Have you bought a property you are not sure if you can afford to cover its costs? Is it the first time renting out your cottage rental? Having a slow season? Don’t know where to start? The economy has not been good to any of us when it comes to cottage rentals Ontario and resort rentals and tourists all over. Times are tough and property owners have had to get a bit creative in managing all of the rising costs of gas, hydro and taxes. We might, however, have some helpful hints to give your ad space, website, and general cottage marketing plan a bit of a boost to increase interest and potentially generate more rentals during your peak season.
1. Name it. To spark interest you need to have a name for your spot that will best signify the dwelling space, body of water, and property. Its identity will breathe new life into the awareness you are trying to create. It should be unique enough that it is an original you don’t want to use someone else’s. Best way to check it out is “GOOGLE” it on the internet. If you come up empty, or with something completely foreign to cottages, chalets, and nature loving rentals then you are safe. Some examples: Waver’s Cabin, or Shiloh’s Little Cottage Spot, or Paradise Cove, or even Papa’s Perfect Shack.
2. Once named, it should have a tag line that will create a profile beginning….”best spot on the north shore”….”loving the woody appeal and the loon call”….”always relaxing with pleasure and appeal…”. The tag line, like the name should be indicative of the best 3 or 4 features of the cottage rental. That too, should be unique enough so as not to copy someone else. It should also be truthful. You will want to stay away from expressions like, “the best…” “Your only beachfront in ...” as it will mislead tourists and even provincial residents. In a province such as Ontario where there are literally, thousands and thousands of lakes and rivers and sandbanks, there are as many cottages and rental options to match, so you don’t want someone to come along and discredit your tagline to get a better price.
3. Find and define your target audience. What are your product demographics? Who is your ideal client and how do you define them? I.e. seniors? (2-3, non-smoking, quiet, clean and economical) Mid-sized Families? (4-6, pets, kids, active, boats and toys, babes and campfires)… This is important. If you do not know who your target clients are going to be, it will be hard to know what to offer them for value in the dwelling and on the property. Once you have established this, you can focus on things such as: beds, dishware, seating, landscaping, shoreline…etc.
4. Know your product value. Understand and identify what makes your cottage rental wonderful. It might be as simple as bullet pointing what features attracted you in buying it in the first place. Or perhaps if it was an inherited family cottage, you can draw from your childhood memories that keep you loving it year after year. Good set of photographs, inside and out, can help capture these features and legitimise what you advertise. Keep your features, simple, precise and descriptive, and at the same time using your product demographics for this purpose:
• “sample” 250 Feet of Sandy Shoreline
5. Market value or a bit lower is a good beginning when pricing out your cottage rental. If you are just starting out and need to create some interest, starting off a bit lower in pricing, could help. You will need to first understand what the market rates are in the area, and go from there. A good way to learn that is to contact the local hotels, and motels, that are also located close to water, or on water and note their rates and amenities. You will need to do the same with cottage rentals and resort rentals in your area that are similar to your own. Remember, not every cottage rental has it all. And as you learn what you have or do not have, while learning what others do have, you will also learn what your product demographic will and will not pay for, in a feature and benefit with cottage rentals.
Author: Sweet Marie
May 2, 2012