It’s a common condition found amongst independent holiday home owners. But the good news is that there is a cure.
Holiday Home Owner’s Overwhelm occurs because running a holiday home business is a huge task. You have to wear so many hats, keep so many plates spinning, so many balls juggling in the air; whatever metaphor you want to use.
As a result, this can often lead to overwhelm and a feeling that you can’t do it or you can’t do it as well as others. You go into panic mode, switching from one task to another and the end result is nothing is achieved and you’ve just wasted hours of your precious time.
So stop, take a step back, be kind to yourself, take a chill-pill and remember:
1. You don’t have to be everywhere
You don’t have to list everywhere. Each time you join a new listing site it costs you money and time. Money for the annual fee or percentage of the booking taken. Time because you have to provide unique fresh copy to this listing site and keeping it updated. You need to be uber-selective; you need to niche. This could be a niche listing site for your area or for common interests amongst your guests eg pet friendly, by the sea, luxury accommodation, cyclists. Only join those sites where your ideal guests will be searching and where they will find you.
2. You don’t have to do it all yourself
What parts of running your holiday rental business are you good at and which parts do you enjoy? It’s likely that these are both the same. Imagine if you could focus more of your time and thinking on these business building tasks how much easier your life would be. So which parts of running your business to you least like to do and which are you least good at? These are the tasks that you should delegate or outsource to others. Others who are experts. It may be the mundane and routine tasks such as cleaning, gardening, sourcing the welcome hamper or it may be the more irregular jobs that leave you cold, such as writing copy for your website, chasing guests for payment or doing a Facebook advert?
Build a team around you of people on the ground eg gardeners but also office support in the form of a virtual assistant. Yes you will need to pay them but just think of how much time and brain space you will free up. Time and brain space that you could put to much better use to grow your business.
3. You mustn’t compare yourself to others
Just because a very similar cottage in the next village has a fuller booking calendar than you or has more Twitter followers than you, so what? Don’t get hung up on this and think that this owner is doing a fantastic job and you’re not. She may be giving her weeks away highly discounted. Therefore not making as much profit on 2 bookings as you are on a single booking. She may have bought some Twitter followers? Don’t assume that everyone is doing better than you.
Focussing on the competition is hugely draining from a time and energy-zapping point of view and serves no real purpose. Instead focus your time and energy on you and your business and don’t be drawn into what others are doing.
4. You mustn’t set unrealistic goals and targets
Don’t get me wrong goals and targets need to be stretching, otherwise what’s the point, but they have to be realistic too. If they aren’t realistic you end up in a circle of under achievement purely focused on what you haven’t achieved rather than what you have. Each month set yourself 3 goals – make one a financial goal, one a marketing goal and another a life goal eg – take £600 worth of bookings next month, increase Twitter followers by 50 and take one morning off a week to go swimming. Break your goals into weekly, then daily actionable targets.
Also reward yourself when you hit your targets. Even if your reward is taking 30 minutes away from your computer with a magazine, a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea – you’ve earned it!
So stop the overwhelm, don’t be so hard on yourself and keep patting yourself on the back for a job blooming well done!