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100 raving fans are a vacation rental business

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So you have given your guests a fabulous experience, and you have a warm relationship.

Not all, but some of these guests will become raving fans and tell all their friends about your rental.  They love the experience and will come back every year or two.  They will get a friend to come every year or two.  Each of these fans will give you about one booking per year ongoing.

You need to build up your raving fans year after year.  How many?

Well, a single vacation rental with an average 3 night stay and 90% occupancy, has about 110 stays per year.

If you can get 100 raving fans, they will give you 100 stays per year, close to the 110 maximum possible for a single rental!

But do these fans exist?  Of course.  You will have some.   I have some, not 100 but maybe 30, and growing steadily every year.   But some owners have over 100.

Seven years ago I met an amazing couple who ran 3 pet friendly stone cottages on a rugged farm overlooking the wild ocean just metres below.   We agreed to compare our VR rentals.  I asked them about their operation, which OTAs they were using, their advertising offline and so on. I was surprised when they were vague in all their answers.  Finally I asked about their occupancy, and they said around 90% and the calendars were full, as usual.

It suddenly became clear, they had a huge following of raving fans who kept coming back.  The owners didn’t advertise, their fans just called them and booked in!  Two months ago I checked their calendars and they still have the same high bookings in late winter.  They have hundreds of raving fans. These businesses do exist!

How do you build raving fans?  One at a time.

Rather than seeing how quickly you can complete the booking transaction, take your time with your guests and get to know them, and what they are looking for in their holiday and how you can help them.

If you are listening to your guests, you will have refined your VR property so they have a truly exceptional experience.  Some of them will become raving fans.

I hope you are on your way to your 100 raving fans!

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My name is Rex Brown. I live in Australia, on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I run two of my holiday rentals here on the coast, and another in inner Melbourne . They are all quite different, but they all run at high occupancy. They are the sandpit that I play in, running constant experiments about what works and what doesn’t.

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