Annie and Jay have a story that many could probably relate to. They were a family of five, juggling school, work, soccer practice, and everything in between. They wanted a way to “unplug” from the real world while doing something to benefit their family.
The couple decided to pack up their stuff and take their kids on an extended vacation to Yelapa, Mexico, a small village on the coast. They loved their holiday far too much for it just to stay a holiday.
“We were more connected with each other, ourselves and our environment than ever before. We wanted to share Yelapa and our casa with others looking for an adventurous getaway!”
They decided that their incredible moment to disconnect would become the start of something amazing. They returned to Yelapa, Mexico, but this time as vacation rental owners.
They had a great story to tell, but their biggest challenge was finding the words to say it. Annie and Jay knew their story was a relatable one and they wanted to provide families that were similar to their own with a place to disconnect and really experience their vacation.
“The toughest part was defining and writing our story, the content. However, the site builder made that process attainable and easy to take on.”
They knew that any good vacation rental had a story behind it. Thankfully, Lodgify’s website builder was so clear and easy to follow, all that was left to do was share their story!
Challenges during COVID-19
Like many vacation rental owners, Annie and Jay’s largest business struggle during COVID-19 was that of cancellations. With the unknowingness surrounding travel, they faced many cancellations. To help counter this, they targeted the guests who need a vacation most of all: front-line workers.
“Cancellations were never a thing we had to deal with until COVID-19. We’ve offered discounts and flexible rescheduling. We ran a “front-liner” giveaway week, offered discounts and flexibility in rescheduling and are coaching our guests through safe travels practices.”
Annie and Jay praise their small successes of “surviving” COVID up to this point. Their savviness and out-of-the-box thinking for how they’d continue to keep operations moving during the pandemic is what has really helped them to keep their business afloat.
Beyond their COVID marketing strategies, there are some other things that have contributed to Casa Flourish’s overall success. Annie and Jay hit the ground running when it came to preparing their vacation rental business. Before they were even open for business, they implemented Lodgify to start tracking their reservations and promoting Casa Flourish on their website.
“Luckily, we found Lodgify before we opened the doors. We even prebooked the casa before it was finished (which helped in paying for the final stages of the build)!”
What they liked most about Lodgify
Annie and Jay were new to the vacation rental industry. They didn’t consider themselves experts prior to the start of Casa Flourish. They wanted a software that would allow them to grow their business, present themselves as professionals, and, above all, offer an easy-to-use product.
“Lodgify enabled us, in a professional way, to do what we’d never done before. Build a beautiful site, have a reservation system that is fully customizable and end to end manage our first property and guests.”
They loved what Lodgify was able to do for the client-facing side of the business, but also how easy it was to manage reservations once guests booked their property. Lodgify offered owners Annie and Jay a perfect balance between customization and usability.
How they found the process of creating their own website with Lodgify
Like the Lodgify product, at large, they found the process of creating their website quite doable. This was their first website build, so navigating a product geared towards beginners was essential. They were able to offer a stunning vacation rental website to their guests with surprising speed and ease.
How they got their first bookings
Annie and Jay knew that the best way to get bookings was to generate buzz. Casa Flourish was located in remote Mexico, so they had to get people talking if they were going to ever discover their charming escape. With a little bit of effort, they were able to get their first few bookings from word-of-mouth and social media platforms, like Facebook.
Other channels that generate traffic and bookings
After turning to digital platforms, like Facebook, Airbnb and Vrbo, owners Annie and Jay found themselves basking in the success from their initial hard work. After the start of their vacation rental business in 2016, Casa Flourish has propelled into upward success.
With most of their bookings coming from direct requests, Lodgify provides an easy solution for guests to make their reservations without Annie and Jay having to worry about paying OTA fees.
Annie and Jay have fully seen the risks turn into rewards. After such a booming success from their first home, they added another one to the Casa Flourish collection. From a wistful vacation to a remote village in Mexico to a “flourishing,” if you will, vacation rental business, these owners have been very fortunate to have found success thanks to their efforts and Lodgify’s support.
“We’re very thankful to find Lodgify. We’ve looked at other platforms, but know we’re with the right provider.”
How Lodgify helped them grow their vacation rental business
Owning two vacation rental properties abroad is not an easy task. Not only do they have their homes to look after, they even have staff to ensure a great guest experience. Managing two homes, staff, and reservations wouldn’t have been possible without Lodgify. Annie and Jay were able to confidently scale their business and maintain almost entirely direct reservations thanks to their vacation rental software, Lodgify.
Casa Flourish has found its success by following a simple code: the guest comes first. Annie and Jay have always maintained that the root of a good vacation rental business is the relationship maintained with the guest; hence their many returning customers! After some years in the business, they’ve learned a thing or two about running a vacation rental.
“The guest is top priority. Be available or assign someone to be available. Keep your property clean, accurately described, be patient with guests and work out any problems you have over the phone.”
The best way to keep a guest satisfied is to provide them with exactly what they’re looking for: an easy-to-navigate website, speedy communication, and a lovely place to stay. Lodgify provides you with everything you need for your vacation rental; just ask Casa Flourish! Don’t forget to visit Annie and Jay’s Casa Flourish and Casa Journey to see just how much Lodgify can do for your business!