Effective Public Relations for Private Residence Clubs and Fractional Properties

By Georgi Bohrod Principal, GBG & Associates | October 28, 2008

A key factor in the expanding niche of vacation options is a coherent and targeted public relations strategy designed to strengthen the identity and position a Private Residence Club (PRC) or Fractional Vacation Real Estate Property. Fractional Properties and Private Residence Clubs differ from resorts and hotels in that the challenge is not to get some one to spend a couple of nights at a hotel, but to purchase a membership or real estate.

With that in mind, let us consider the primary aim in a sales supporting PR effort. The goals encompass:

  • Increasing attention and presence for the purpose of building brand name recognition and promoting sales
  • Capitalizing on the desirability of the project's locale and building on the area's destination appeal
  • Identifying geographic and demographic components for marketing
  • Expanding the knowledge and benefit recognition of Fractional Vacation Homes and Private Residence Clubs in the target market areas
  • Garnering editorial support with influential media ranging from travel and real estate editors to regional and daily publications Initially we put our sights on three significant arenas: specific geographic targeted areas, the real estate industry and the travel industry.

Secondarily, to increase Search Engine Optimization we include local and regional PR components to build web traffic. Using local media increases on-line exposure and building alliances with the local visitors' bureau and regional tourism boards further bolsters these results.

Within each arena, various avenues and vehicles of communication are employed to establish brand recognition for the resort and/or project. This brand identification is enhanced through an educational campaign to the general public through portals such as national and regional media, hospitality trade publications, potential marketing alliance partners, and real estate brokers and agents.

Part of any public relations plan is to develop core message points. For instance, our message for an Eco-Elegant resort in Mexico is: The resort ground breaking, forward thinking company, premiering in fully functional and beautiful sustainable design providing fractional and whole-ownership vacation resort real estate in Mexico's " Hawaii." The core message for a project in Montana is: The First Private Residence Club designed for the avid outdoorsman and his family, the Ranch offers fully-deeded partial interests in luxurious, fully-furnished homes at prices that fit your lifestyle.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.