Looking at your rental calendar, hopefully, you see many weekends and weeks in the high seasons all booked up, congratulations! But, be sure to consider another way to get more bookings and fill in those empty weekdays: market your short-term rental to business travelers. Here are 8 tips that will appeal to the vacation rental business traveler.
Business travel can be difficult. Long days and lonely nights can leave a traveler feeling exhausted and unappreciated. But that exhaustion is mitigated when you have access to the same comfort and convenience you experience at home. Business travelers’ preference to stay in home rentals versus hotels has soared in recent years. 485.9 million business trips were taken last year, and the market is finding that more of those work-travelers are increasingly choosing vacation rentals over hotels. Even choosing to extend their stay through the weekend to experience a new city. A recent survey by Expedia noted that 62% of millennials were willing to extend their travel after a business trip to experience local life.
Looking specifically at Airbnb, the company’s activity over the past year seems to validate the importance of marketing short term rentals toward business travelers. In the first half of 2019, Airbnb invested $160 million in Lyric, a nationwide network of short-term rentals for business travelers. And, in August the company acquired Urbandoor, a business travel marketplace.
To help you get in on this trend and secure more bookings (and more revenue), here are eight tips for what you can offer in order to attract the business traveler to your short-term rental abode:
With the TSA not allowing anything over 3 ounces and checked bags being eschewed by business travelers. Make it easy for guests to travel light and offer everything they need in the bathroom. Buy spa-level brands of toiletries and make sure you provide all the other grooming needs one would need such as hairdryers, hangers, razors, ironing boards, etc.
People like hotels for their yummy bedding, lots of pillows and bathrobes that feel luxurious. Make sure you offer sheets and blankets people will want to sink into after a long day at the office (and don’t skimp on a cheap mattress!). Bonus points: offer an alarm clock and a phone docking/charging station next to the bed.
Daily Housekeeping Service
Business travelers familiar with hotel stays will be used to having their bed made each day. By offering this, for a small extra fee, business travelers will relish coming “home” to a made bed, fresh towels and dishes put away.
Speedy wifi service is an absolute must for business travelers (who are we kidding, it’s important for any traveler). Some guests need to stay in touch with the office, answer emails and work during their stay. If your wireless service is slow and clunky, they won’t be rebooking.
Dedicated Workspace for the Vacation Rental Traveler
Work doesn’t usually end for the business traveler at 5 p.m. Make sure you offer a well-appointed, obvious space for your renter to get work done. A good lamp, ergonomic chair and a power strip are essential. Bonus points: offer devices that make it easy to work from your home like a printer, extra power cords, phone line, and even a computer as a backup.
Chances are a business traveler who chooses to stay in a rental home versus a hotel plans to eat in. Make sure you have every conceivable need for cooking and even for entertaining clients and coworkers (coffee pot, set of matching utensils and plates, pots, pans, juicer, mixer, casserole dishes, etc.). We also recommend you appoint the rental with continental breakfast items at the start of their stay. Bonus points: point them to a local grocery delivery service so that they don’t have to worry about stopping at the store themselves.
Offer (for an additional fee) to pick them up at the airport and get them to their meeting or to the home, no matter what time they fly in and out. And, in the case they rent a car, make sure your home has free, convenient parking.
Provide every business traveler with an invoice for easy expense reporting to their company’s CFO.
One last tip: If you choose to leverage your short-term rental by marketing to the vacation rental business (as well as the leisure) traveler, be sure to update the language on your listing. For example, highlight that your elegant dining room can be used as a conference room for meetings (offer to source any presentation equipment needed), or that your spacious back yard with a large grill is perfect for client entertaining. And be sure to highlight your proximity to major airports and office parks.
What other tips do you have to appeal to the business traveler? Have you seen an increase in bookings from this audience? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.