PERCEPTION: Refine your story to improve your bottom line.
For Vacation Rental: Brush Mountain Lodge – A luxurious three-story timber lodge perched on a mountaintop with five private suites, chefs kitchen, three wood-burning fireplaces, and stunning five-mile views of the valley below.
Just the thought of it makes you want to cozy up to a crackling fire with your favorite people, right? And the guest book includes rave review after rave review. So what was keeping this lodge from reaching maximum bookings? It wasn’t location. It wasn’t price. It wasn’t their five-star staff.
It was perception.
You’ve heard it before. You have one chance to make a first impression. People make decisions based on the way they feel about your product, brand, and service.
I had the opportunity to work with Brush Mountain Lodge to identify the issues with their online presence and assist with changes to improve their booking stats. The website wasn’t obsolete, but it needed more than a simple update. The pictures were a bit cold. And though the descriptions were accurate and complete, they didn’t give someone the “OMG – I want to stay there!” response needed to close the deal. The VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) listing had a similar representation.
After discussing objectives and reviewing the web presence, the lodge owner agreed with the suggested reboot from the proposal. Professional photographer Heather Scully was hired to shoot the space on a sunny day in the fall when just a bit of color from the changing leaves would complement the golden wood tone throughout the space. The new images are now more welcoming to renters, capturing the warmth and expansiveness of the space.
Updating VRBO first, the new photos were uploaded and the short and long descriptions were rewritten. Rather than simply stating the facts, the text complements the photos and creates a vision where renters can picture themselves actually living in the space, cooking a family meal, and stoking a fire while admiring the surroundings with their friends and family.
The results from that simple change were astounding. The lodge had their best year yet, with a staggering increase in bookings. The owner attributes the increased visibility and demand to the new look of the online listing. Perception improved for those considering the lodge as the perfect getaway home.
For Brush Mountain Lodge, they’ve taken the experience as motivation to continue down the path. With so much success with VRBO, an Airbnb listing was launched last week. And the new redesign of the brushmountainlodge.com was launched today.
The Bottom Line: A professional look can make a big difference. It not only improves the way your product looks; it shows that you care about your brand. It also makes your customer better able to connect with it and more apt to share it with others.