Peer-to-peer marketplaces are fascinating. Because it’s so easy to get involved, the quality of products and services can vary greatly, so trust is becoming an increasingly important element for everyone in the sharing economy. We work hard at Wheel Estate to ensure great quality listings on our site, but we’ve found the most successful peer-to-peer entrepreneurs are the ones who treat their rentals like a business.
You don’t need a degree to provide an amazing renting experience and make great money, but the steps to getting there aren’t always obvious to everyone. Hopefully these tips help!
1) Do Your Research
Every great business starts with strong research. Nothing will prepare you for success better than knowing your trailer, your customers and your market. It’s surprising how many people skip this step, assuming they already know enough to get started. We speak from experience when we say the results will surprise you, and knowing your strengths early on will help you steer your efforts in the right direction.
A few topics to get you started:
- Product Research: What are your trailer’s most popular or unique selling features? What are its strengths that you can focus on? Where can you improve it?
- Market Research: We know there’s a growing demand for travel trailer rentals, but what is the demand in your area? How many trailers are available for rent nearby? Is the supply meeting the demand?
- Competitive Research: Check out similar trailers for rent in your area. How are they priced? How are they being marketed? What condition are they in? How does your trailer compare?
- Demographic Research: Is your trailer suitable for couples? Families? Any specific demographics you should cater to? What would interest them most about your trailer and your area?
- Destination Research: What are the popular destinations in your area? Odds are your guests will want to visit those destinations!
2) Prep Your Trailer
Now that you know your market, consider your findings and ask yourself how you can cater your trailer to your market. Is your trailer better for families? Get some family-friendly decorations or fun bed sheets. Do you live in a dry climate where fire bans are common? Consider creating an info sheet for your guests on what to watch for, and supply a gas heater. Do you live near an iconic destination? Provide a few small touches that make visiting that destination more enjoyable.
The possibilities are endless here, and every little thing you do to improve your trailer is another step towards success.
Possibly the most critical aspect of any business is pricing. Travel trailers aren’t a commodity; it’s not a race to the bottom when it comes to pricing. But it is important to ensure your trailer is fairly priced.
Supply and demand plays a big part here. If the demand exceeds the supply, you will see higher prices. If the opposite is true, your rates will have to be more competitive.
Check your research and compare the pricing of your competitors’ trailers. If your trailer is more affordable, you’ve got an edge! If not, how easily can you justify the extra price? Is your trailer in better condition? Is it more luxurious? Bigger?
It’s also worth looking into the prices of other accommodations in your area. Remember, you may also be competing against hotels, motels, airbnb’s, guesthouses, hostels etc. It depends on the wants and needs of your guests, and price can be a factor.
A great question to ask yourself is this: If you didn’t own a trailer, would you rent yours for the listed price?
Finally, don’t be afraid to change your price! Consider experimenting from time to time, and respond to market fluctuations as they occur.
Almost as important as pricing, how you market your trailer can make all the difference. Many people confuse marketing with advertising; they’re definitely not the same things! Advertising is only a small part of marketing, and a lot of marketing can be done affordably (or free) if you know what to do.
Here are some marketing best practices you can do for your trailer:
- Choose your listing title carefully. It must be attention-grabbing, unique and fitting for your trailer all at the same time!
- Take great photos, and lots of them.
- Fill out your Wheel Estate listing profile as completely as possible.
- Follow our tips on how to make a killer listing for your travel trailer.
- Cater your description to your demographic (you did your research right?). If it’s a 2-sleeper, mention how great your trailer is for couples. If it’s a more luxurious trailer at a higher price-point, use language that appeals to a higher-end guest.
5) Customer Service
You got a booking! That’s great news in itself, but it’s also a huge opportunity for you! Providing great customer service can earn you a great review (and reviews are more important than they’ve ever been). But it can go so much farther, resulting in your guest coming back year after year, and referring their friends too! Creating an ambassador for your trailer is a powerful tool for building your business, and is as easy as providing an amazing experience for your guest.
We could (and will!) write entire entries about creating a great experience, but here are some easy tips anyone can follow.
- Respond to inquiries quickly. If you’re tied up, send a quick note saying “I won’t be able to respond to your request today, but will be sure to get back to you tomorrow. Thanks!”
- Respond completely. Answer every question and address any concerns potential guests may have. Giving your guests confidence that you’re listening to them goes a long way in building trust.
- Double-check that you’re spelling your guest’s name correctly in all correspondence.
- Be friendly, polite and respectful.
- Build and maintain trust by being honest, transparent and fair.
- The fortune is in the follow up! If you haven’t heard back from a guest in a few days, send them a quick note to ensure they’re not waiting on you for anything. Be sure to show you care about them and their experience, rather than being too pushy or salesy.
- Be professional and friendly in person. Arrive on time for any meetings or key handoffs, dress nicely, make eye contact, smile 🙂
- Make sure your trailer is clean and lives up to your listing.
- Share useful information or quirks your trailer may have. If you have to jiggle a lock or apply a little extra force to a window, let your guests know before they drive away.
- Add little touches to the trailer that will improve the guest experience, such as pamphlets, matches, or even just a friendly note wishing them a great vacation.
We’ll be going into greater detail on all of these subjects, but we hope this is enough to get you started!
Now put on your rentrepreneur hat and get your listing online today!
Thanks for reading,