If you want travelers to choose your vacation rental property over a hotel, start with the basics. You want to establish that you are a reputable property. Be honest about your rental and what it has to offer. You also want to charge a realistic rate.
The best ways to get bookings is to emphasize experience, amenities, and rates. If you advance these areas of your property, you are likely to out-book hotels.
Does Your Rental Have an Exclusive Experience?
As a vacation rental owner, you should highlight your features and property location. Is your property located in a residential area? Include this in your property description. Travelers with children may look for this particular feature.
It is an advantage to be honest about what your property offers. This can lead you to your ideal traveler, and more bookings.
Sell Your Property’s Experience
For most vacationers, they want to experience a location as the locals would. Vacation rental properties allow travelers to live in and experience areas that aren’t tourist attractions.
Vacation rental properties should sell an experience. Is your property located in the snowy mountains? Describe a wonderland. Is your property beachfront? Describe the warm, clear waters.
Your property should offer a unique experience for travelers. This experience should be something that hotels cannot provide for their guests.
How Does Your Rental Differ From a Hotel?
Five major amenities are the reason traveler’s book vacation rental properties over hotels. These amenities include:
- Wi-Fi: Travelers today need to stay in touch. Whether this is with work, family, or friends – teens and adults need access to fast Wi-Fi. Providing private, free Wi-Fi influences bookings. Especially since hotels charge for Wi-Fi.
- Washer & Dryer: Hotels charge guests for dry cleaning and laundry services. For guests to have access to their own washer and dryer saves them money. This influences them to choose a vacation rental property over a hotel.
- Kitchen Amenities: A standard hotel room may only provide a microwave. Vacation rentals have access to a normal kitchen (stove, oven, microwave, coffee maker, etc.) Travelers can cook their own meals and save some money.
- Private Pools: Access to a backyard oasis is an important selling feature. Having a pool or hot tub sets your property apart from hotels and local competition.
- Cable TV: Offer a variety of channels and movies without charging guests. Unlike hotels, your vacation rental property can offer extra amenities to boost traveler experiences.
Are Your Employees Personable?
The property manager, cleaning, and landscaping services interact with your customers. You want to make sure that you hire companies and individuals that reflect your brand.
You should hire staff who are personable and helpful. It is important that your guests feel comfortable. Especially if travelers interact with your employees.
Your employees should be efficient at their jobs. At the same time, guests experience a variety of situations during their stay. An interaction with your employees is one. So you want your employees to be warm and welcoming.
A positive experience with someone will influence how your travelers feel. You are more likely to book the same travelers if they like your property and staff.
Consider this. Think back to a time where you stayed at the hotel. How would you describe the staff? Efficient, helpful, yet, robotic? As in, you say, “Thank you,” but don’t receive a response…?
This makes guests feel like a cog in the machine.
You should make sure that your staff maintains respect and professionalism. But your staff should not ignore guests or seem disinterested. Polite small talk shows that you and your brand, care about your travelers’ experience. This will gain you more bookings when compared to hotels.
Make Sure Your Price Is Better than a Hotel
How do you create a vacation rental rate? First research other vacation rental properties and hotels in the area. This will give you an idea of where to begin your rate.
Then, compare your property’s features and amenities to the others. Is your property updated and modern? Are you located in a popular neighborhood? Does your property have unique architecture?
Justify your price with these answers in mind. Take into consideration the cost of running and maintaining your rental. Charge cleaning fees or low maintenance in the cost of the rental, not at checkout.
According to Dr. William Frye, “Rental price per square foot rented is much less expensive in shared accommodations than most hotels…Foot for foot, vacation rentals are the cheaper option.”
Vacation rentals offer more living space, usually at cheaper rates than hotels. If your rates are higher than hotels, you should be able to justify or change your prices.
- Have a nightly, weekly, and monthly rate
- Include holiday and special event rates
- Be specific. Break down the rate:
- Is a cleaning fee tacked on at the end? (Not recommended)
- When will guests get their deposit?
- Be clear about payments plans and security deposits
- Offer discounts for larger parties or long-term bookings
Being clear about your expectations. Being transparent with your rates is the best way for guests to book with you, instead of hotels.
Are You Ready For More Bookings?
With this guide, you now know how to set your property apart from the hotel industry. Remember to discuss what is unique about your property and area. Sell travelers the experiences that your rental offers. Set clear prices and expectations. Finally, hire personable staff to ensure that your property books.
Do you have any suggestions? What have you done to differentiate yourself from the vacation rental market? Share your thoughts below.