Picking a great name for your property
By William May
Published: 07/07/03 Topics: Comments: 0
Many of the things you can do to increase occupancy cost money, especially advertising.
But there is one thing you can do that costs absolutely nothing and will absolutely increase demand for your property - and that is to pick a really great, memorable name for your property.
Guests like renting from private owners because they hope to find a home that is, in some way, unique to them. They may value its location, the view or many other attributes.
But until they've actually stayed with you they must rely on the image you give them of the place.
Photos, floor plans and a long list of amenities are fine. But the name you pick will also tell them something. The question is will that something be good or bad. You'll have only one chance to make a first impression as they say, so make it a good one.
HINT: Names can be long or short, but shorter is better. They can be catchy or boring and catchy is better. They can be accurate or misleading and accurate is definitely better.
I had a great college advertising professor who said that good advertising can make a poor product fail faster. Think about that. It means if you convey messages that are inaccurate you may indeed get customers. But if its a not what they thought they were buying they'll be disappointed or, worse yet, may actually feel they've been mislead.
HINT: A good name should be unique but at the same time memorable. The first house we bought as located at 123 Chelan View Drive. So, with no intent to get into rentals seriously it got accidentally named "The 1-2-3 House." Not too bad but really not very catchy.
The home is located on a very up-scale unique private gated community on Washington State's top summer tourist area. Strangely, all the homes site on 100-year land leases that are owned by a long-time Native American family. Shortly after buying the home we were on a four-week tour of Southwest US Indian reservations and really liked some of the art we found. Then we decided to buy and decorate the house almost exclusively with Native American art.
At first we were a bit apprehensive. Was it presumptuous of us to do so? What would guests think? Thankfully the first guests in the house after the artwork was installed were - unknown to us at the time - of Native American decent. We were happy when we received the most wonderful letter from them praising what they had found in the home which they called "The Totem House." The name stuck and we quickly renamed the place.
To this day, in the Guestbook and evaluation forms guests love the art and everyone in the whole community calls it the Totem House.
HINT: If you get a name you like be sure to get a good website domain name. Although the (TotemHouse.com)TotemHouse.com domain name was taken (and used) we purchase TotemHouse.info and now use it in all the advertising.
The simple house name and simple domain name work well together. The name is remembered by Guests and others in the community.
NOTE: If you want to see what domain names are available use this fabulously FREE on line tool Go to (Whois.sc)Whois.sc. It will allow you to search names and text strings to find out which of the names you like is available in various extensions such as .com, .net and so forth. There are more than you think.
HINT: So how do you get a great name for your home? I'd suggest you use the method my old professor taught in college. First, get the family together with a big piece of paper. Brain storm all the names you can think - no matter how silly or inappropriate they may seem. Then make a copy of the list for everyone. Put it away for a week and then meet again. Go over the names and then pick one person - and one person only - who will decide the name.
They should do that by simply staring at them until one of the names literally stands out on the sheet. It usually will.
A week later the name should be printed out on a piece of paper and given to everyone in the family - all of whom must agree not to question or ridicule it for one year.
And guess what - a year later everyone will be using the name and
will wonder how it was every called by anything else.
Be sure to see which domain names might be available.
HINT: If you're tempted to name your house after your family such as "The Smith House" please don't. First, it is not memorable. Second, the domain probably won't be available and second it doesn't really say anything about your house, its quality, location or any other factor guests might find helpful.
SUGGESTIONS: So right now if you don't have a name for your house sit down and start making a list. Then check to see if the domain's available. The sooner you do this essentially free exercise the sooner your revenue will go up.
Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0020 – 07/07/03
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