My first blog. Sharing with you my own, more personal view of our website. We are a community. The sociologists have not yet agreed on a definition of this word. According to Wikipedia, there were ninety-four discrete definitions of this word by 1950. Before Bill Gates and Paul Allen went into the garage to experiment with the outlandish idea of putting a computer on everyone’s desk – way back then, community was defined in terms of geography as the cohesive element. But now, with the advent of digital highways and byways, a new form of community, online communities, are as paramount in American life as Main Street. Online communities defy geography -
they flourish due to shared purpose and common interest. If this is true, which I believe it is, then our shared purpose is easy to see: our community is for vacationers to find the perfect vacation rental and for owners and managers to rent to them through our website.
So, what makes a good neighbor in the OurTownRentals.com community? The short answer: an up-to-date availability calendar. If one owner is booked for a particular week and shares this information with our community of owners and vacationers by updating their calendar – then their attention to detail – their taking care of business – their rental success – benefits the whole community. How? Vacationers save time, effort, frustration calling or emailing an owner who is already booked. As a result, vacationers contact another owner in the community because their calendar showed a vacant week. And that owner gets a booking. And OurTownRentals.com is bookmarked by the vacationer who found their rental through us – and then – next year-they come directly to OurTownRentals.com to search for their vacation rental. It’s totally possible that next season, they may even book the place that wasn’t available this year.
We see this online community in action every day. Nearly 35% of vacationers visit our site directly without the benefit of Google. This summer has been the most rewarding online season from my point of view. Never before have so many of our owners kept so up to date on their availability calendars, rates, and descriptions – yes, descriptions with those happy keywords like “One Week Rental left – August 28th!” Thank you all for being good neighbors and making our community a happy one.
Whew, I’ve been wanting to tell you all that for a long time. Hope you agree.