The Power of a Free Night!

March 9, 2013


We have all probably given a free night or two away to get someone to book our property but have you thought of giving a night or two away to people and groups that can help your business? Never underestimate the power of word of mouth advertising. Offer a free night or two to anyone that may be influential in recommending your vacation property. Seek out and target people in the public eye. People that work in complimentary industries are even better for cross promotion but anyone that may be able to recommend you is a prime target. Some of the people we have successfully targeted include event planners, wedding planners, travel journalists, travel agents, actors, socialites, politicians, local restaurateurs,  local tv and news celebrities, and business owners in the hospitality industry that are in your local area.


Once you target who you would like to stay in your rental, approach them with the idea of staying in your home for a few nights with an unpressured invitation.  We usually have built up some repo ire with our prospective guest through phone calls, emails, or personal meeting(s). If you have this relationship, it is that much easier to ask someone to stay in your home. We usually pitch our idea with the idea that we are looking for feedback on our 5 star experience offered at all our vacation rentals.


Another easy sell is to target individuals that have done charitable work in your community.  The pitch here is that you simply want to show your appreciation to said person with a night or two free at your home.


Treat your VIP guest well, without trying too hard. Fresh flowers and a bottle of wine or champagne might be a nice touch. Use the occasion to demonstrate your flexibility, availability, and customer service skills. We have a brand or experience that our company is known for and we make sure that all the details of the experience are in full swing. It is important to resist asking your VIP guest to give you something in return for the free night. If the gesture is made without strings attached, the goodwill will be more likely to work in your favor – a pleasant and uncomplicated experience speaks for itself. A travel agent, wedding planner, or event planner might be very happy to offer their personal experience to San Diego visitors in the future, and a travel writer or journalist may write you a great review or article.


I encourage you to experiment with this idea. Find three people and give away a couple of nights free to each one. This will create a tremendous amount of goodwill for your business and will come back to you many times over!

About Greg

Greg is the owner of Pacific Coast Vacation Properties, a high end vacation rental management company located in San Diego, CA. He also owns a full service real estate brokerage company that helps owners buy vacation rental and commercial property. In his spare time, Greg volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and other charitable groups in San Diego.

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