8 Best Vacation Rental Consultants For Your Business Growth

by | Oct 14, 2021 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

In only a decade, the vacation rentals industry went from a niche way to find vacation accommodation to becoming the hottest travel vertical.

In that time, thousands of entrepreneurs from different backgrounds have entered this space. The only thing shared across the board between these aspiring hospitality professionals is the fact they all learned on the go, could not refer to any playbook, and were rapidly scaling operationally challenging businesses. 

Luckily for you, there’s now plenty of knowledge and expertise available to help those entering the industry solve business challenges. This article aims at helping you identify the best vacation rental consultants out there today.

If you were struggling before the pandemic, how are you going to succeed with fewer resources and twice as much demand?

Hiring experts to help you solve your company’s most urgent challenges is one of the best tools to ensure a better recovery, at a time where 70% of travelers in the US and EU are saying they’ll book a vacation rental by the end of 2022.

As consultants, industry experts, and enthusiasts, we understand how unique vacation rental businesses are, and we’ve witnessed first-hand how a cookie-cutter approach can’t work as well as a tailor-made one. This is why we consider every client unique and will sometimes need to step outside of AJL Atelier to find the best resources for our clients. 

We want to share these findings so others can benefit.

What to look for in a vacation rental consultant?

Choosing the right people to work with can be difficult. From our experience, we know what consultants do for their clients can often seem unclear.

As a rule of thumb, you want to first identify people or companies with a wealth of experience in the service they provide, people whose experience will compound with yours and deliver the expected results for your business.

Then you want to find people who are specialized in what you want to achieve and who have a track record to prove it. Online reviews and testimonials are important when trying to find the best consultant to help you.

Last, but definitely not least, you want to work with people whose experience and network are embedded into your industry, who understand its uniqueness and how to address it in the best possible way.

The more visibility a consultant has into a specific space, the more they’ll be able to leverage this knowledge to help you position your business in the right way and achieve your goals.

8 Best vacation rental consultants for your business

AJL Atelier (Strategy, Growth, Operations, M&A and Fundraising, Online distribution, Technology, Business development)

AJL Atelier was founded by Simon and Cristina Lehmann with the goal of becoming the go-to partner of the vacation rental industry. Simon’s experience as the CEO of Interhome, Chairman of Vacasa in Europe, and CEO of Phocuswright has positioned him as a thought leader in the industry.

With a clear vision of the developments and trends in this rapidly evolving space, AJL Atelier supports their clients towards success in this highly competitive and rapidly evolving environment.

Our sole focus is on the vacation rental industry and helping many stakeholders—such as property managers, technology providers, and investors—navigate the space and craft the most relevant strategies to succeed.

This helps you make the most relevant strategic decisions for your business in alignment with your goals, resources, and capabilities.

What they’re best at: Working hand in hand with executives and their teams to define the best strategy and increase the efficiency of their businesses. We ensure our client’s message is clear and resonates strongly with their target clients, enabling them to create new business opportunities.

Unique qualities: A team with more than 30 years of accumulated industry experience has contributed to a unique vision and understanding of our space—and gives us the capacity to work with a vast client portfolio, ranging from industry giants to local vacation rental businesses.

Our ongoing collaboration with key technology companies and investors in the industry also provides us with unique visibility on present and future trends.

Sole focus in just one industry has enabled AJL Atelier to build the most relevant and widespread network in the vacation rental industry, complete with a dedicated team of experts who help our customers excel.

We hear the grass grow in the vacation rental industry.

Looking for an experienced and reputable vacation rental consultant? AJL Atelier is your go-to partner for the short-term rental industry. Get in touch

Paola Gheis – Luxury Rental Consulting 

Paola Gheis specializes in consulting and providing bespoke solutions for her clients who are launching a luxury rentals business. She helps property owners and investors get off to the best possible start. 

For those looking to transform their business or property to make it more appealing to discerning travelers, Paola supports her clients with a clear path towards a true luxury business. Additionally, she will also help property owners protect their luxury rental business, specifically when its management has been delegated to a third-party company.

What they’re best at: The overarching expertise, going from launch to transformation and optimization, enables Paola to help luxury rental businesses at every step of their journey.

Unique qualities: Few consultants have such a focus and understanding of the luxury rental market, and Paola is an absolute expert in this field; she even wrote the first book on that topic for those lucky enough to read Italian!

VRMB (Matt Landau – Marketing for vacation rentals)

Founded by Matt Landau, the Vacation Rental Management Blog (VRMB) supports local property managers in their efforts to remain independent and build sustainable businesses with their guests, communities, and employees.

Matt Landau helps vacation rental businesses with their marketing efforts and advises them towards the most relevant technology for their needs.

Additionally, Matt partnered with Booking.com and Netflix in 2019 for “The Vacation Rental Show,” a series focusing on local property managers globally, which gave him the platform to go beyond Airbnb and show a mainstream audience what vacation rentals are all about.

What they’re best at: The trademark of VRMB is its emphasis on sustainability at all levels and the community they’ve fostered of like-minded business people looking to deliver the most unique holiday experiences.

Unique qualities: VRMB’s focus on local property management businesses is unique and empowers them to remain relevant in an overly crowded marketplace—where many are trying to get rich quickly instead of providing exceptional experiences to their guests. They help these businesses to put guest experience at the forefront of their operations.

SEO Connect (Damian Sheridan – Direct booking & organic reach)

SEO Connect is a digital marketing agency founded by Damian Sheridan, who focuses on improving the organic traffic of vacation rentals websites with the goal of supporting property managers to increase direct bookings.

This topic is close to the heart of Damian, who’s also the founder of the Book Direct Show, an industry conference and network sharing knowledge and best practices with vacation rental businesses looking to drive their own demand without relying on the online giants.

SEO Connect also provides training sessions for those who want to learn more about SEO and become more efficient in their direct marketing strategy.

What they’re best at: Damian and his team use their specialization in SEO to support vacation rental business owners and marketers in building direct consumer relationships, thus giving freedom from the OTAs and higher margins.

Unique qualities: Solely focusing on Organic traffic for vacation rentals websites allows SEO Connect to be very granular in their approach and share strategies with a proven track record of success.

C2G Advisors (Financial advisory and M+A)

James and Jacobie Olin from C2G advisors are perhaps the most renowned M&A and financial advisors for the vacation rental industry in Northern America.

They deliver a variety of bespoke financial services to their clients, from mergers and acquisitions to restructuring and repositioning a vacation rental business. C2G Advisors work with a number of property management companies in the US to support them in achieving their diverse goals.

What they’re best at: The duo are mostly known for their successes in representing sellers in M&A transactions, and their long track record is the best proof of their expertise.

Unique qualities: The focus of C2G on the short-term rental industry positions their service in a unique way since companies providing such advice & services are rarely so specialized.

Mark Simpson / Boostly (Direct bookings)

Boostly, founded by Mark Simpson, is focused on getting more direct bookings for members of their community.

Mark and his team share proven strategies to increase the reach and engagement of direct booking websites and social media outreach; Boostly has helped its community gain its independence from OTAs, while increasing their profits and securing repeat customers who book direct.

More recently, Boostly has been providing content creation tools as well as website builders to their users to further enhance the result of their direct booking strategies.

What they’re best at: Identifying immediately actionable tactics to rapidly enhance direct bookings while working on mid and long-term strategies to create a sustainable and recurring direct booking funnel for property managers and owners.

Unique qualities: With thousands of business owners in the Boostly community, Boostly is not only a consultancy but also a place where challenges, resources, and best practices can be shared broadly.

KTN – The Kennedy Training Network (Hospitality)

The Kennedy training network is an institution within the hospitality industry. Initially providing training for hotels, Doug Kennedy and his team have adapted their programs to the unique challenges of the vacation rental industry.

From mystery shopping to giving sales training to front desk staff, the various programs offered by KTN enable trainees to become better at their work, supporting the professionalization and standardization of the vacation rental industry.

What they’re best at: As its name suggests, training is the sole focus of KTN, and they provide on-site workshops as well as virtual learning opportunities to adapt to today’s environment.

Unique qualities: Being an industry veteran, and having trained a subsequent amount of hospitality professionals over the years, enables Doug and his team to remain relevant and aligned with the evolution of an industry that’s changing rapidly and increasingly tech-driven.

Yes Consulting (Consultant network)

Yes Consulting is a network of industry consultants led by Eric Mason and Richard Vaughton, two vacation rental industry veterans.

They provide a variety of services ranging from business reviews to financial advice where they draw upon years of experience.

In addition to Richard and Eric, Yes Consulting works with a network of partner consultants from across the vacation rental industry to further boost the breadth and depth of the expertise they provide.

Their specialties range from government relations to brand building and even Blockchain technology.

What they’re best at: Launched during the Covid crisis, Yes Consulting has supported vacation rentals owners in business reviews to enable them to go through this storm. Richard Vaughton is also the CEO of Rentivo, a tech company for vacation rentals, and has an industry-leading level of expertise in building bespoke tech projects.

Unique qualities: Having witnessed the evolution of the industry over the years enables Yes Consulting to guide businesses in their transformation and adaptation to new sets of standards, whether they are financial or technological.

Conclusion 

Although not exhaustive, this list shows you great resources exist to support vacation rental business owners in solving the biggest challenges faced by the industry today.

Identifying areas of improvement and crafting actionable strategies to make our clients thrive is our sole focus at AJL Atelier. We constantly support businesses in their assessment and problem solving; our expertise comes from decades of experience in various aspects of our industry, and it is our passion to share it with other business people to support them in achieving their goals and exploring new opportunities.

We understand how demanding a vacation rental business is and have worked with countless professionals to help them reassess, focus on what matters, and execute the best strategy to succeed.

Being involved in different initiatives, from consolidation projects to M&A mandates, enables us to guide our clients in harnessing present and future trends, thus providing them with a unique value no one else can deliver.

Looking for an experienced and reputable vacation rental consultant? AJL Atelier is your go-to partner for the short-term rental industry. Get in touch

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