Making Your Villa Pay In 2016 & Beyond

Maximising returns through smart marketing and management

Around twenty years ago when the concept of the private holiday investment villa first started in Seminyak with the likes of The Villas, Dusun and Kunja, owners were making incredible returns of 20+ per cent a year, and as a result many more investors jumped on the bandwagon to take a slice of the pie. In those days you could secure a piece of land, build and staff a luxury villa and enjoy an unheard of ROI without much marketing effort beyond building a website and enjoying word of mouth from your guests.
Google was in its infancy and high page ranking was easily achievable with just a few of the right keywords, resulting in high occupancy, big profits and a brand new style of accommodation for Bali. It was such a good concept that every man and his dog were doing it, and they were making good money and living the life.

In 2015, that has all changed, with only a small proportion of those villas still earning respectable returns. With ever increasing sophistication of Google’s algorithms, the advent of global Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and the changing behaviour of the buying public, as well as competition from a huge number of holiday villas that have been and are still being built, it has become harder and harder for the average person with a villa and a website to attract customers. Today, many villa owners are happy if they manage to cover their costs.

Achieving a first page organic ranking on Google for a villa website has become nigh on impossible, when up against the many thousands of other similar, low-traffic sites all vying for the same business. Of course, one can always use pay-perclick ads and get on top of page one in Google for those hot keywords, but at a current cost of about $2 per click, and with a realistic conversion rate of 1 – 2%, just one inquiry may set you back $100 to $200 before one even gets a key in the door.

The behaviour of the buying public has also changed. No longer do people wander into their local travel agent to book a holiday, they go online to get the best deals and instant bookings. OTAs are now so powerful that the old villa marketing model of ‘build a website and they will come’ is no longer relevant. Companies like Booking. com, Agoda and TripAdvisor offer verified reviews and instant booking confirmation at the click of a ‘Pay Now’ button, and they guarantee the best deals and prices. The volume of traffic that these websites attract is vast and their organic ranking will always see them rise to the top. For example, Booking.com ranks 98th out of all the billions of websites that exist in the world today, TripAdvisor 188th, Airbnb 499th and Agoda 699th, leaving individual villa websites to wallow way down the bottom of the list.

There are still plenty of tourists coming to Bali and some villas are making lots of money from their visits. It’s just that so many are not. So how do you reverse the trend and start getting those returns on your investment that you used to earn in the good old days?

If you have the time, the inclination and the required tech smarts, you can do it yourself, but you must be prepared to be online 24/7, ready to respond to enquiries at a moment’s notice, manage booking calendars, configure your OTAs and ensure you are constantly getting top reviews on TripAdvisor. Alternatively, you employ the services of a smart marketing and management company that understands how best to fill your villa and to provide the top levels of service and the right technology to work with OTAs to ensure that your villa gets maximum exposure and bookings.

It’s not rocket science to start making money off of your villa. Like everything in business, if you employ the right people and use the latest technology in the right way, you can be assured of success.

INSTANT BOOKING:
Have your booking calendar synched across the entire worldwide network so when a booking is made it is updated immediately on all your OTAs, meaning no embarrassing double bookings, no emails to answer, just a ‘swipe’ online and an instant conformation by email.

DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS:
Use the latest online marketing technology to make sure that your villa is exposed to all the major online travel agencies worldwide, ensuring your villa gets the maximum exposure possible.

TOP QUALITY MANAGEMENT:
And last but not least, make sure that your staff are highly trained to create a level of service that will give your guests such a memorable holiday that they are going to keep talking about it forever.

Want to know more about smart villa marketing and management? Contact Exotiq Villa Holidays and learn how to harnesses the power of the internet, maximise occupancy and revenue using global distribution channels and instant booking facilities, and provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Call us on +62 361 737358 or email dgallmann@exotiq.com.