Why Industry Trends Are (Actually) Relevant To You

Trend reports can drive growth by forcing you to take a step back.

So, you downloaded our 2017 Vacation Rental Management Trend Report. (You did download it, right?) There’s a good chance you read it, walked away, and never thought about it again. After all, trend reports can feel far removed from the day-to-day realities of running a business. So...why bother at all? What’s the value of a trend report?

The real value of following industry trends is that they force you to see a new perspective on your industry. Trend reports are typically written by organizations that can see “the big picture” because they’re professional research firms or industry leaders working with hundreds of property management companies that all share common problems.

Making Trend Reports Tangible

This fresh perspective from credible third parties can help you see how your business measures up against the larger market and gives you tangible ways to improve your operations. Here’s how you can learn–and grow your business–from annual trend reports:

Step 1: Figure out which trends are relevant to your business (and which aren’t).

As you’re reading an annual trend report, your “gut” may react to a few trends. Maybe your gut says “I’ve never thought about that before.” or “I know we’re weak in that area.” Either way, these are the trends that deserve more attention.

Step 2: Figure out how you measure up to the trend.

After your “gut” tells you what you should be working on, it’s time to figure out how you measure up to that trend. Are you following the trend or stuck way out in left field? (If you’re way out in left field, don’t panic. Being behind on a trend isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s just the way it is.)

For example: If your gut reacted to the trend of shrinking booking windows (as identified by RedAwning), you should determine what your average booking window is for both your busy and low seasons.

Step 3: Make a plan to follow (or even get ahead of) the trend.

Now that you know what trend you want to get closer to, you need a plan to try to improve it. If you’re looking to decrease your booking window and encourage more “late bookings,” you may try decreasing your minimum stay requirements for bookings within the next three months or offering discounts for last-minute travelers.

If you have questions or don’t know where to start, ask for help! You can use your software’s support portal for ideas (both Escapia® and V12.NET®), ask your peers in our online user forum, or contact our customer support team if you need help. When in doubt, bring in the “big guns” by reaching out to an expert, like the ones who contributed to our trend report. They’re the experts for a reason.

 Step 4: Figure out how you measure up to the trend (again).

Now that you’ve made changes, it’s time to check your progress. Remember the metrics you looked at in step 2? Look at those same metrics again and compare them side-by-side. Have they improved? If so, the changes you made are working! If they haven’t improved or haven’t improved enough, go back to step 3 and try a new tactic.

While it may be tempting to look at metrics a few days after you make a change, you’ll probably be disappointed. It takes weeks, maybe even months, for changes you make to show results. Be patient and keep measuring.

Industry trend reports do have real, practical value even if they feel disconnected from the day-to-day realities of property management. They’re invaluable for shifting your perspective away from what’s immediately in front of you–phones, housekeepers, contracts–and looking at how you fit into the big picture.