Small Business Growth

In the lucrative and expanding business of RV rentals, all dealerships work hard to stay ahead of trends. A great way to capitalize on your growing popularity and beat the competition is to know which RVs lead to higher utilization rates and glowing customer reviews.

Winnebago

The Winnebago Vista

Apart from lovers of retro campers, renters want for the newest RVs possible at the lowest rental prices for their road trips. In the minds of an increasing number of renters, Winnebago is king in the world of RV’s. 2016 gave Winnebago a prince and a princess in the forms of the Vista 31BE and Minnie Winnie 31G respectively. Superior storage in the Vista as opposed to Minnie Winnie’s excellent performance on the roads would make them appear to be sibling rivals. However, considering their lineage, both are tremendous vehicles that bring an interest that goes far beyond its well-known brand name.

Popular RVs

The Minnie Winnie 31G

Not to be outdone, the equally formidable Fleetwood introduced the Fleetwood Pace Arrow LXE. A diesel pusher and coach, it may seem below the standards of certain wise-minded RV enthusiasts. But as the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, the RV. Renters have found find little to complain about with fantastic features and enough space for the entire family.

Fleetwood Pace Arrow LXE

There are customers who are intimidated by the sheer size of some RV’s. They may prefer a smaller vehicle with all the same features that bigger RV’s have to offer. For smaller motorhomes, brand names like Leisure Travel Vans and Airstream have the LTV Wonder and Interstate Grand Tour EXT respectively. It’s not the size but how they’re used, which makes these types of RV’s popular.

Wheelbasepro RV rental software

Leisure Travel Vans

The year an RV hits the road is important for perceived reliability, especially in the newer models as opposed to the older ones. Some customers may go for an RV that drives well, has a spacious interior and storage, or overall size. If you have the choice, go with the option to “forward-date” your RVs as you buy them so that they stay current for two years rather than one. Wheelbase software helps you understand which of your RVs are high performers and which may need to be traded out. If you haven’t yet explored using professional software like Wheelbase to help you manage your fleet, now is the time.


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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

 

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Teaching your new RV rental company employees to close your rental deals should be part of your onboarding process. Some of your employees may feel like sales is a dirty word, but if you focus on your service, the sale will come naturally. Here are a couple of tips to offer to employees who will be booking RV rentals for you.

Treat every customer as a potential sale

Even if the customer says they are only inquiring, it is important that you think of them as a potential sale. This requires giving them the same service and advice that you would any other buyer. This can potentially lead them from the inquiry to purchase stage.

Ask questions, then listen carefully to the answers

RV rental company employees

Learn to communicate effectively and listen to your customer’s needs. Ask clear open questions to ascertain what exactly they are looking for, and offer them an RV in line with their budget requirement and trip expectations. Sales people often get it wrong through ineffective listening, for example offering a product out of their customer’s budget. Say less and listen more.

Follow Up

Potential deals are often lost through lack of follow up. Ensure that you obtain email addresses or contact details so that you can follow up with the potential renter. Schedule a call in your calendar to show your customer that you haven’t forgotten them. If they were making an inquiry to start with, this is a good opportunity to ascertain if they have firmed up their booking dates or if they were happy with your quotes.

In for the Kill

RV rental company Wheelbase

It is more than OK to ask the direct question. You need to know if the person on the phone is ready to book their rental. The question can be asked in a polite manner. For example: “Shall I book those dates for you today, Sir/Ma’am?” This approach is non-threatening for your client and allows them opportunity to decline if they wish.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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social media rv rentals

New social media platforms are constantly appearing. Their rapid evolution can give the sense that they are temporary, but the truth is they can be powerful as business-building tools. Each platform has a different role to play in digital marketing. The merit of each platform is contingent on your company’s resources as well as the RV rentals you’re marketing. Some will hold greater value than others. While it may seem that some forms of social media may not serve your product directly, they can be business masterminds in disguise.

Social Media rv dealerships

Instagram is a visual social media platform built around the ability to share photos (and recently, instant video as it works to compete with Snapchat). Instagram is synonymous with delicious meals, cute puppies, and stunning destinations. What if your RV dealership’s Instagram feed focused on amazing destinations that your renters could visit in a rented RV? Before they take their trip, you could ask them to follow you to get ideas. You wouldn’t even need to include the RV itself if you didn’t have the photos. Beautiful nature, incredible landscapes and stunning sunsets would suffice. This is a method of selling the RV dream in an easy, connected way. Use hashtags to help curious Instagrammers find you. As they look at your feed, they will see your website or RV listing at the top. Clicking through to your site, they can browse your RV collection and perhaps even make a booking. This will all happen because they caught sight of some wonderful pictures that took them on a sensory journey.

social media and rv dealerships

Pinterest, like Instagram, is driven by images. The difference with Pinterest is that you can create a mood board by pinning your RV listings alongside places of interest. It’s actually more effective to juxtapose different ideas next to each other as you can create some RV road trip inspiration by bringing together many different ideas. Tapping into established RV brands on Pinterest can also help you find armchair travelers who have been dreaming of taking a trip and are ready to be inspired by your RV rentals. Make sure to include links back to your website.

social media rv dealership

Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media platform in the world, and that is its power. Create a page, then invite your contacts to like your page. Share posts on other Facebook forums and engage with your followers. Create a compelling call to action and include your contact number and a link to your website. If someone accesses your Facebook page from a mobile device, they can call you straight away.  This ease of purchase is what travelers seek out. Facebook is hitting the high notes with user friendliness.

social media rv rental

The common denominator with social media platforms is that they open you up to an audience that a website alone cannot tap into. To find a website, someone has to be searching for it. Social media finds people who might not even realize that they wanted to be found.

Social media is a rapidly growing area of digital marketing, and it can be hard to keep all of the channels moving at once. Hootsuite or Buffer are platforms that allow you to manage multiple different social mediums. But maybe that’s for another day.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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You’ve probably seen how nervous first time renters are when they arrive at your office. For people who have never driven a Class A or even a Class C, getting acclimated to driving a big rig while understanding the new terrain of rental expectations can feel overwhelming. To reach a new set of customers online and close the deal fast, follow these simple steps.

Clarity

The more you can be transparent around cost, the better. RV renters often fear of hidden charges. Using Wheelbase can help. We work to identify all associated costs ahead of time and flag potential costs down the track. fleet managementWheelbase also offers a very clear policy for insurance. It’s easy to understand and allows the customer to feel confident in what it offers them.

Mileage

It’s a good idea to be open about each RV’s mileage and history. In fact, you could display these details on your rental listing. This could help to mitigate fear surrounding the mechanical state of the RV. It’s comforting for a new RV renter to know that there is roadside assistance like Coach-Net offered, so make sure to let your renter how to make their trip worry-free.

Cancellation

It is preferable for your RV renter to have full awareness around your cancellation policies. A good cancellation policy can result in more converted inquiries. It provides RV renters with a safety net that they usually don’t even end up using.

Ongoing Support

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photo by Highways Agency

It’s a nice touch to offer your customer ongoing support in preparation of their trip. Let them know that you can help with trip planning ideas or share online resources to help them get excited about stops along the way. Knowing that they have an expert who can help out with planning is very reassuring, particularly given it can be quite intimidating to drive an unfamiliar vehicle.Make sure that you let potential renters, esp first time renters, know that this kind of service is something that you do as a company. It will improve your reviews and, in turn, bring you more renters via SEO.

Open Door Policy

When initially discussing a potential rental with a client, make sure to open the conversation, either digitally or over the phone, to their question. Allow yourself to address any of their concerns. Be sure to give confident, polished information, so that they can build trust in your business, and hopefully make the booking.

Road Test

Another valuable selling tool is to offer your customer a road test. If the intimidation around renting is to do with driving the RV itself, letting first time renters know that you can help them with a little test drive can alleviate customers concern. It is also a really great value add to your service, showing that you have that extra time for your customer.

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The test drive can get you places when it comes to business-building.

fleet managementFor more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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Online advertising campaigns can make a big difference to your bottom line and help you reach entirely new groups of potential customers interested in your rentals. If you’ve never worked with targeted advertising before, the most important thing to remember is that you will be experimenting, learning, and then optimizing as you go in order to get the most from your investment.

Start with Google Adwords

wheelbase rv rental software

Google AdWords is a large marketing suite of tools that allows you to choose from many forms of advertising. The premise is simple: Each time someone clicks on your strategically created advertisement you are charged a fee. Google AdWords is a great way to grow your online presence, but it can be very costly if you use it on an ongoing basis without testing as you go and optimizing your campaigns to bring you the highest number of  paying customers possible.

The two biggest categories of ads within Google AdWords are keyword search ads, which are shown based on a user’s search phrase or word within the Google platform and partner network. Display ads are the second bucket. They can be either images, text, or both, and it’s a good idea to have a variety, for reasons we’ll be getting into later in this post.

Set Up Your Account

Set up an AdWords account using a gmail address. If you don’t have a gmail address yet, you can create one for free. Here’s a step-by-step guideline to account creation. Once you’ve created your account, you add credit to it to get started with your first campaign. Then it’s time to start creating your ad.

Keyword Search versus Display Advertising

Keyword search ads are text only and made up of a headline, a brief description, and a limited character count. In addition to writing your text, you’ll need to make some decisions about where you want your ad to appear. Should your ad appear on Google only or do you want to widen the pool of potential renters to include people searching on sources like Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com and DuckDuckGo? What about the devices your potential customers are using. Do you think they are searching on desktops (including laptops), phones, or tablets?

When you’re ready to write your keyword search, you need to remember that you’re competing with a vast amount of businesses in similar industries. The words you choose must be highly targeted. One place to start is long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are phrases that your target audience might be searching for like “good model of RV to rent” or “best RV for Yellowstone.”

wheelbase rv software
Choosing long tail keywords instead of common phrases reduces the competition–since Adwords works on an auction model–increases the real buyers, thinning out window shoppers and lowering the price. Keep in mind this will also lower the reach as fewer people will be searching for these specific phrases. Make sure to set daily caps so that you don’t overspend before you get any results.

 Setting Up Display Advertising

Display advertising is another pay-per-click advertising service that allows you to target potential RV renters. In the case of display advertising, you have the ability to include imagery as well as text to make your ad pop. Display ads appear on websites that are using the Google ad network to monetize their sites. Because of the variety of sites involved in the network, making sure that you upload different versions and sizes of ads will help ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity for an impression. Sites integrate Google Ads differently, and if someone is visiting a website on a specific device, you want make sure you have the right ad size to be able to serve them.

As with keyword search advertising, you are able to choose your own level of targeting when setting up your ads. You can go with a broad geography or get as specific as certain websites (for example, if you have a huge dealership you might want to appear on GoRVing, knowing that your renters are spending time researching trips there.) Google will also give you suggestions based on the content of your site, though it’s important to bear in mind that a suggestion doesn’t mean your ad will be displayed. The display advertising is on the auction model, just as the keyword search ads are. Your bid plays an important role. This is why focusing on conversion rate and the things you can control like imagery, call to action, and testing is so crucial.

Choosing Imagery

Since you are competing for eyeballs in this space, anything that sets you apart is going to be of benefit. Experiment with color and shade.

fleet management softwareWriting a Great Call to Action

You need to compel the user to take an action or you risk being ignored. Grab your browsers attention by offering something unique and experimenting with your call to action line. What about trying a discount for first time renters? This is a good way to draw in new business, that will potentially turn into repeat business. Or what about seasonality? Discounts for the holidays can set you apart and help you feel timely in relation to your competitors. When it comes to calls out action, like all of Google AdWords advertising, testing is everying. Which line is better: “Find out more” or “Start your adventure”? The truth is you won’t know until you test.

Testing Your Ad

When it comes to creating ads, test, test, test. Button colors, backgrounds, calls to action, headlines, including text on image versus below image, the integration of logo versus no logo. The only thing you have to remember: just test one thing at a time. The only way you can learn from the testing you do is to test each element separately.

One Goal at a Time

A common mistake that business owners make is that they create campaigns that try to do too much. For example, a single keyword search campaign made up of phrases, exact matches and broad terms might lack results altogether. Most importantly, it will be hard to obtain accurate reporting from campaign like this. Instead, divide this work into three campaigns with clearly defined goals. You can then see which one was of most benefit to your objectives at the end.

Kickstart your online presence

Google AdWords is an awesome way to kick start your online presence, but the real future objective is to create organic growth. To do that, you’ll need to start sharing the knowledge you’ve gained with your future renters, who are are interested in it. Creating great content on an ongoing basis is the best way to get seen online (and it’s free if you do it yourself). Collecting great reviews from your customers for your site. Encouraging renters to review you on Yelp and elsewhere will drive ongoing traffic to your business. If you have international potential customers, try to get them to review your business in their native language. Those reviews will be indexed and new renters from those other countries will find you through other language versions of Google.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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It’s a lot easier to run an RV rental company in a balmy spot with perpetual summer. Florida, Southern California, Arizona and Texas are the perfect hubs for industry giants. What about RV rental companies located in more seasonal locales? Areas where there are huge summer booms but downtime in falls and wintertimes? A shortage of renters can mean your fleet may sit idle.

There are a couple of big things you can do to help your rentals pick up a bit. None of them are going to be a miracle cure for getting your entire fleet back on the road, but by using these ideas, you may be able to rent out more RV units during the off season then you ever have before.

Rethink Off-Season

rv dealer software wheelbase

It starts by realizing that there are as many ways to RV as there are people on the road. If you can conceive of it, you can reach people. What about sharing itinerary ideas for an RV ski trip? Creating a survey and sending it to people who have rented to you soliciting ideas for Oct-Feb?

While the late fall and winter may not be an obvious time for RV vacations in the Midwest, it might be a great time to rent an RV for a big family gathering. Or a house renovation. Exploring alternative uses for RVs is another great way to drum up new business.

Easy, Responsive Pricing

The best way to maximize profits during the off season is to lower your rental prices. The Wheelbase software allows for special pricing discounts by season or by promotion. Explore discounting your rentals at a substantial sum you might never dream of during the summer. Since this isn’t the summer, it’s the dead of winter, you need to get those vehicles on the road, and the only way to do that is by discount prices. Here’s an idea: from November 1st until March 1st, lower your prices across the board by 30%, 40% or maybe even 50%. Let your renters know about the seasonal discount.

wheelbase rv rental software

For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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When you run an RV rental company, the front office admin person is the face of your company. For any company that customers visit in person, the front office personnel are the first impression the general public will make when they walk through your doors.

rv rental company

That makes the hiring decision a vitally important one, and making a mistake could have devastating impact on your RV rental business and the future of your company. Finding the right front office administrative pro is not always an easy task, but with so much on the line it is important to make the choice carefully.RV rental company front desk

When it comes time to hire a new front office administrative person, the best place to start might be right under your nose. You obviously need to hire someone with an intimate knowledge of the RV industry, so why not start with the local RV campground?

Placing flyers and help wanted ads on the campground bulletin board and spreading the word among the campers can be a great way to find a qualified person to fill your vacancy. Even if the people you reach out to are not suitable for the administrative position, they may know someone who is.

Front desk RV rental company

Advertising in magazines aimed at the RV industry is another great way to find qualified administrative office people for your rental company. Whether you go old school and advertise in a traditional RV magazine or take the modern approach with their online equivalents, you will be reaching a highly targeted audience of enthusiasts with a firsthand knowledge of your industry and its requirements.

RV rental No matter where you start your search, it is important to interview carefully and ultimately make the right selection. Hiring a front office administrative staff person for an RV rental company means finding someone with industry expertise. The selection process may take a bit longer than usual, but finding the right candidate is worth the wait.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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to Share RV Trip Recommendations and

As the face of an RV rental company, you are sure to have a myriad of ideas for trip itineraries. While it is a lovely bonus to share these with your customer in person, it’s an excellent idea to put this knowledge online. Not only will it boost your SEO and drive more renters your way, but it will also allow your renters to get your ideas when they need them (chances are they’re so excited about their upcoming trip that they may not retain much of your suggestions at the moment of departure).

Here are a couple of tools you can use to create trip recommendations and create customer loyalty.

Blogs

Write a regular blog to capture your RV audience. You could share one unique trip suggestion weekly or even to map out an itinerary. Make sure to share your blog posts on social media to engage with a larger audience. A couple  great free blogging platforms to investigate are Blogger.com (owned by Google) and Medium.

RV Trip Recommendations

This is what Medium looks like.

Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is a wonderful free software tool that allows you to develop tailor made questionnaires. They can be either distributed by email or integrated into your website, a process which you should be able to do yourself. Customers will have different expectations of what they want out of their RV road trip, so an itinerary is not a one size fits all. Creating a survey with specific questions about trip preferences will allow you to target each customer individually.

RV Trip Recommendations

Survey Monkey app

An example might be a multiple-choice question regarding the type of scenery a customer likes to see, such as ocean views or lush forestry. The idea is that once you collate your data from each response, you can tailor an itinerary for the client. This is customer service at its most awesomeness.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a free newsletter development tool, that allows even the most graphically challenged to create great e-marketing materials. Through Mailchimp, you can create a newsletter with trip suggestions, and deliver it directly to your customer’s email inbox.  This is a good option if you want to become more of constant presence in your customer’s life.

RV Trip Recommendations

The added benefit is that you can get a lot of information from Mailchimp reports in order to understand what your customers are clicking on and interested in. The collective benefit of using these online marketing tools is that your brand stays alive within the customer a lot longer than your verbal recommendations do and you will find them recommending you more readily to their friends and colleagues.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

 

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If you’re a new RV rental company owner, you work hard to get your business noticed. Maybe you blow balloons and put up banners to catch the attention of potential renters. You hire friendly, knowledgeable salespeople who are ready to help. You want to make your dealership the best, and you’re starting to see the results.

Going Places RV

Create Content for Your Customers

Getting noticed in the real world may be hard, but it’s a cinch compared to getting your RV dealership noticed online noticed. If you want find your target audience online, begin with the quality information you’re providing your visitors, and start with your areas of expertise.

  • A full list of your in-stock inventory.
  • Advice for renters including basic travel and RV how to’s.
  • Popular trip itineraries in your area for 3 days, 5 days, a week and a month.

Don’t Forget Google’s Needs

You can also use what’s called SEO, or search engine optimization techniques, to drive more people to your website. Writing for how people will search for your information, including using specific RV rental-related keywords, can help a great deal. These choices make it easier for searchers to find you, discover your dealership, and book a trip through your RV rental company.

Here are some keywords to bear in mind:

  • RV travel
  • RV rental
  • RV campgrounds
  • RV rental + your location

You can use Google Trends to help you figure out the keywords that work best for your specific content.

Google Trends

Keywords help potential customers find you. Even so, you should focus on creating great content and think of the keywords as a finishing touch. Keywords can help web surfers find you, but providing real useful content is what will keep them around. Too many business owners rely on trending keywords alone. They forget to back up that research will solid, well researched content.

One of the smartest things you can do is to design your website with your visitors in mind. These days building a successful website requires much more than just a couple online tools. But don’t let fear of the possibilities overwhelm you.  Wheelbase can also help. We can build you a customized website with business listings and customer reviews for your RV dealership, creating the online presence that will get results. Get in touch to let us know if you want more help with your site.

In the meantime, start thinking about your own areas of expertise. The more you share your knowledge, the more you’ll see new customers drawn to you.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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