What Vacation Rental Homeowners Can Learn from the Netflix series “Stay Here”
What happens when you combine reality television + a home renovation show + vacation rentals?
You get an awesome combination for a TV show!
The new Netflix series, Stay Here, checks all the boxes if you love a good before and after design show (or if you’re looking to fill the void now that ‘Fixer Upper’ has ended 😊).
The show hosts are interior designer Genevieve Gorder (you might know her from TLC’s Trading Spaces) and real estate guru Peter Lorimer. The hosts travel across the US for the eight episodes, educating short-term vacation rental owners on how to improve their properties and increase their bottom line.
Aside from Genevieve’s amazing design inspiration, I am loving this show because it highlights the importance of properly positioning and marketing a vacation rental, which is what Fully Booked is all about! It’s also fun to see such unique short term rentals and the marketing strategy behind each of the featured vacation rentals.
While the eight properties are wildly different from each other, the takeaways are consistent throughout the series.
In each episode, the hosts stress the importance of three areas:
Throughout each of these areas, I compiled key takeaways that are highlighted on the show and are great lessons (or reminders) for any vacation rental homeowner.
Hosting Takeaways in Stay Here:
Just a few years ago it seemed a ‘good host’ was one that answered questions quickly, had a clean home and properly stocked the home with basic amenities. Oh, how times have changed!
As the industry grows rapidly, that means more intense competition and higher guest expectations.
To really set yourself apart from the crowd now, it’s all about the guest experience! From greeting your guests with a gift basket (filled with local favorites!) to creatively displaying your top recommendations to providing an online guidebook, the Stay Here hosts make it clear that guest experience is more important than ever.
Hosting action item: Integrate your guests with the local surroundings. They want your local expertise!
Design Takeaways in Stay Here:
OK, let me be honest for a second…getting your vacation home to look like it was designed by Genevieve may feel a little less attainable than some of the other takeaways (it does for me at least!).
And while a complete renovation may be unrealistic for your budget, there are several design takeaways throughout the series that can be implemented on almost any budget.
For instance, she recommends placing live plants throughout the home, using white slipcovers to protect your furniture (bleach makes it easy to clean!) and using luxury linens for durability and also to get that luxurious ‘hotel-worthy’ feel.
(See? That’s not so bad, right?! I also talk about worth-while investments in this post.)
Design action item: Re-assess your home’s design and look for opportunities to freshen things up.
Marketing Takeaways in Stay Here:
Obviously, I saved the best for last! 😊 Before diving into this TV series, I really thought the emphasis would be all on the design because after all, that dramatic before and after is what makes for the best TV, right?
Much to my surprise (and delight), the hosts place a tremendous amount of focus on the proper marketing for each short term rental. It is music to my ears to hear them educating vacation rental homeowners on the importance of marketing!
Below are three of the big marketing takeaways I noticed:
The importance of great photos and staging is emphasized in nearly every episode while also paying attention to which photo will be your ‘money shot’ (i.e. cover photo).
A ‘social media moment’ is also a repeated theme throughout the series. This refers to the part of your home that is so irresistible that guests will want to share it on social media. Each home was also given a unique social media hashtag which provides free advertising when the guest shares that home on social media with the unique hashtag.
Last, Stay Here covers the importance of a vacation rental having a website. While the OTAs (online travel agencies) like Airbnb and VRBO do a fantastic job of generating bookings, these listings are essentially rented space which means you don’t control it. A website allows you generate direct bookings and ultimately have full control over your rental business (here's a post on my thoughts about when you should consider a vacation rental website).
Marketing action item: Ensure you have a marketing plan for your vacation rental!
Let me know in the comments if you're watching Stay Here! If so, which episode is your favorite?
If you’re interested in implementing a marketing strategy that will increase your listing position on Airbnb or VRBO and increase rental bookings, learn more about Fully Booked here or check out our programs here. We would love to talk to you and learn more about your vacation rental business!