Real estate investing can be an exciting prospect, but it’s also an intimidating one — especially if it’s your first go-’round. Of course, choosing to invest in a campground is one of the smartest options, as nearly six out of 10 U.S. households report that one of the residents has gone camping. That said, even campground franchises aren’t foolproof investments. If you want to ensure your real estate campsite investment is a true success, you’ll need to work hard to make it so. That will involve focusing not only on your amenities but on the techniques you’ll use to entice potential guests. Below, you’ll find three clever tips that can help to cement your campground’s success in 2019.
Remember the Millennials
Camping is often thought of as a family endeavor or as a pastime that appeals to older generations. But the truth is that there are plenty of young singles who love camping — and they may not do it in the same way you’re accustomed to. Recent data shows that of the 1 million American households that started camping between 2015 and 2016, 44% of those new campers were millennials. In other words, ignoring campers between the ages of 20 to 38 will do your campsite business a huge disservice. If you want to appeal to millennial campers, you’ll need to prioritize convenience, beautiful locations, and tech-related amenities in particular. For instance, access to free wireless internet is a must, as these campers don’t totally want to disconnect from the outside world. And if your campground looks every bit as pretty as a picture, millennials can feel free to “do it for the ‘gram.”
Embrace Digital Reservations
When you invest in a campground, you’ll need to consider how most people make their travel plans. Millennials also tend to book vacations online — and they aren’t the only ones. According to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, mobile reservations for RV parks increased by a staggering 150% between 2013 and 2014. If you own a campground or RV park and you’re still taking reservations only by phone, you’re missing out big time. But if you invest in reservation software, you’ll provide guests with the opportunity to book at any time (day or night!). No one wants to deal with making plans via phone during regular business hours. Reservation software will allow campers to make their plans quickly and without frustration, providing updated information with the click of a button or the tap of a screen. When you make it easy for people to make reservations with you, you’ll be more likely to be filled to capacity — and that will make your investment venture much more successful in the long run.
Work On Your Marketing
The old adage tells us that if you build it, they will come. But if they don’t know about it, they probably won’t show up. That’s why you need to focus your efforts on marketing your campground. Sometimes, traditional outbound marketing techniques (like billboards and print ads) still work. But you’ll also need to embrace some inbound marketing tactics (such as a website that’s optimized for search engines, educational or entertaining social media posts, and other types of valuable media content), too. You’ll also need to focus on your branding across all channels — though if you invest in a campground that’s part of a franchise, a lot of that will come built in. Ensuring brand awareness isn’t something you can check off your list and move on from; you’ll need to make marketing a regular part of your operations in order to thrive.
If you plan to invest in a campground, a love of the outdoors certainly helps — but you’ll also need to have a mind that’s focused on business. By zeroing in on a target audience, making it easy for guests to book reservations, and utilizing newer marketing techniques to reach new demographics, you’ll be more likely to benefit from a successful investment venture.