Web Design Reminders as Taught by HGTV’s, Vacation House Rules
Scott McGillivray, a real estate expert/investor, contractor, and HGTV star, shows homeowners how to reach the full potential of their vacation rental properties on Vacation House Rules.
After watching a few episodes, I was hooked. I enjoy McGillivray’s genuine, down-to-earth vibe and the advice he gives his clients is gold.
In each episode, he discusses his five rules to increase a property’s rental value. Those five rules can be applied to your next website redesign project too. Here’s how:
1. Do Your Research
There are more than 4.8 billion Internet users, according to Internet Live Stats. As this number increases daily, more and more businesses are using it to get in front of their ideal customer.
Just like Vacation House Rules does their research for comps in the area, you want to research the best web design firm for your project. Here are some questions to ask & things to look for.
- Do they understand your type of business or are they going to be learning “on the fly”?
- Do they have good examples of websites created in your specific industry?
- Do they have real testimonials and reviews from plenty of happy clients?
If you don’t have a website up and running for your business, now is the time. If you do have a website but it’s not working for you, now is the time to change that.
2. Plan Your Design
If you’re driving to a new place & have no directions, you’re going to get lost. The same can be said for a home renovation project on Vacation House Rules or when creating a new website.
You want to make sure your goals for a new website are clear.
- How will this new website position your business for success?
- How will this new website get you new customers?
- How will this new website improve your credibility & authority?
I’ve been designing websites for over a decade and have heard hundreds of horror stories from clients on past firms they have worked with.
Simply put: I know what works, what doesn’t, and I know how to get the job done RIGHT the first time. No fluff. No BS.
3. Get Noticed
Vacation House Rules stresses the importance of getting your rental property noticed. If no one can find it (on rental websites/apps such as VRBO or AirBnB), you’re not going to make any money–you’ll actually lose money.
The same can be said for your website. Your website could be the most beautiful ever created but if it receives no traffic, how will you gain new customers? How will you make money from your investment? This is why SEO is such an effective part of the online marketing mix. The purpose is to continually grow your online presence, making it effortless for a prospective customer to find you on Google search.
4. Get Your Hands Dirty
Each episode of Vacation House Rules has a segment where the property owners “get their hands dirty,” so to speak. They help McGillivray put together a piece of furniture, do landscape work, or make an entertainment area, etc.
When redesigning your website, you should be aware of where you can pitch in.
For example, I launched a new website for an HVAC company. They recently had new staff photos taken so they provided me with those images while my team and I handled everything else. Another example was a client I had the Design/Build space. They provided me with the images and text copy for all of their portfolio pages. This was extremely helpful and sped up design time.
5. Be Your Guest
This is an easy one! Scott wants each of his property owners to envision themselves as a guest in the space. Put yourself in their shoes & how it will be utilized – by couples, by families, etc.
Throughout the design/creation process, I’m always thinking in the way of the end-user (your website visitors), and I want you to do the same.
During the build of your new website, you should view it on multiple browsers and devices. When viewing, you should ask yourself the following questions.
- What’s the first thing a visitor will see on the homepage?
- How will this page be viewed on mobile?
- How will the visitor interact with this section?
This will give you a great idea of what your visitors will see.