Vacation Rentals Soar in 2021 – Is your resort getting its fair share?
This time last year, as the pandemic took hold, consumers demonstrated a strong preference for spacious accommodations with private kitchens and living spaces over standard hotel rooms. Now that pandemic restrictions are falling away, that preference remains strong.
“At Vacatia, we’re seeing demand for vacation rentals that’s off the charts,” says Greg Eure, Head of Development at Vacatia Partner Services, which is dedicated to the success and growth of legacy resorts and their vibrant owner communities. “Our rentals year-to-date are up 164% over the same period in 2020 and are budgeted to be up 76% over 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.”
In these boom times, are legacy timeshare resorts maximizing both reservations and rates? Not often, Eure says. “Although some resorts have invested in technology to improve bookings, many others haven’t, which means they’re not reaching their full income potential.”
To back up his assertion, Eure cites VPS’s success at Crown Resorts at The Poconos in Drums, Pennsylvania. Prior to VPS assuming the property’s management contract in 2020, pre-pandemic annual rental revenues were around $20K. This year, rental revenues are projected to exceed $550K. For the entire Crown Resorts system, VPS has increased rental revenue by 388% from pre-pandemic levels, delighting both the HOA and individual owners that banked their weeks into the rental pool.
Even timeshare resorts that are already distributing their excess inventory could benefit from rental optimization. Meadow Lake in Montana, for example, was already generating over $1M in rentals. By leveraging VPS revenue management technology, the property is projected to exceed $2.3M this year. Even better, the resort plans to market ownership and subscription programs to the satisfied renters they are now attracting.
Vacatia’s technology allows legacy resorts to compete with the biggest hotel and vacation rental brands to generating optimized revenue per available room (RevPAR) and guaranteed results. Vacatia was founded by technology pioneers behind some of the most successful e-commerce sites (think Hotwire.com) and hotel revenue management (Starwood’s rental programs for thousands of hotels). They have created a user-friendly rental platform that resorts find dwarfs the performance of their current strategies.
Resorts that want to benefit from the industry’s most advanced resort rental solution are not required to sign a management contract, the VPS rental platform is available on a la carte basis. “Resorts can select just the help they need in the way they need it,” Eure says. “Even better, because VPS understands just how difficult times have become for many resorts, our services don’t require up-front costs before they create new revenue streams.”
The platform automatically connects to resort reservation systems and places listing on multiple booking channels providing maximum exposure. Dynamic booking software adjusts rates so that average daily rates go up when demand does and follows the market to ensure maximum occupancy when demand falls. The platform also controls calendars across all sites, blocking inventory automatically once it is reserved.
“Resorts that attempt to do this without a channel manager find that they often have double bookings, meaning they have to cancel someone’s vacation,” Eure says. “That can create dissatisfaction and lead to negative reviews on websites, something no one wants.”
To attract more guests, resorts need appealing photographs. VPS works with resorts to ensure high-quality, high-resolution photography is presented. “Many booking engines will reward you in their algorithms when you have better images,” Eure says. “That means you will rank higher in the search results.”
Of course, those images must reflect the actual units guests will stay in. For resorts whose décor hasn’t been updated in recent years, VPS’s partnership with Glacier Creek Capital allows them to finance renovations while minimizing special assessments that can drive away existing owners. By using defaulted inventory as collateral, resorts can now offer a high-quality product that drives owner satisfaction while generating increased rental revenue and attracting new owners. Glacier Creek Capital’s experienced team uses a data-driven approach to help resorts determine the renovation’s parameters and generate maximum return on investment. They can even provide a complete project management team to lead the renovation and provide access to discounted purchasing services.
Ready to learn more? Connect with Vacatia Partner Services here or call us at (720) 449-6738!
Vacatia is an innovative hospitality company reinventing the timeshare experience across discovery, booking, and stay. We are continually enhancing our customer experience at every touchpoint, enabled by technology and fueled by passion. We partner with over 750 timeshare resorts to provide rental and owner-friendly resale services and serve over 25,000 timeshare owners through our resort management division. Founded in 2013, Vacatia is a venture-backed company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.