and forth to the guest was not an option for Don. He was too busy for that. Taking online bookings with credit cards got him the bookings NOW. The money was in the bank and the guests where on their way. This streamlined Don's business and let him run it online from any location he may have been in. Since Don travels for his job, this was a very important part of the business plan.

5. Don advertised correctly. We searched GULF SHORES vacation rentals, and many other terms and found the sites we know would produce for Don, then he put the time into creating some great ads on the needed portals.

6. Don serviced his clients. Don's wife helped with the day to day calls and emails and got back to the guest quickly! That was a huge help.

7. Weekly Bookings. I love Saturday to Saturday bookings. Don had some questions about this. Many people in Gulf Shores advised him to take daily rentals. I told him to do Sat to Sat only. He stuck with that and has never looked back.
An owner must learn to do what is good for the OWNER not the Guest. Sometimes the word NO has to be said!
These are just some of the more important things Don did to make his first year a success. He was very motivated to make this work and he put the time in to make it a success.

He was so happy and successful he has recently purchased the unit next to his and is on his way to making this unit, 517, a great success too. Two units in one year! Way to go Don.

Congratulations on a great success story Don! We wish you more success in the future.

If you are not 100% booked like Don is, you may want to consider some of his techniques!
Good luck with the rentals!

Listen to DON!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice unit. Never been to Gulf Shores..