RV Park Mastery: Episode 46

Science Isn’t Just For NASA

An RV park seems like a simple business model, but maximizing its profitability is just as complicated as landing a spacecraft on the moon. Using scientific protocols to enhance your RV park is essential if you want to really optimize your profitability and efficiency. But how do you do it? In this RV Park Mastery Podcast, we’re going to discuss how you can bring science to any RV park to get a handle on making it the best income property it can be – as well as the most appreciated by your customers.

Episode 46: Science Isn’t Just For NASA Transcript

Sam Walton was once walking through one of his stores later on in his career, as he was walking around, a young sales associate ran up to him and said, Mr. Walton, how come the stores have this really ugly gray color on the walls? I read a report once and it said that if you have a brightly colored wall, people will be more energized to buy more stuff. Walton said to him really? Well, what would you paint it? And the guy said, Well, I think we should paint it purple. I think a really interesting purple color would make people more excited about shopping here. So Walton said, You know what, here's what we'll do, you go ahead and paint your department's wall purple. And we'll see how your sales are for a month. And if your sales are higher for that month, than they were the month prior, then we'll try to get another department. And if that works, we'll paint the whole store purple. And then if that works, we'll pay it all the stores purple. Now, people were shocked that Walton number one would talk the sales associate this is way, way late in his career. And number two, he was so flexible on the idea even the Walmart had been gray walled for so long, that he was suddenly say, Okay, well, let's give it a try. With as would apply in size to your business is all about. And that's true for RV parks as much as it is for for Walmart. This is Frank Rolfe, the RV Park Mastery podcast, we're gonna talk about applying science to RV parks. But let's first go over why people don't like science. Now, if you own an RV park or buying an RV park, I would imagine you'd be pretty devoted to try and maximize the income from that property. That's what all smart owners should do. And if you want to maximize your income, surely science is a good way to get there. But yet, you'll find many people fight you many moms and pops, they don't want to do any science. They hate the whole idea of that. So why would someone not like science? Well, often is because people don't like the process, they find it to be difficult and cumbersome. And also, people often don't like the results. They don't really want to know the truth. Because there's things that they're doing that they shouldn't be doing. But Gosh, darn it, they really enjoy it. Instead, all of us, everyone who owns an RV park, anyone who buys an RV park should instead adopt the attitude that put it on the white lab coat, and trying things out is good. When you adopt science in your RV park, when you agree that everything should be measured and tested. It reduces your stress and your worry, because you know that you're always doing the right thing. Why do you know that because you did the test. And the test said that that was the right thing to do. It also greatly improves your odds of success and profitability. Clearly, if I have two paths to go down and one path is superior to the other, I don't want to go down the bad path. I only want to go down the good one. If we all agree, therefore, that science is smart for any RV park, then the bigger question is, how do you do it? Well, the first thing you have to do if you're going to apply science to your RV park is you have to assume some things about the scientific process. Not not only do you have to test things, but you have to fairly measure the results. If you test things, but don't measure the results, there's no point to it. Then why were you even bothering to do it. You still don't know the truth of whether it worked or not. You can't go by your own warm, fuzzy feeling of Yeah, I

think that's a little bit better. No, you have to you have to measure it. That's why Walton said sure paint the wall a different color. Didn't matter to him. We could paint the wall. He was as curious as anyone to see if that wall color transformed integrators sales. He said test it. Let's test it. And let's measure it. Now what happened was the guy did test it, he painted the wall purple and guess what happened? Sales didn't go up at all. So he went out and painted the wall back to gray. It was an all good old test. The long would have been just as happy if he painted the wall purple and it sold well. Who wouldn't want to have higher sales in every Walmart store? Is that attitude that a willingness to embrace the idea testing new things, and measuring the results and making changes. That is what made Walmart a success and would definitely work on an RV park. So how can we do that let's let's go over some ways you can add some science to your RV park operation. Number one, you should be tracking and recording every incoming call to your RV park. So you should take your phone number, you should put it through a service like who's calling. And every time someone calls, they get a get a little message that the numbers being recorded for greater customer satisfaction. And then they hear the ringing to the manager. And that call is recorded that phone number is recorded. That call itself is recorded everything the manager says you can now listen in and hear you've captured every customer's phone number and you've captured every customer's experience right there for for you to go back and listen to every single recording if you want. Why is that so important? Two reasons. Number one, you're able to hear what your manager tells people to see if they're doing a good job on the phone. But also gives you that phone number that you can later call and do an exit interview, which we're going to come to here in a minute. Number two, consumer test all of your marketing materials and website. Too many RV park owners view themselves as the ultimate resource. They say, Oh, I like the way this brochure looks or oh, this website looks great to me. But that's just you, you're not necessarily a customer even. And therefore your vote really is the least important. The people whose votes really matter are your customers. So everything you do is you should do a test with your customers come up with two or three different designs for everything. A website, a brochure a logo, it doesn't matter. And then ask a sampling of people and show all three designs to them and see if there is a clear favorite, large companies like Nestle, they've been doing this forever doing market research on customers, so they don't make the wrong decision on everything they do. Don't leave it up to chance. And certainly don't make yourself the deciding vote. So try things, test things on that study group. And see if there's a clear winner if you've got if you run something by 20 different people, and 18 of the 20 prefer this website to the other designs. That's what you should go with. Because you know that that design is head and shoulders better than all the others. Also, constantly check out your competitors ideas, go and look at what they're doing. Visit their properties, look at their websites, look at all their materials. There's no greater way than to expand your knowledge of what's going on, than to see what all your competitors are doing to see if their ideas there that you want to adopt. Don't just rely on your own science rely on theirs to they are also constantly testing new ideas, look at their new ideas, and how do those seem to be working out. And if you think those ideas would work good at your RV park, then adopt them. Give them a try. Also do frequent surveys to customers when customers come in, ask them to give you some feedback, among other items, hopefully they'll give you a positive social media score. That's very important in marketing. But equally important, you can find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. None of us like to hear what our weaknesses truly are right? But at the same time, I'd be willing to do it for $1 or so wouldn't you? When you hear what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong, and you take efforts to fix what's going wrong. Clearly, you become more profitable.

Nothing you can do is establish a helpline. What's a helpline do? Well, it gives customers a backdoor channel if you do not self manage to report to you what they don't like about their experience or maybe even what they do. Like, if you have just a manager at your RV park, there's no way the customer can reach you, they can only talk to the manager. As a result, you can't really get truthful reports if there's any problems with your management itself. If the property is not looking good, it's not properly mowed or properly clean and the customer comes in and they're frankly turned off by the appearance. There's no resource in the absence of a helpline that they can go to to say, gosh, the property never has looked this badly. They could go to the manager but the manager would say Oh, thanks for the input, but they would never tell you and they would never change the error of their ways. We've been able to catch managers over the over the air is doing all kinds of terrible things because we had an established helpline, basically a number that says need help or for questions or comments, call this number and you can have an email address as well. Something that allows customers to get around the manager to you, if they really want to report some kind of factor news. Finally, always feel free to utilize exit interviews. Since you've captured those phone numbers of customers, there's no reason you cannot go back to them and find out once again. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? Why did you not come and stay at our RV park? Why do you stay at our RV park longer? How does our RV compound park compared to others. This is all extremely important information that you can utilize to do a better job. If you can figure out in any RV park, what the customers are truly saying, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, where you fit in with the competition. This can totally revolutionize your business. If you can buy an RV park, any RV park and increase your revenues, let's say by 10%. That's a gigantic jump in profitability. The bottom line to it all is it every little bit of size that you do on your RV park, whether it's the your logo, the color of the brochure, your website, everything, the uniforms that your employees wear, all of it adds up to the overall macro hole. Every inch of it is extremely, extremely important. And there's nothing that can happen in your RV park that is too lofty and too far above the very simple process of testing is the repetitive use of science in RV parks that separate the really, really maximize profitability properties from those that have much greater potential that's untapped. This is Frank Rolfe, the RV Park Mastery podcast. Hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.