Successful hosts understand the importance of keeping things fresh – they stay ahead of competitors by keeping a close eye on advancements in the vacation rental market. Are you up to date with the latest trends and forecasts? If not it’s time to take a look at what’s on the horizon, and develop your business accordingly. Let’s explore a few of the key trends that are set to influence the vacation rental industry, and shape the way hosts develop their business.
The Increased Use of Smart Technology
Smart technology is already making a big splash in the world of vacation rental. We live in a digital world, and it appears that smart technology will continue to play an increasingly larger role in property management. There’s already a lot on offer for the busy host, including:
Smart locks allow guests to securely check themselves in and out of your property, thus saving you unnecessary trips to the rental, and preventing issues such as lost keys and locked out guests.
Smart thermostats can be used to set heating, ensuring guests are comfortable and neither too hot or too cold.
Smart lighting to enhance the environment and lower energy consumption. No more lights left on by mistake when guests leave the house to go to the local pub! Smart lights can figure out when no-one is at home and cleverly turn themselves off.
Property management software also looks set to be a continuing trend, with hosts seeking ways to save themselves time and money by automating their property rental business. Busy hosts can ease communication with guests, organize cleaning schedules without a fuss, and manage property bookings across multiple channels. Leaving more time to grow and develop their business.
Generation Z Arrives on The Scene
Generation Z (those born after 1996) are now entering the vacation market too – and it seems they are taking their opportunity to travel seriously. Research presented by Expedia (by the Center for Generational Kinetics) informs us that 71% would consider getting a part-time job to fund their trip. Gen Z likes to holiday with family and friends, and would also consider going solo. They are seeking a great experience and enjoy the fact that a vacation rental can provide the freedom to come and go as they please, and plenty of space to hang out with their nearest and dearest.
Gen Z like the lure of the city, preferring the bright lights and bustle over suburbia and more rural areas, and many have already experienced staying in a rental property on vacations before – probably whilst enjoying memorable family holidays with parents and relatives.
The Need for Creature Comforts and The Quest for a Personal Touch
The market for vacation property rental holidays has grown steadily over the last few years. A study by IBIS world concluded that the market has grown on average 3.6% per year, even though we’ve experienced an economic slowdown it appears that the vacation property rental market has weathered the storm.
Guests may also be turning to rentals as they can work out cheaper than staying in a hotel (plus you can get more for your money) – in some cases a whole apartment versus a bed, desk, and bathroom! Travel booking website Hipmunk carried out a study which concluded that travelers save on average eighteen percent when booking a rental rather than a hotel.
Add to this the fact that guests enjoy social interaction and a comfortable environment. The quest for both seems to be taking us away from neutral, soulless hotels and towards properties with character and those that meet our specific requirements. We are keen to hear the “story” of the place we are staying, and vacation property rentals are owned and hired out by “real” individuals – so there’s a personal touch you just don’t get when staying at a hotel. A study by Mody, Suess & Lehto indicates that consumers value the sociability, trustworthiness, and friendliness of their Airbnb hosts, and the experience they enjoy during their stay.
Guests Are Looking for An Experience (Not Just A Bed for The Night)
While people still enjoy shopping for goodies, research presented by Expedia (by the Center for Generational Kinetics) tells us that 74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things. You can’t beat making memories, and they will last long after that new car has broken down and been part-exchanged! So, it stands to reason that offering a great experience will attract the attention of potential guests.
Guests love to eat, drink and be merry, and on average, they are willing to spend around 29% of total expenditure on food and beverages. So, property rentals offering something extra, such as a cooked meal, wine-tasting or a well-stocked cocktail cabinet could be appealing to guests.
Alongside tickling their taste-buds some guests also have a penchant for music and the great outdoors, offering special extras such as tickets to a gig or a hiking excursion to a nearby beauty spot. Highlighting nearby outdoor pursuits, festivals and gigs could create a buzz around your property.
Be A Top-Class Host
There’s one fact that remains consistent regardless of all other changes to the market, and that’s the need for you to be a top-class host. That means more than just providing decent accommodation for your guests – it’s about always being ready for action, recognizing trends and improving your business to meet the demands of the market. Never be afraid to embrace new technology to streamline your processes, and make sure you are committed to building a strong rapport with clients and peers.
Inna has 10 years of experience in Marketing and Content writing specifically. Currently, she is Head of Marketing at AirGMS, an Airbnb management software company. Visit AirGMS blog to find more content from Inna: https://www.airgms.com/blog/