Celebrate Your Freedom

July 2018
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Celebrate Your Freedom

As we prepare to celebrate our freedom and independence as a nation, it makes me think about our personal freedom to create a beautiful space, whether it is a home you plan to live in for a long time, one you plan to sell, or your business.

A key to creating beauty in your space is to tell your own story. There is lots of inspiration out there on Pinterest, Houzz and other sites, and you may be tempted to say "I love that and want my house to look just like that", Remember, that image is someone else's story.

Your story is unique and beautiful. Let it shine. Be brave:). A good designer can help you bring that vision to life and show your story, not theirs.
Entrance to Arctic Paradise B&B with custom made alcohol ink art on the screen door to highlight the door color, which was chosen to match the roses that bloom in front of the property.

Does your Vacation Rental Stand Out From the Crowd Online?

My vacation rental, Arctic Paradise B&B,  is in Seward, Alaska, a place that is unbelievably beautiful and everyone wants to come on their once in a lifetime Alaska vacation.

And so, our market here is saturated with Bed and Breakfasts and other vacation rentals.  The season here is about 100 days, so if you have a rental, you want to make sure it is booked every one of those days!

“The market here has become so saturated” said Nicole Lawrence of Seward Properties on a recent interview I did with her on Seward Public Radio’s Market Minute show. “There are so many people doing nightly rentals now. And especially the smaller places. At some point, when you are a customer traveling and checking vacation rental sites such as Airbnb or VRBO, all the vacation rentals start to look the same. There is a bed, there is a kitchen table. People don’t always put a lot of thought and personal choices into decorating their B&B. So it becomes really impersonal. They all start to blend together and at some point you just start looking for the best deal because everything just looks the same”.

So, unless you plan to just compete on price and offer the lowest rates, how do you get the bookings and income you want? And, more importantly, how do you get your ideal customers? They may not be the ones looking for the cheapest price. And you want to get people that will work with your situation, whether the Bed and Breakfast is in your house where you live or in a separate property in a residential area where the neighbors may be impacted if guests are noisy.

“For you, your guests are in your house where you live and interact with them daily. Some of my rentals are above my office, where of course I want guests that are respectful and quiet” said Nicole.

“I heard you talk about this to a group of people before and thought it was really interesting, on how you can attract the type of guests you want and how you can increase your income and bookings” said Nicole. “What kind of tips can you give us on that?”

I have written several articles on this topic such as  “Increase your vacation rental income and bookings with home staging”, and “Attract your ideal customer and increase your Bed and Breakfast Income with Home Staging”, and taught several workshops to vacation rental owners on this topic.  I used these tips on my own property, and was able to at least double my income and bookings; I raised my prices and am attracting my ideal customers most of the time! I learned these concepts from my home staging business, where similar concepts help sell homes. To hear the radio interview of the show with all the details, you can listen here.

Arctic Paradise B&B

Here are five tips to help you get started.

Who are you?

Figuring out what makes you and your rental unique and what you have to offer is the key. This is called “branding”. In home staging, we try to do this with the house…figure out what is special and unique about it and highlight that for buyers. So consider:
• What makes you special?
• What makes your rental special?
• What are the things that only you and your rental can offer?

Your ideal customer will be attracted to you and your rental if you let them know who you really are and what you offer.
Figuring out your “brand"  will help direct the way you update the look of your property, how you portray what you are offering on your website and in your advertising and help your Ideal Customer find you.

What do you want?

How much do you want to make and how much do you want to work?
Answering this will help you determine your prices and what you need to do to justify those prices.

Who is your Ideal Customer and what do they want?

Specific customers are going to be attracted to the brand you project. Is your brand attracting your ideal customer?

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What kind of place do they want to stay in? Do they want luxury or a more rustic experience?
  • What activities do they want to participate in? Do you offer them or can you help them find those activities nearby?

Update your Vacation Rental to Appeal to your Ideal Customer

  • Does the current look of your vacation rental appeal to that ideal customer?
  • Does the current look of your vacation rental justify the price you are charging in the eyes of your ideal customer?
  • Home stage it! Home Staging can update the look of your rental to reflect your “brand”, appeal to your ideal customer and justify the price you want to charge.

Market your Property to attract your Ideal Customer

  • Get great photos of your beautifully staged rental property.
  • Update your website, highlighting your brand and what makes you and your property unique at the top of your home page.
  • Show off your photos and use them to create a great video.

If you would like help determining your brand, updating the look of your property to reflect that brand, updating your website, creating video, social media advertising or any of the five steps above, let me know! Start taking steps today to make a huge difference with your vacation rental.

Featured Radio Interview

Would you like to attract your ideal customer and increase your vacation rental income? Whether you have a Bed and Breakfast or other vacation rental, it is important to have your property stand out online to attract the guests you want and make the income you want. Learn more by listening to this interview with Mary Ann Benoit on Seward Public Radio's "Market Minute" with Nicole Lawrence. Click on the picture below to hear the interview.

Ask us About our Services

Before and after professional home staging by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design for a vacation rental.

Home Staging Tip of the Month  

When looking for a home stager online, you may think they all look the same or will do the same job for you, and as mentioned in the article above with Bed and Breakfasts, just start looking for the cheapest price.

All home stagers are not the same. There are no legal requirements for training or lisencing for a person to call themselves a home stager. What good is paying a low price if the person is not able to do a professional job that meets your goal of selling fast and for a high price? In that case, they actually have cost you a very high price.  Do your research and look for someone with training, experience, a professional website, a good portfolio and positive customer reviews. See my article on Five Tips to Find the Best Home Stager in Alaska.
Be brave with color

Interior Design Tip of the Month

Be Brave with Color

Color makes magic happen, affects the way you feel in a space and is easy to change. Painting is a cheap way to make a dramatic difference. Get help from a color consultant or Interior Designer to determine the perfect colors for you that also work with your finishes and furniture.

Color Tip of the Month

When selecting color for your walls, consider your fixed finishes, such as counter tops and flooring...things that you do not plan to change any time soon.  They are "bossy" and must be considered in the space. Color can be measured. A color strategist can measure the colors in your existing quartz counter top for example, and give you a list of paint colors that will perfectly match or be harmonious with what you have.

Never Miss a Great Idea

Check out some of the latest articles from our award winning blog!

Five Steps to Attract Your Ideal Customer and Increase Your Vacation Rental Income

How NOT to sell your house in seven easy steps

Want a beautiful house? Make a plan!

See our new publications!

Thanks and stay in touch!

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my newsletter. I hope you found some helpful information!

I would love to hear from you about some of your challenges related to selling your home, home staging or decorating.
 Mary Ann
Ready to make your home beautiful? Click reply and tell me what you need.
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