September 26, 2022

Villa Ming

Travel & Wisata

Matt Landau: “Hospitality gestures are the new marketing”

10 min read

Holiday rental trendspotter Matt Landau talks to Lodgify about the most significant threat to the market, pleasant guest surprises and how to keep away from burn-out.

Matt Landau, the proprietor of VRMB and holiday vacation rental qualified, has been in the business for much more than 10 a long time as both equally a host and an market blogger. He has acquired his spot as one of the largest names within the getaway rental marketplace right now, so you could say that he appreciates very a bit about limited expression rentals.

How did you get started out in quick-term rentals? 

Matt: I bought started off the very same way most folks get started – absolutely unintentionally. With out any system!  I was performing in Costa Rica just out of graduation and was advised to examine out a little, historic district in Panama – Casco Viejo – exactly where I stayed in the only pleasant place to stay – a getaway rental enterprise.  I fell in love with the community.

A calendar year afterwards I purchased that company with a lover. We had zero expertise. Instantly I was thrust into the function of host. My lover and I just winged it.

Because there was no competitors, it was an simple place to learn all those classes the difficult way. That course of action of trial and error required a whole lot of A/B tests – and staying deliberate about what was operating and what was not working – to create bookings and build a manufacturer.

I started out sharing my finest techniques with other hosts all-around the earth, and at that time there was small other data offered – that was my kickstart into the earth of instruction. I offered the enterprise 10 several years later and now concentrate on the training element whole-time, which we contact VRMB.

What helps make you various from other specialists – what is your distinctive providing point?

Matt: There are so quite a few specialists, and I have blended thoughts about them. I get pretty suspicious when any one guarantees you can get-loaded-speedily right away.  As we know, this is much from the truth.

I never consider myself an skilled – more of a connector, or a spotter of designs. I encompass myself with lots of vacation rental gurus. When you see a whole lot, you see the trends.

My position is to synthesize individuals patterns and share them – to aid them choose edge of the ideal tactics.

My suggestions to newcomers is: Be wary of who you stick to – what they promise, what they instruct. Ensure it is hospitality-focused knowledge, not lease arbitrage or other models. Check out out for everything that takes you far too much away from the main of this company – which is taking care of site visitors and ensuring they have awesome holidays.

Matt Landau Boat Smiling

Photograph by: Stuart Hooper

Convey to us about your encounter with burnout – and how to avoid that as a host.

Matt: Effectively,  I burned out myself.  Following some years, anyone challenged me and explained you are clearly not as passionate about the marketplace as you the moment had been.  It is time to shift on.

On the lookout at melt away-out as destructive is not truthful – people today melt away out from interactions, where they reside, and companies. Nonetheless there is 1 matter you can do to lower the possibility – one particular big truth – you need to perspective your holiday vacation rental home as a enterprise.

A lot of start out unintentionally right away and it is effortless to wing it initially – so, they do not system their homes like a business.  The second you do commence viewing it as a small business,  it suddenly alterations your full lens.

It is never ever too late to make a program and possessing that plan based mostly on the enter of many others who have executed that plan would make all the variance.

What is the standard profile of a holiday vacation rental host now?

Matt: It is really diverse from when I began.  In excellent and undesirable techniques –  for the broader business.

The fantastic is that hosts now embrace technology much better than any generation in advance of.  It is an incredible upgrade in the acumen of brief-time period rental hosts.

Also, they are exceptionally motivated and energized in strategies that hosts from the previous ended up not. A great deal of the new hosts are young, coming out of university, or they have not gone to college they are renegades – carrying out items their way.

“This sector rewards renegades”

I also see some flipsides of hosts which could be hazardous – the get-wealthy-swift mentality does not close properly for any one – visitors, neighbors, or the entrepreneur. It is not a get-rich-fast marketplace.

When you glimpse at it entirely as a way to make funds,  inherently hospitality takes a again seat.  Viewing it as a company signifies that you want to make profits nevertheless, if you are only undertaking it exclusively to make income – all the other hospitality issues will push you nuts.

Anyone who wants to enter the business need to encompass them selves with people today who are actively working the sort of corporations they would love to possess a number of years down the highway – this is the very best way to calibrate expectations.

Apart, from the get-wealthy-speedy mentality, what are the other foreseeable future market threats to the long run


  1. Margin creep

This is a little margins company, and when you include more layers to the business enterprise and never have the electricity to enhance the price to the customer, the value of jogging a organization starts creeping up on the cost you charge the client.

  1. Market place correction

There will be substantial industry corrections over the following yr or two against the final two yrs – which have been anomalies.

During Covid there was minimal supply –  most of our colleagues are beginning to expertise a correction and need has dropped, but source is about the identical or a little up. So, suddenly we never have the ratio of two several years again.

If you haven’t planned it out as a enterprise – this has the opportunity to pull the rug out from beneath you.

Grow to be concentrated on your positioning, what you present and how it compares with other choices on the marketplace.

  1. The major risk by considerably is unfair legislation 

There are discussions about this in every market place, and if you never have a seat at the table, you will be lunch – they will try to eat your organization.  You have to be actively associated in neighborhood alliances, and actively retain monitor of rules and polices in your desired destination, or you are in for a impolite awakening.

Hear to our How to save your vacation rental business podcast – with Dana Lubner – which focuses on greatest practices for being a dependable VR advocate.

Matt langau speech

Photograph by: Stuart Hooper

What are the chances?

Matt: The group awareness of getaway rentals is growing, and it continue to has space to improve. Tourists for the to start with time ever are selecting getaway rentals as opposed to hotels – this is a major responsibility, but also a big opportunity to seize new need.

“There’s never ever been a improved time to run a specialist vacation rental business”

There has in no way been a superior time to run a experienced family vacation rental organization than proper now but you will need to system your company for the long term.

This way, you quickly separate by yourself from these who haven’t finished any of that.  For this team who are major about the construction, organization and technologies they are working with – you can achieve new levels. Now is the time to be a restricted version getaway rental.

So, how do you grow to be a ‘limited edition’ vacation rental?

Matt: The restricted edition framework contains 4 factors you can do as a host or supervisor to STAND out that no one else can do. They are the factors that can not scale. So, you really don’t have to fret about competing with Marriot, Sykes Cottages, or Vacasa.

We get in touch with them FLOSS – you should repeat these aspects in your advertising and marketing, like flossing your tooth.

  1. Family-owned and operated
  2. Regionally based mostly, i.e. not headquartered somewhere else
  3. Specialized in any given assets variety or location
  4. Pleasant surprises woven into the continue to be that just can not be mass-made

The trick is to double down on your constrained version position, your value proposition that doesn’t scale. This permits you to stand out, and command prime greenback.  And simply because you have management in excess of the provide, desire will normally be greater than source.

Which delightful surprises have you appreciated in getaway rentals?


  • A handwritten take note – it is one of a kind.
  • Yet another illustration – is a collaboration with a neighborhood small business e.g. a source of branded coffee for the very first day from a area espresso store. You develop into the confined edition ambassador of the company you work with.
  • A different low-priced just one – is a photo body by the aspect of the mattress with a meaningful photograph of your guest, especially for repeat visitors. It made me sense like I was in very good palms. Confined hospitality touches or gestures involve a little bit of assumed, and you need to have a process – consider about it as if your visitor were being your mate and what they would recognize during their stay.
  • A parting gift – it provides them something lovely and meaningful – the capstone of their keep. Assume of it as a marketing and advertising financial commitment for the long run.

gift basket

What about marketing and advertising suggestions for holiday rentals?

Matt: I am setting up to assume about marketing and advertising in a new way. I utilised to imagine about promoting as routines to endorse generating far more bookings – a emblem, a web-site, an e-mail promoting campaign, working with listing web pages etc. They however are, but we have shifted into a new period – in the family vacation rental sector.

“We require to look at hospitality gestures as the new marketing”

Why? If the goal of promoting is to produce far more bookings – each new make contact with has a value to get. Figuring out this quantity is practical. Instantly you realize that if you can get a guest to continue to be once more or refer a pal to continue to be – the hospitality gesture appears affordable in contrast to what I would pay back for an OTA or advertising and marketing campaign.

Commence wanting at gestures that transpire soon after visitors reserve and what happens in the property as the new internet marketing. This way we are in a position to seize the immediate booking globe that all people is soon after. Nearly anything that can create a repeat booking is worth performing.

How crucial is it to record on OTAs when you initially begin out?

Matt: It is constantly crucial to listing on OTAs – it is the cheapest way to generate leads. It is incredible what these providers have carried out – they have designed an avenue to give anyone a possibility to transform his or her property into a entire world-distributed hospitality giving.

However, be conscious of what you are signing up for. This is part of your company planning. Make the OTA listings into your advertising and marketing tactic.

So, guests can possibly learn you initial through OTA, but then you get started speaking your constrained version design and style of hospitality and sort interactions with the visitor.

If you have completed a great plenty of position and captured their e-mail addresses – you have utilized the OTA to create a repeat or referral booking and advocate for your property. And if you do this adequate instances – significantly more promptly than you assume, you generate a hopper of individuals who like you and will refer your business.

OTAs are the most effective beginning engine of the business, but understand where by they suit and begin at the same time to make your own model and nurturing channel.  This way you regulate the system, as opposed to racing your horse on anyone else’s race course

Tell us who is Matt the individual when he’s not breathing, having and sleeping holiday rentals?

Matt: I normally consider about trip rentals… I swim each morning, and even then I  nonetheless believe about holiday rentals, and when I journey I inquire persons about holiday rentals.

I moved to Miami during Covid, and I really like it.  I travel fairly a bit – my satisfaction and small business life tend to converge really a little bit. I meet up with a great deal of local community members and observe what they are carrying out, and several are very pleased ambassadors of their locations, and this sales opportunities to experiences and classes for existence – that’s my issue.

matt landau interview lodgdify

If you did not end up in this marketplace what would you have appreciated to be?

Matt: Almost certainly an academic, teacher or researcher.  My mom is a scientist and most of what I do is exploration. I get thrilled about digging deep into stuff and presenting it to persons in strategies in which they can realize it.

What are your current projects and wherever do men and women uncover you?

Matt: We refer to our weekly publication as the most thoughtful trip rental newsletter mainly because we do not teach you how to get prosperous off Airbnb! The newsletter is free, and it is usually what people come across 1st. For those who want to acquire their organization to the future level, there is the alternative to be a part of our longest-running group of pros in this space, VRMB.

I also share tales of the most impressive homeowners and hosts on my podcast – UNLOCKED, which is also absolutely free.

Some of these hosts are undertaking points that are switching the environment on a extremely unique amount from absolutely everyone else – and those people are the types I characteristic in a new docu-collection – a tv show identified as Homerunners.

The very first episode will be demonstrated on the grand stage for the duration of the opening of the 2022 VRMA Worldwide Convention from October 23-26 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Make contact with Matt if you would like to locate out much more!