I know when I quit my J.O.B to become a full time Real Estate investor, I did several things to improve the bottom line. 1) cut up credit cards 2). Reviewed every expense I had and called all utilities, other expenses and insurance company looking to cut expense but not reduce the coverage, 3). Paid off all old debts 4). Traded my time for cashflow.
Hi, I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast and it’s no different in an RV Park, I’ll share 4 ways you can improve your bottom line.
This episode will be directed mostly towards RV parks that have the room to make enhancements, been a business a while and are looking for opportunities for more growth.
1). Marketing is at the top of the list. If you do not have a shiny light highlighting your park, you won’t get visitors. I know of a park in Northern Florida right now that does not believe in doing any marketing. They prefer word of mouth. Let’s face it word of mouth works but it doesn’t promote rapid growth, more of a steady stream of growth and it certainly won’t help in the summer months in Florida. This park also banks on the fact that it is strategically place, hoping that passersby will just drop in.
We discussed the online marketing strategies in Episode 50 – Marketing Is NOT My Thing. I think honestly, most people just fear marketing because they don’t understand it and you’d be right. That’s why you hire a team to do your marketing for you. Then the fear becomes the cost, well the cost is covered because you’ll be able to increase your visibility online, then you’ll increase your occupancy. If you increase occupancy, you increase your bottom line. It all goes hand in hand.
- Signage or billboards. Take advantage of using billboards and signage in front of your park. How many times have you driven by a park that has a crappy sign out front? I see it a lot and my gut reaction is this park is crappy, and I won’t even bother driving in.
- Customer Service However, if the signage is freshly painted and attracts you, you’ll drive in out of curiosity. If you’re like me, now I’m looking for a body to talk to. If I encounter a non-friendly, less than happy person, I’ll bang a youie and leave.
But if I meet a person that has enthusiasm, maybe he has a uniform on, that tells me he works there, and he waves at me and maybe smiles, I’m going to stop and talk to them. This draws me in. Now, I can ask questions and more than likely I’ll plan to stay because their customer service just promoted their park! The longer they make me happy, the longer I’ll stay!
2) Increase Revenue
So many mom-and-pop parks are afraid to increase their rents because they don’t want to lose their current customer base. Well, you’re missing out on the potential customer base you could have. All you have to do is a little research to determine what other parks in your area are charging. Trust me, your current customer base may be coming to your park because of the amenities, or it may because they know all the neighbors and they really enjoy their neighbors. Trust me, if you raise the rent, they will gripe but I’m pretty sure you’ll gain new customers and you may lose a few here in there, but your park will be flourishing.
3). Cut Expenses. You should plan on reviewing your expenses at least every 6 months to 1 year. Let’s face it, costs are going up and its best you stay on top of what’s going out the door. As costs go up, the market becomes more competitive. So that insurance policy that was great last year has now raised its rates over 20% with less coverage. Then it’s time to start price shopping an insurance policy to fit your needs, often times you can find a reasonable policy for the same coverage, but you will have to put in the time and research to find it.
4). Hire people to do the work more efficiently. Let’s say my strength is answering the phones, well you wouldn’t want me doing your books. So, when you hire people, make sure to ask them what their strengths are and only assign them to roles that fit their skillset. I wouldn’t hire an accountant to cut the grass. When you hire the right people, it’s likely they will enjoy their work and do their best work more efficiently. At the same time, let’s say it’s your slow winter season and now you only need one person to take care of yard maintenance, so you let one person go and treat them as a seasonal person.
Make sure that the roles for each team member are laid out so each team member understands their roles vs other roles on the team. Sometimes there are gray lines between roles, so be sure to spell out their boundaries.
All of these are strategic moves that an outside manager of the park or resort would manage, and they all improve your bottom line. It sounds like a lot to think about but if you have all your team members strategically placed on your team, I’m confident it will improve the bottom line.
I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, I hope you found this information helpful.