Discover Vacation Homes – Raising Vacation Rental Awareness through Collaborative Efforts

Guest Author: Discover Vacation Homes

When Discover Vacation Homes was formed in 2006, founding members agreed that the level of consumer awareness and confidence in the vacation rental category is only going to grow if we, as an industry, come together as a united front of colleagues rather than competitors. Steve Trover, Discover Vacation Homes’ President, explains that awareness is our industry’s greatest obstacle and greatest opportunity. “Only a small percentage of Americans have stayed in vacation homes, and most don’t even know the option is available. Together, we can change that.”

Discover Vacation Homes, the name which is a call to action in itself, is currently an alliance of the most well-established vacation rental management companies in the Orlando area. During the past two years, we have worked side-by-side to develop the Discover Vacation Homes objective, brand, key messages, press materials, website, and more, sparking a growing momentum for the good of the vacation rental industry nationwide.

Our goal is unanimous: To raise awareness of vacation rentals as a viable lodging option to travelers, and importantly, as one of the hospitality industry’s fastest-growing categories. Nearly all of the association’s funds are dedicated to public relations efforts, including presence at local and national trade shows, and we have enlisted an internationally recognized PR firm, Y Partnership (www.ypartnership.com), to handle publicity and media relations for the consumer-driven campaign.

Dan Kline, Amanda Patric and, Brian Brannigan – Founding Members of DVH

Dan Kline, Amanda Patric and, Brian Brannigan – Founding Members of DVH

Why public relations? We recognize that consumers are increasingly looking online for credible third party recommendations about everything from retail goods to accommodations. By combining the traditional practice of PR with new media strategies, Discover Vacation Homes seeks to elevate the awareness level of the entire industry through editorial coverage and social networking.

The more involved the industry becomes, the louder the message, and as awareness grows, so goes the association. A mantra of sorts, this belief is key to the cause as Discover Vacation Homes poises to expand membership on a national scale in 2009. With national representation and support from industry partners, the organization will exponentially grow the awareness (and, in turn, bookings) of vacation rentals in locations across North America, and potentially worldwide.

Association membership includes a commitment to uphold Discover Vacation Homes’ code of ethics and business practices, as well as required membership with long-standing professional association, VRMA – the Vacation Rental Managers Association (www.vrma.org), and encouraged affiliations with local and regional groups, CVBs, the Better Business Bureau, and AAA, among others.

To get involved, join the discussion, or learn more about the association and its efforts, feel free to:

Keep an eye out for an upcoming submission form on the Discover Vacation Homes website for companies interested in association membership, as well as the latest vacation rental news and editorial coverage.

DVH - Consumer Interviews at The Vacation Home Expo

Interviewing consumers about their experience in a vacation home at the Vacation Home Expo in Altanta, GA