It’s time to take a look at how well you are marketing your vacation rental property to the audience most willing to spend more money on a vacation than any other: Millennials. The growth of Airbnb and the like are certainly part of a larger trend the country is currently experiencing with the sharing economy, which is estimated to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025. And as tnooz recently pointed out: “the Millennial now represents the majority of the traveling community . . . the percentage of the market that Millennials comprise is only getting bigger and bigger, so it’s important to go where the numbers are.” Here are 5 ways to get Millennials to book your vacation rental property.
Unfortunately, the market has seen a bit of a shift in Millennial booking preferences over the past year: Millennial preferences have taken a shift toward the hotel market, vs. the rental market. Current research shows that young travelers prefer full-service hotels and resorts, with apartments and condo rentals placing ninth on the list. In fact, more Millennials said they would prefer camping and staying on cruise ships over the short-term rentals found on sites like Airbnb.
But the good news is we know why they are choosing hotels at the moment: Companionship. Hotels offer this audience a greater ability to socialize. “If there’s one benefit hotels currently have that home-stays don’t,” the report states, “it’s the ability to fuel discovery by bringing people together — either on a rooftop happy hour for guests only or at a WiFi-and-free-coffee-enabled morning work session.”
When you know better, you can do better, right? We all know Millennials love to travel and are more willing to spend money on a good vacation than any other demographic. Consider offering some specific perks to get them to book your short-term rental over a name-brand hotel:
Make booking easy.
This market is well versed with being able to order a car, dinner, groceries and vacations with the click of a button on their smartphone. If they have to go through too many steps to book with you, they’ll drop you like last decade’s fashion trend.
Provide them with social things to do
Knowing they search for companionship while traveling, make suggestions on your listing of nearby social activities such as pools, clubs, gyms, coffee shops and more. This will make them feel good about booking, clear that the local social scene is alive and well. Additionally, provide onsite information at the home about things to do, places to hang out, tourism hot spots, etc.
Make sure your WiFi is lit up like the Fourth of July
Seventy-four percent (74%) of employed Millennials with paid time off expect to bring work along on a trip. When asked if it was “extremely/very important” to stay connected with their employer during vacation, 47% of Millennials said yes; while just 33% of Gen Xers and 16% of Boomers agreed it was a high priority. That said, Millennials need lightning-fast speed to keep up with their fully connected lives and a home that offers slow internet connections will just not cut it.
44 percent of Millennial travelers take their vacations with the kids in tow, with 62 percent of Millennial parents traveling with kids under the age of five. Are you offering a crib, high chair, maybe even children’s books and a few toys? Also, in the same spirit of #2 above, provide them information regarding family-friendly things to do in the area – Children’s museums, parks, zoos or aquariums, etc. Give them ways to enjoy their family vacation and meet other families in the vicinity. Check out this guide for tips on traveling with kids for more ideas on how to be family-friendly.
Monitor Reviews & Provide Video Content
Don’t forget to pay attention to your online reviews and address any issues immediately. Additionally, you should have some good-looking videos on your site and social media channels to help market your property and the surrounding area. Research shows that Millennials are motivated by video content and online reviews in equal measures (about 30%) when selecting a trip.
As the world continues to become more accessible to the masses and advancing technology makes connection (both figuratively and literally) a ubiquitous need, vacation rental managers will need to shift resources and strategies to keep up with the market. Follow the money (no matter how old or young it is). Let us help you. Our software brings all the pieces of vacation rental property management together for FREE so you can actually get things done and stay current with the times without breaking the bank.