Marketing Tips for the Vacation Rental Industry
The vacation rental market suffers from a lack of industry-wide data, but a recent study compiled by Netamatix reveals deep insights about what managers can do to increase bookings. This is the third in a five part series of blog posts based on these insights.
Insight #3: Celebratory trips are boosting the growth of the vacation rental industry.
Did you know 69% of leisure travelers have taken a trip to celebrate a special occasion?
The three most popular celebratory trips are:
1. Milestone Birthdays
2. Milestone Anniversaries
These trips are ideal for staying in a vacation rental because the average number of people in the traveling party is higher. So what does this mean for you?
Here are 4 tips to take advantage of this emerging trend:
1. Add to their happiness
For example, if you know this is an milestone anniversary, leave a congratulatory card at the rental waiting for them at their arrival. Little touches like these can help separate you from other property managers and lead to referrals. A recent bride and groom left these hilarious (and effective) hangover kits for their guests, something property managers could do as well if they know their guests are visiting for a wedding. A treat like that would surely lead to word of mouth marketing!
2. Connect them with local vendors they might need
Do you know a good restaurant that a group celebrating a 30th birthday would enjoy celebrating at? Do you know a good florist for an extended family to buy flowers for their grandparents’ anniversary? Perhaps you know a limo company that would be great for a group of girlfriends celebrating a bachelorette? Let them know. Going the extra mile makes you a memorable local host, not just a property manager.
3. Be prepared to accept multiple payments from everyone
Whether you want to accept credit card payments one by one over the phone, or you use PayByGroup, make sure it’s hassle-free for your guests. Celebratory trips are a great source of referrals for your business due to the size of the traveling party. You want to make sure they come back, but they won’t if it’s a hassle for them to pay. Many might even choose to not book your property due to the group payment hassles they face within their own traveling party (another reason to use PayByGroup )
Keep in mind that accepting multiple payments over the phone is an expensive endeavor. According to Mastercard, companies that do so spend at least $300 per week in staff time collecting payments – that’s nearly $16,000 per year! Group payment solutions like PayByGroup remove this expense for you and streamline the payment process for guests.
4. Market your property as an ideal location for one of these occasions
Does your property have a big jacuzzi? Or maybe a large outdoor space that would be ideal for gathering, grilling, and dining? Make sure you describe it in your property description in a way that appeals to these types of guests. Write it into your copy: “Ideal lawn for a wedding party reception,” “large jacuzzi can fit up to 10 people,” “dining room table can seat a large extended family of up to 16,” etc. Travelers celebrating these special occasions will see you have experience with their needs – whether it’s accepting multi-party payments or recommending a taxi service to bring them home after the wedding reception.
A further step you can take is making it easy for guests to find these large homes on your site. For example, create a page on your website dedicated solely to large homes for special occasions and make sure it is easy to find on your home page. ”Home for Special Occasions” or a similar page title quickly indicates to any person browsing your site that you have a selection of homes with amenities that their traveling party needs (larger dining room, multiple rooms, etc) or are especially refined and suited for a special event.
Remember, travelers spend a lot of money on special occasions like weddings and milestone birthdays. Be sure to capture some of that spending by encouraging travelers to stay with you by implementing the tips described above!