What do guests look for when booking their vacation rental? Knowing the answer allows rental owners to market to their target audience.
For instance, did you know that travelers book their stay at a variety of times? Data from Phocuswright shows that:
- 38% of bookings are made on the same day or two days before a trip
- 53% are made within a week of a trip
- 19% are made in advance
You’ll know how to attract travelers to your property by knowing your audience. Discovering your audience means you’ll know their goals for the trip and how to market to them.
The 10 Ways to Attract Travelers to Your Property
1. Offer packages
Travelers like to feel like they’re getting a deal. To achieve this for your vacation rental, see if you can offer bundled services or activities.
Bundling the cost of your accommodations with additional local services is an easy way to expand your marketing opportunities. To create bundled offers, partner with local eateries, tour services, or other sightseeing attractions. Offer discounts or free tickets for travelers to experience the local area.
Remember to include your bundled deals in your property description. For instance, “Book between November 12-23 and receive 25% off local scuba diving lessons with code #SunriseVillas.”
2. Create a Memorable Stay
To create a memorable stay, you have to know your guest and deliver an experience they want. Be helpful, hospitable, and thoughtful. Share your knowledge of the area and other useful insights.
Clear communication allows you to learn about your guest. Why does this matter? Booking.com data shows us that travelers book their vacations for a variety of reasons:
- Experience a cultural event
- Learn a new skill
- Go on an epic road or rail journey
- Visit a remote or challenging location
By learning about your guest, you can tailor the information you provide to best meet their goals.
Delivering 5-star hospitality also creates a memorable stay. Memorable stays can lead to positive reviews. Great hospitality attracts travelers who are searching for a memorable vacation.
3. List Popular Amenities
Depending on your location and property type, travelers (especially from North America), may expect basic amenities, such as:
- Free internet/Wi-Fi
- A kitchen (64% of travelers say they book a vacation rental so they can cook their own meals)
- On-site or nearby parking
- Information about local transportation options
“Bonus” amenities that help your rental stand out from the competition:
- Your rental is pet-friendly
- Outdoor spaces: pool, hot tub, fireplace, porch or balcony
- Beach Amenities
- Chairs, children’s toys, umbrellas, towels, etc.
4. Maintain a Clean Rental Property
Every traveler wants to stay in a clean and beautiful property. According to research from Emprise (2017), “97 percent of guests agreed that a clean establishment was the most important booking factor.”
Attract travelers to your rental by including property images and reviews that showcase a clean rental.
5. Personalize a Stay
Use guest communication to learn more about your guests. This information helps you tailor your hospitality for a memorable stay.
For instance, a couple celebrating an anniversary would want a different experience than a family visiting the area for the first time. Here are some ideas to attract travelers to your rental:
Surprise Guests with Thoughtful Items
You may also include additional items that showcase your hospitality such as:
- Local/regional food or wine
- Handwritten notes (welcoming the guests to the property)
- Seasonal items that create unique experiences (tickets to a fall festival, free bike rentals, etc).
Such items create a memorable, personal stay and delight guests to book again. All types of travelers will remember such details.
Provide Outdoor / Activity-related Personalization
You don’t have to go overboard with the amount of activity-related amenities you provide. More than likely, travelers may pack their own activities and gear. Yet providing basic activities relating to your property goes a long way. For example:
- Free use of bikes, chairs, beach equipment, fishing gear, sports equipment, etc.
- In-home video games, board games, a deck of cards, books, etc.
Why does personalizing matter? Data shows that “If a travel brand tailored its information and overall trip experience based on personal preferences or past behavior, 36% would be likely to pay more for their services.” When this applies to vacation rentals, it means guests will be willing to book (or pay higher) for customized trips that fulfill their dream vacation.
You don’t always have to give away free items to personalize a stay. Providing clear check-in directions, contact information, and a warm welcome is as impactful as free surprises.
Using your listing to communicate your expectations plus traveler reviews, can attract travelers. Travelers will know what to expect before they book their stay, which makes for a stress-free experience.
6. Personalize Your Property for Corporate Travelers
Bleisure travel is a new segment of corporate travelers. They book their vacations around their business destinations to make the best use of their time.
Offering amenities to this growing group of travelers is another way to attract guests to your property.
Offer Business Materials
Attract business travelers by offering relevant amenities. These include:
- Fast, reliable, free Wi-Fi
- Printer, scanner, and fax machine
- Power-strips or extra chargers
- Desk or office area
You don’t have to include all of these items in your rental. However, the fewer items a guest has to bring, the more appealing your listing becomes.
Comforts of Home and Health
Other amenities which lead to 5-star reviews and are attractive to business travelers are home/health amenities:
- On-site/nearby gym
- Kitchen products that allow them to make home-cooked meals
- Kitchen luxuries such as juicers, espresso machines, blenders, etc
- Comfortable bed (extra pillows and blankets)
- Toiletries they might’ve forgotten
- Iron and full-length mirror
Take Away the Stress of Meetings
Part of the stress with business travel is commuting around a new area. Feedback from travelers that you provide superior directions and flexibility is a way to attract business travelers to your property:
- Directions and nearby landmarks
- Highlight proximity to airports or mass-transit
- Your recommendations for reliable car services, and their contact information
- Easy parking
- Flexible check-in and check-out times
7. Establish a Social Presence
Your business will be even more credible if you provide a social media presence. Your listing may be discovered through social media efforts, or gain credibility/validation from your social engagements.
“The importance of travel content via social media is proven by a recent survey that found, 87% of Millennials on Facebook said they use the social media site for travel inspiration.”
On Instagram alone, 80 percent of people follow at least one business. While 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on Instagram.
Why can’t you use social media to promote your vacation rental? Sharing beautiful photos of your property or positive reviews is another marketing tactic to attract travelers.
8. Feature Positive Reviews
Just like social media, having a collection of positive feedback validates your rental’s reputation. A series of positive and semi-positive reviews allows travelers to know you are trustworthy.
Make sure to list positive reviews on your listings and share them on your social media. This is a way to attract travelers using guest feedback.
9. Offer Incentives to Return
At the end of the stay, you may let the traveler know that the same block of time for the following year is available. You could even offer a discount for booking on-the-spot (if applicable to your business).
Following up with happy guests is an easy way to get future bookings.
10. Optimize Your Listing
The final way to attract travelers to your rental is to market a complete listing. Optimize your listing for it to rank well in search results. Include:
- Eye-catching headlines: Write accurate yet detailed headlines. Sum up your property in one unique phrase for a strong first impression. For example, “1856 Five-Bedroom Pink Victorian House.”
- Detailed property descriptions: Your property description is an opportunity to showcase your property’s style. You can include additional information here. For instance, write about the newly renovated kitchen, the positive experiences from guests, and bundled packages.
- Highlight nearby attractions: Include nearby attractions in your listing and property description. Highlight shopping centers, monuments, landmarks, and what makes your neighborhood unique.
- Set competitive pricing: Adjust your rates to reflect your high and low occupancy. Look at your competition in the area. See if you are priced similarly or better. Deals and better pricing attracts guests to your property.
How do you attract travelers to your property?
There’s no “one-way” to attract travelers. We’d like to hear from you. How do you attract travelers? What works best for your property and location?
Comment below with your answer.