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Rented.com CEO Andrew McConnell Shares Strategies for Growing Your Vacation Rental Business

Established just five years ago, Rented.com has become the world’s largest marketplace connecting professional vacation rental managers with owners and properties. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that CEO Andrew McConnell will be sharing tips for growing your business in his presentation “Supply Acquisition Strategies for an Increasingly Competitive World” at KigoWorld, held April 25-27 in Barcelona.

With law degrees from Harvard and Cambridge and experience as a McKinsey consultant, McConnell co-founded Rented.com just as the vacation rental industry was beginning a steep ascent. Rented.com attracts property owners interested in generating income and connects them with a property manager in its network, then pays the owners an agreed amount on a monthly basis.

McConnell says there are essentially three ways to grow your revenue. The first is to increase your rates. The second, to boost occupancy. And the third is to add more properties - which will be the focus of his KigoWorld presentation.

Asking the right questions

McConnell lists five important questions you need to answer before embarking on a mission to build your portfolio. He calls these "Who, Where, How, When and What?"

"Who" refers to what kind of property owners you're going to pursue. Are you going after only elite properties, mid- to high-end properties, affordable properties, or any and all takers?

“Where” is about whether you’ll go for deeper penetration of your current market(s) or expand to new ones.

The “How” concerns marketing. Will you use old-school techniques such as direct mail and radio, or newer ones like pay-per-click and earned media, or referrals and partnerships?

"When" will you pursue these marketing activities? Will it be in the slow season when owners are less busy and can pay more attention, or a year-round campaign? How long will the campaign last - or will it be an ongoing, consistent effort?

And finally there's the "What" - i.e., what will you communicate? What is the message that will set you apart, making an owner who might not have considered renting to rent, or an owner who already has a manager to switch to you? Will you be the manager that will guarantee the most profit? The one who takes the best care of the properties and screens guests the most tightly? You can't just claim to be the best at everything, McConnell says. You need a unique selling proposition, as he calls it.

Proving your success

After you’ve answered these questions for yourself, McConnell adds, you must consider whether you’ll offer some sort of “proof” of your claims. An income guarantee, for example, while exposing you to more risk, quintuples conversions.

To wrap up your plan, you'll need to decide how often you will revisit it to make any necessary adjustments. Every few months? Once a year? This partially depends on the rapidity of change in the market(s) in which you play, says McConnell.

This is just a sneak peek of the rich information McConnell will share in Barcelona. Join us this April to see his presentations and gain a wealth of other business-building wisdom from the best in the business! Register for KigoWorld today.

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