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6 Ways To Emanate "Lifestyle Brand" Vibes

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
We recently created a video to use in YouTube advertising highlighting our Lake Norman lifestyle and it's starting to gain some traction. (Sidenote: This was actually done before the VRBO commercials showing family time at a vacation rental). Click the link below if you'd like to see!

Lake Norman Lifestyle
Shari! Fanatic job! I don’t know the name for these kinds of “no words” videos but they achieve a great effect.
 

Barry

Counselor
Inner Circle
Hello!

Tourism is dead in Portugal, so I'm diving into social media these weeks. :D

I decided first to follow the @Thibault idea you can read here https://www.rentalscaleup.com/vrma-facebook-marketing/ and started to upload my guest list (since 2010) to Facebook (I thought it would be better than upload it to Mailchimp as I didn't use to ask permission).

To check if this would work, I created a 4€ paid campaign with beach photos and only target this guest list; I only spend 1,65€ and already receive 1 message from previous guests saying they missed Portugal. :D

I will continue to study more about social media and Instagram. I loved @Barry idea of reposting local business, and I need to learn how to do that.

Thank you all for this :D

I'm following all your IG accounts for ideas, if you know a good place to learn let me know! :giggle: my IG is @rent4rest
Hi there Filipa. Here's what I've been doing on Instagram, but others may have a better method:

- Find an IG pic from a local biz that would fit your brand well
- Message the business and ask permission, eg. "I'd love to recommend your xyz to our guests. Do I have your permission to repost this pic on our IG profile with credit? (they'll say yes)
- Do a command-save (on mac) and choose to save the complete webpage (with image assets)
- Find the image you want in the asset folder and save it to your files/desktop to repost in a minute
- Post the pic on your IG profile with a shout out to the local biz and give photo credit to the biz/photographer where it originated
- Tag the local biz in your pic and add a hashtag for them
- Now you get to...
- Pat yourself on the back
- Take a bow
- Maybe eat a cookie if you're REALLY proud of yourself ;)
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
Hi there Filipa. Here's what I've been doing on Instagram, but others may have a better method:

- Find an IG pic from a local biz that would fit your brand well
- Message the business and ask permission, eg. "I'd love to recommend your xyz to our guests. Do I have your permission to repost this pic on our IG profile with credit? (they'll say yes)
- Do a command-save (on mac) and choose to save the complete webpage (with image assets)
- Find the image you want in the asset folder and save it to your files/desktop to repost in a minute
- Post the pic on your IG profile with a shout out to the local biz and give photo credit to the biz/photographer where it originated
- Tag the local biz in your pic and add a hashtag for them
- Now you get to...
- Pat yourself on the back
- Take a bow
- Maybe eat a cookie if you're REALLY proud of yourself ;)
There are a few free reposting apps that cut out some of those steps-

 
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Toby

Counselor
Inner Circle
There are so many different routes to go with advertising and promoting our homes. Lifestyle branding is a legitimate option. I have slowly expanded beyond my comfort zones but it is still a challenge. Change is happening whether we embrace it or not. But what change to embrace? So many ways to improve and optimize.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
We recently created a video to use in YouTube advertising highlighting our Lake Norman lifestyle and it's starting to gain some traction. (Sidenote: This was actually done before the VRBO commercials showing family time at a vacation rental). Click the link below if you'd like to see!

Lake Norman Lifestyle
Lovely video! What was your process to accomplish it- storyboarding, "actors," filming/processing?
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
There are so many different routes to go with advertising and promoting our homes. Lifestyle branding is a legitimate option. I have slowly expanded beyond my comfort zones but it is still a challenge. Change is happening whether we embrace it or not. But what change to embrace? So many ways to improve and optimize.
It can be mind-numbing and send you spinning trying to decide which nifty and new thing to apply towards your marketing plan.

I approached it as a complete newbie by listing my wish list predicated on return on investment - no matter if that investment was in time or dollars. For the most part, for me, it was in time in learning how. After reviewing all the STR models here and elsewhere that I wanted to grow up to become, I took note of what they had that I didn't and added those items to my wish list (again taking note of its ROI). Bit by bit I was able to cross items off that list. Of course, there always seemed to be another item to take its place which can make you want to pull your hair, but deep breathing exercises- especially exhaling- help there.

Another selection factor popped up over time- that which gave me pleasure as I tackled it. And that which didn't- I found another to do it for me. Again, keeping an eye on ROI- in both time and cost.

Throughout this whole process be Nemo-like: Just keep exhaling, Just keep exhaling.
 

Debra

Casale Prato delle Coccinelle
Inner Circle
Thank you @Matt Landau for including me in this thread (albeit quite some time ago) and sorry for the late response.
I absolutely agree with @RuthM when she wrote:
I think of it as "anima" (which means SOUL in Italian). Italian culture considers things all the time with this perspective: "putting your soul into something" or "does this feed my soul"
Since our Guests choose to visit us in this 'off the beaten path' RURAL Italy, I assume they already expect an 'Italian experience" which includes our lifestyle; the food, wine and of course extra virgin olive oil (which we produce) already have to do with 'experience'.
While they may not be interested in the history of our Casale or all our suggested day trips and they may never want to leave the pool side
(like @Matt, Stuart and Tami ) either way, they can't escape and experience no matter how hard they try!
We make sure they'll have plenty of Italian wine, Italian EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) fresh vegetables from the garden as a base.
When we put our 'anima' into the preps, 98% of the time we get 'anima' in return.

Debra.
Casale Prato delle Coccinelle
Historic Organic Olive Farm
Umbria, Italy
 

Alex

Vacation Toolbox
Inner Circle
I feel the larger conversation here is about the shift from commoditization towards monopolization. The way I define it, commodities are infinitely replaceable. This is where most VR's (and most businesses really) trend towards. When you scan listings in most markets, they look similar. Pictures, even professional ones are similar, the presentation & marketing is similar. The listing sites are the same. Price becomes the main distinction.

Commoditization is death, but not in the obvious way. Commoditization turns you from a business owner (with profits) to a market employee (where you're only compensated for time).

Monopolies are the theme of lifestyle branding. Monopolies are irreplaceable. It's not Rockefeller I-own-everything monopoly, but an organic only-I-can-make -this craftsman type monopoly. Lifestyle branding means monopolizing an experience or feeling.

From the perspective of long term survival, monopolizing isn't a nice-to-have. It's a must-have.

The quick way to think about how you can monopolize is by figuring how you can become "the only....." in a many categories as possible.

From what i've seen on this thread that includes

...the only VR with a tesla charging station
...the only desert starlight retreat (notice calling it a retreat rather than a vacation rental)
...the only family farm vacation rental
...the only one the area with a professional blog/instagram page.
...the only one with golf course drone videos.

etc.
 

AlexC

Envoy
Inner Circle
We need to assess:
a) what can we profitably afford to provide that's meaningful to guests coming to our destinationb) will that show up in OTA search filters, andc) how can it be captured in photos

Love this! As its very similar to how our company thinks about this.

I will say that we have some pretty compelling data suggesting that showing up in OTA filters and photos is actually less important than the guest reviews/ratings that usually come from a SUPRISE customization or amenity/feature in the house. We sort of discovered this by accident, but basically, if you add amenities or lean into guest experience customizations, the OTAs actually pickup very quickly that guests are happier and are having expectations exceeded even without advertising anything different!

I think it speaks to the greatest advertising method we have, which is guests leaving reviews and feedback that indicates they had an exceptional time staying at your property!

With that said, we have done some really cool work on figuring out high ROI spends that are meaningful to guests, I don't think I could have worded "a" any better myself!
 

Sallie

Envoy
Inner Circle
Yellow Jersey
This Vrbo listing photo—and the hosting it implies—is a lesson in how our properties can stand out with professional photography that tells a story to attract quality guests. This is a seafront house in the Bahamas.

Perhaps these hosts wanted to showcase "Make yourself at home."

My staging and art direction would include:
  • Shoot during the daytime
  • Show the view outside the window
  • Get rid of the crap
  • Stage countertop with wood cutting board, slices of papaya and lime
  • Add vase with croton greens and fresh flowers
  • Add a colorful rug in front of the sink
  • Place conch shells on top of the upper cabinets
  • Place a colorful tea kettle on the stove
How would you stage this?

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 10.08.02 AM.png
 
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AlexC

Envoy
Inner Circle
This Vrbo listing photo—and the hosting it implies—is a lesson in how our properties can stand out with professional photography that tells a story to attract quality guests.

Perhaps these hosts wanted to showcase "Make yourself at home."

My staging and art direction would include:
  • Shoot during the daytime
  • Show the view outside the window
  • Get rid of the crap
  • Stage countertop with wood cutting board, slices of papaya and lime
  • Add vase with croton greens and fresh flowers
  • Add a colorful rug in front of the sink
  • Place conch shells on top of the upper cabinets
  • Place a colorful tea kettle on the stove
How would you stage this?

View attachment 3978
Haha. Wow, I would have thought VRBO listings were a little higher standard than this, Airbnb by a individual owner host? I could see it, but VRBO?? Comeon now lol.

Ok, so on kitchens, I’ve found that demonstrating your kitchen as a stand out feature pays dividends. I’m not sure how big this house is, but kitchen size indicates at least 3 bedroom...maybe 4? Either way, I’ll assume it’s in my market as I don’t know where this is or what dynamics are line there.

I would ask this owner to invest in making the kitchen A REASON to book, not just an amenity. The kitchen is large, that’s a huge plus, but there’s not enough counter space to prep/prepare. I’d say get an island, probably one of the stainless steel cart ones, then create a display of your cookware above/on it. Bakers racks are great for that, but not sure that works in the space here.

either way, the key to kitchens to me is to show off investment in the cookware with a display that holds your cookware. You can have all sorts of great cookware, but if you don’t display it to ppl, it’s not getting the ROI it could.

here’s an example of a display we set up for certain houses where cooking’s is of high importance or highly value added to guests. If you see this on a listing, you don’t need to even see the kitchen to know you want to cook there is the goal.

1618516188543.jpeg
 

Pdisla02

Attaché
Mile High Hosts
Well, as I told Matt, my place is dog-centric. I emphasize my huge, fenced-in yard with deck so guests can chill on the deck, and watch their dogs play.
On my site I have a Dog Gallery, and ask guests to take pics of their dogs so I can put on my site as "furry guests".
How do you deal with the dog hair?

We allow dogs in our place with a rule the dogs must stay away from our linens, and people have to pickup after theirs dogs even if they go in the yard. Some people have not follow the rules so we are thinking about changing to not allow pets.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
How do you deal with the dog hair?

We allow dogs in our place with a rule the dogs must stay away from our linens, and people have to pickup after theirs dogs even if they go in the yard. Some people have not follow the rules so we are thinking about changing to not allow pets.
Check out this thread for tips for a dog-friendly home. Included is what we use for carpets: https://community.vrmb.com/threads/how-to-create-“pet-friendly”-homes.5775/#post-55684

Also, the search field on the top of the site is wonderful. I suggest you use the keyword dog. You'll find many resources. It appears from your bio you're in Colorado. Do be aware that you may encounter dogs, nonetheless, if someone uses them to help accommodate their disability.
 

CarlaC

Vacation Rental Content Marketer
Inner Circle
I think this is thanks to the shift of getting "more" out of our vacations. Time has always been of the essence, but now more than ever. Guests are looking to do more than just disconnect. They want to experience (something lifestyle brands have heavily tapped into). I think you nailed it on the advice of how to emulate this and any hosts who don't pick up on this trend might miss the boat and lose out on reservations.
 
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