September 29, 2022

Unique Fam Trips

Travel and Hotels

Matt Landau: “Hospitality gestures are the new marketing”

11 min read

Trip rental trendspotter Matt Landau talks to Lodgify about the greatest danger to the sector, pleasant guest surprises and how to stay clear of burn off-out.

Matt Landau, the operator of VRMB and trip rental skilled, has been in the business for much more than 10 decades as both of those a host and an sector blogger. He has acquired his spot as a person of the greatest names within just the holiday rental marketplace today, so you could say that he understands quite a bit about brief phrase rentals.

How did you get started in quick-term rentals? 

Matt: I got started out the very same way most persons get started out – wholly unintentionally. Without the need of any strategy!  I was working in Costa Rica just out of graduation and was told to examine out a little, historic district in Panama – Casco Viejo – where by I stayed in the only pleasant spot to remain – a vacation rental business.  I fell in really like with the neighborhood.

A 12 months afterwards I procured that enterprise with a husband or wife. We had zero expertise. Suddenly I was thrust into the position of host. My lover and I just winged it.

Since there was no opposition, it was an uncomplicated place to learn individuals lessons the tricky way. That system of demo and mistake essential a great deal of A/B tests – and getting deliberate about what was operating and what wasn’t doing the job – to crank out bookings and establish a manufacturer.

I commenced sharing my finest techniques with other hosts about the globe, and at that time there was small other information and facts available – that was my kickstart into the planet of education. I sold the enterprise 10 yrs later on and now target on the education part whole-time, which we contact VRMB.

What makes you distinctive from other authorities – what is your one of a kind promoting stage?

Matt: There are so many specialists, and I have blended feelings about them. I get pretty suspicious when anyone claims you can get-rich-immediately right away.  As we know, this is far from the real truth.

I don’t contemplate myself an pro – additional of a connector, or a spotter of patterns. I surround myself with heaps of getaway rental industry experts. When you see a lot, you see the traits.

My position is to synthesize individuals designs and share them – to help them take advantage of the very best techniques.

My suggestions to newcomers is: Be wary of who you stick to – what they guarantee, what they teach. Make certain it is hospitality-concentrated abilities, not lease arbitrage or other designs. Check out out for anything at all that normally takes you far too much absent from the main of this organization – which is using care of people and ensuring they have remarkable holidays.

Matt Landau Boat Smiling

Image by: Stuart Hooper

Convey to us about your experience with burnout – and how to protect against that as a host.

Matt: Very well,  I burned out myself.  Following some years, another person challenged me and claimed you are clearly not as passionate about the market as you as soon as were.  It is time to move on.

Wanting at melt away-out as detrimental is not honest – folks burn up out from relationships, the place they stay, and corporations. However there is just one matter you can do to reduce the danger – one big truth of the matter – you really should view your family vacation rental residence as a business enterprise.

Many start out accidentally overnight and it’s effortless to wing it in the beginning – so, they don’t approach their attributes like a enterprise.  The moment you do commence looking at it as a company,  it quickly variations your overall lens.

It is hardly ever also late to make a approach and having that approach dependent on the enter of many others who have executed that approach will make all the distinction.

What is the typical profile of a trip rental host currently?

Matt: It is really unique from when I started out.  In good and poor means –  for the broader industry.

The excellent is that hosts now embrace technological innovation far better than any era just before.  It is an astounding up grade in the acumen of brief-time period rental hosts.

Also, they are extremely inspired and energized in approaches that hosts from the past were being not. A lot of the new hosts are young, coming out of college, or they have not long gone to college they are renegades – accomplishing things their way.

“This market rewards renegades”

I also see some flipsides of hosts which could be unsafe – the get-abundant-brief mentality doesn’t close perfectly for everyone – friends, neighbors, or the entrepreneur. It is not a get-prosperous-swift business.

When you glance at it entirely as a way to make revenue,  inherently hospitality requires a back seat.  Viewing it as a enterprise indicates that you want to make revenue having said that, if you are only performing it solely to make funds – all the other hospitality factors will generate you crazy.

Any person who desires to enter the industry should encompass themselves with people today who are actively managing the style of organizations they would really like to very own a few a long time down the street – this is the very best way to calibrate anticipations.

Apart, from the get-wealthy-quick mentality, what are the other foreseeable future sector threats to the foreseeable future


  1. Margin creep

This is a smaller margins organization, and when you insert additional levels to the business enterprise and never have the power to boost the cost to the buyer, the cost of managing a business starts off creeping up on the price tag you cost the shopper.

  1. Current market correction

There will be massive current market corrections more than the future year or two in opposition to the final two decades – which have been anomalies.

In the course of Covid there was confined supply –  most of our colleagues are starting to practical experience a correction and need has dropped, but offer is about the identical or a minor up. So, instantly we really don’t have the ratio of two yrs back.

If you haven’t planned it out as a enterprise – this has the potential to pull the rug out from underneath you.

Become concentrated on your positioning, what you present and how it compares with other offerings on the market place.

  1. The largest threat by far is unfair legislation 

There are discussions about this in each and every current market, and if you never have a seat at the desk, you will be lunch – they will take in your enterprise.  You have to be actively concerned in area alliances, and actively retain track of rules and laws in your desired destination, or you are in for a impolite awakening.

Pay attention to our How to save your getaway rental business podcast – with Dana Lubner – which focuses on most effective techniques for staying a responsible VR advocate.

Matt langau speech

Photo by: Stuart Hooper

What are the possibilities?

Matt: The classification consciousness of holiday vacation rentals is increasing, and it continue to has area to grow. Vacationers for the initial time at any time are deciding upon family vacation rentals as opposed to hotels – this is a significant responsibility, but also a major opportunity to capture new demand from customers.

“There’s by no means been a superior time to run a qualified vacation rental business”

There has hardly ever been a superior time to operate a expert getaway rental company than suitable now but you need to system your business for the future.

This way, you right away different on your own from those who haven’t carried out any of that.  For this team who are major about the construction, business and technological know-how they are using – you can arrive at new amounts. Now is the time to be a limited version vacation rental.

So, how do you turn out to be a ‘limited edition’ holiday vacation rental? out?v=ndWZdphengM

Matt: The limited edition framework contains 4 matters you can do as a host or supervisor to STAND out that no one else can do. They are the factors that simply cannot scale. So, you really do not have to stress about competing with Marriot, Sykes Cottages, or Vacasa.

We connect with them FLOSS – you have to repeat these factors in your internet marketing, like flossing your teeth.

  1. Family-owned and operated
  2. Domestically dependent, i.e. not headquartered in other places
  3. Specialized in any offered property type or region
  4. Pleasant surprises woven into the keep that just just can’t be mass-developed

The trick is to double down on your limited edition situation, your price proposition that does not scale. This permits you to stand out, and command major dollar.  And due to the fact you have regulate over the source, need will generally be larger than source.

Which delightful surprises have you appreciated in vacation rentals?


  • A handwritten be aware – it is exceptional.
  • Yet another instance – is a collaboration with a regional small business e.g. a supply of branded coffee for the initial day from a area espresso store. You turn into the minimal version ambassador of the company you work with.
  • Another low-cost one – is a image body by the aspect of the mattress with a significant photograph of your guest, in particular for repeat friends. It produced me feel like I was in superior hands. Confined hospitality touches or gestures have to have a little bit of assumed, and you need a process – feel about it as if your visitor ended up your buddy and what they would respect in the course of their stay.
  • A parting reward – it provides them a thing pretty and meaningful – the capstone of their continue to be. Believe of it as a promoting financial commitment for the long term.

gift basket

What about internet marketing assistance for holiday vacation rentals?

Matt: I am starting to feel about advertising and marketing in a new way. I employed to imagine about marketing as actions to encourage making extra bookings – a emblem, a website, an e mail internet marketing marketing campaign, working with listing sites etcetera. They nonetheless are, but we have shifted into a new phase – in the getaway rental sector.

“We require to look at hospitality gestures as the new marketing”

Why? If the objective of advertising is to deliver much more bookings – each and every new call has a cost to obtain. Being aware of this amount is useful. Out of the blue you know that if you can get a guest to keep all over again or refer a close friend to remain – the hospitality gesture seems inexpensive in contrast to what I would spend for an OTA or advertising campaign.

Start out seeking at gestures that occur soon after attendees e book and what transpires in the residence as the new marketing. This way we are able to seize the immediate scheduling entire world that everyone is right after. Everything that can generate a repeat reserving is well worth doing.

How significant is it to list on OTAs when you initial start out out?

Matt: It is normally important to record on OTAs – it is the most inexpensive way to create potential customers. It is incredible what these firms have performed – they have developed an avenue to give anyone a probability to turn his or her property into a entire world-distributed hospitality offering.

Having said that, be aware of what you are signing up for. This is aspect of your enterprise setting up. Establish the OTA listings into your advertising and marketing approach.

So, attendees can possibly learn you 1st via OTA, but then you commence communicating your minimal edition fashion of hospitality and form relationships with the visitor.

If you have accomplished a very good more than enough occupation and captured their e-mail addresses – you have utilized the OTA to deliver a repeat or referral booking and advocate for your home. And if you do this more than enough times – substantially much more rapidly than you hope, you deliver a hopper of individuals who appreciate you and will refer your small business.

OTAs are the most potent beginning motor of the business, but recognize exactly where they in good shape and commence at the same time to develop your very own brand and nurturing channel.  This way you management the technique, as opposed to racing your horse on someone else’s race program

Notify us who is Matt the man or woman when he’s not respiration, consuming and sleeping vacation rentals?

Matt: I always believe about getaway rentals… I swim every early morning, and even then I  continue to feel about trip rentals, and when I journey I inquire folks about vacation rentals.

I moved to Miami for the duration of Covid, and I like it.  I travel quite a bit – my pleasure and enterprise lives are likely to converge pretty a little bit. I meet up with a large amount of group users and notice what they are accomplishing, and several are very pleased ambassadors of their destinations, and this leads to ordeals and lessons for existence – that is my point.

matt landau interview lodgdify

If you did not finish up in this sector what would you have favored to be?

Matt: In all probability an academic, trainer or researcher.  My mom is a scientist and most of what I do is investigate. I get excited about digging deep into things and presenting it to persons in ways in which they can have an understanding of it.

What are your current tasks and the place do men and women come across you?

Matt: We refer to our weekly e-newsletter as the most considerate getaway rental publication simply because we do not train you how to get rich off Airbnb! The e-newsletter is cost-free, and it is normally what men and women obtain very first. For those people who want to choose their business to the next stage, there is the possibility to be a part of our longest-working group of specialists in this area, VRMB.

I also share stories of the most ground breaking proprietors and hosts on my podcast – UNLOCKED, which is also free of charge.

Some of these hosts are performing issues that are modifying the entire world on a pretty distinct stage from all people else – and people are the types I function in a new docu-sequence – a television show termed Homerunners.

The to start with episode will be revealed on the grand phase in the course of the opening of the 2022 VRMA Global Conference from October 23-26 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Call Matt if you would like to discover out a lot more! | Newsphere by AF themes.