Just thinking about reviewing your analytics is daunting and frankly sounds boring. Have you ever looked at Google Analytics? It can make your head spin. There is so much to dig through. But knowing a few important numbers will help you grow your short-term rental business. Here are 6 vacation rental metrics that you need to know to grow your vacation rental business.
Social Media Engagement
Let’s tackle this one right away. Social media marketing is huge and you may feel like it’s getting you nowhere fast. But remember social media marketing is a long term strategy. You aren’t going to open an Instagram account and suddenly have 3 bookings from it. You need to work on it. That being said, we get caught up in the follower and like count when honestly those are numbers that just stroke our egos. What you really need to focus on is your engagement rate. This one is a little harder to track. Engagement includes likes, comments, shares, profile visits, clicks, etc. This article by Hootsuite has a few different ways to calculate your engagement rate. The reason this is important is that, not only are those people your hottest leads, but the social media algorithms use your engagement rate to determine if they want to show your post to people.
Google Analytics is overwhelming with all its data but you have to know one thing about your website – how much traffic are you getting? If you don’t pay attention to anything else about your site, this is the one thing that you need to track. You need to know this because website visits tell you how all your other marketing efforts are doing and how many people are seeing your business. If you look at marketing as an equation and reverse engineer your revenue goal, you know how many people need to visit your website each month to make the money you want. This article will give you a few website hacks that will help.
For example, you want to make $100K this year. An average conversion rate across all industries is about 3%. To demonstrate let’s say the average booking is $1000. That means you need 100 bookings over the course of the year. That’s a little over 8 bookings per month. At an average 3% conversion, you need to have a minimum of 300 new visitors to your website each month. This is just an example to show you the equation. You can fit in your own numbers. You get the point of why this vacation rental metric is important.
Email List Growth Rate
Email marketing is not dead. Have you checked your inbox lately? It’s overflowing with marketing emails. All those companies wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t making them money. When it comes to travel planning most people don’t book right away. They research and check this place and that place before making any final decisions. The sales process can be several weeks, so just landing on your website most likely isn’t going to get them to book right then. But you can get them to sign up for emails and now you have the opportunity to be top of mind when they do make a decision. Hence, you want to grow your email list. Website traffic is great but you need to convert that traffic into something that will get you a booking.
Customer Satisfaction Rate and Return Guests
The old saying goes something like, it’s cheaper to keep a customer than to always be getting new ones. Customer satisfaction and returning guests are important for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easier to market to them. They already like you so it’s not that hard. Second, people like to talk on and offline in the form of reviews. And unfortunately, people are more likely to post a bad review over a good one. So keeping your customer satisfaction rate high helps with managing bad reviews. This is as simple as sending out a quick 1 to 3 question survey after a guest departs asking them how their stay was.
Revenue Growth and Profit Margin
This vacation rental metric seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised at how many people don’t pay attention to this number until tax time. If you want to grow your vacation rental business you need to set your revenue goals and then track them each month to see how much your revenue has grown. Generating revenue is great but not if you are spending all the revenue on expenses. That’s where profit margin comes in. You want to grow your revenue but you also need to have a good profit margin so that you are keeping some of that money.
Employee Turn Over Rate
Happy employees equal a successful business. Just like in the customer satisfaction point, it’s cheaper to keep an employee happy than to always be training someone new. If employees are happy, then the guests are happy, you make more money, and you are happy. It’s really that simple yet so complicated because of the people involved. You can’t please all the people all the time and sometimes people just move on and that’s ok. The goal is to keep people happy and satisfied. But what if it’s just you in the business? Hear me out on this, you have to keep yourself happy too. This is equally, if not more, important when you are a company of one. If you quit, that’s a 100% employee turn over rate and not good for business. So, keep yourself happy in your business too.
Having specific vacation rental metrics, data and facts about your vacation rental business help you make better, more informed decisions about how you want to run your business. Not knowing them can cost you money. But don’t make yourself crazy over all the numbers. Find the ones that are important to you. What are your most important numbers?