In this episode of How We Grow: The Vacation Rental Show, host Lynell Gordon is joined by Dennis Robinson, Marketing Manager at Midgett Realty. Join them as they explore the intricacies of running a vacation rental business on a small and secluded island. He also shares some hilarious stories from his time in the rental industry – one involving a dramatic incident with spray-tan, and another involving a massive, hidden shipwreck!
Dennis Robinson is the Marketing Manager at Midgett Realty, a locally-owned and operated vacation rentals and property management company. Midgett Realty has served the people of the Outer Banks since the 1960s. Dennis has held his position for two decades now and is still going stronger than ever.
Everyone remembers that infamous scene from The Wolf of Wall Street, where Jordan Belfort asks his friend to sell him a pen. He goes around the room and everyone has a go, doing their utmost to upsell, really trying to feed him exaggerated truths with a tinge of showmanship. But here’s the thing, we never really find out the best way to sell the pen despite it being the whole point of the scene.
So why do we remember it? We love it not because we found out how to do something, but because the experience of it was so enjoyable.
That’s what Dennis Robinson does with his vacation rental properties. All of his properties reside in Hatteras, North Carolina, a beautiful, remote island, whose nearest airport is three hours away. So how on Earth does he sell these vacation rentals to people? How do you convince people to take a trip to this secluded, unknown island that they’ve never heard of?
Well, you sell them on the fact that it is a secluded, unknown island that people have never heard of!
Although in reality it’s the vacation at the properties themselves that is being sold, he’s selling the experience of being on such a secluded island. Dennis has managed to build up a brand for Midgett Realty that is centered around the island through creative marketing techniques.
You can offer customers a nice vacation rental in a lovely location at a decent price, but should be the bare minimum. Customers should remember you and think of you when they’re planning their next trip. They should recommend you to their friends and say nothing but nice things about you and your properties.
Dennis knows this, which is why he allowed himself to get really creative with his marketing. Rather than going for just the standard mug and welcome basket for his guests, he offered them wristbands. In fact, he didn’t just offer them to the guests, but to everyone and anyone as a way to spread the word. Before he knew it, an insurmountable amount of people sported Midgett Realty wristbands.
That’s what creative marketing is all about. He’s selling people on his brand’s identity, not just an experience. If you can master your branding, everything else comes easier.
So, if you’re looking to get into the vacation rental business, or you’re thinking of starting your own business, think about the experience you want to sell to potential customers. Consider what your brand identity is going to look like and how to get that message across!