In recent years, the vacation rental industry – a.k.a. private accommodations – has seen groundbreaking growth. Once only an option for affluent travelers has now become a preferred choice for millions of people. And 2017 showed even more promise for this thriving industry. Need to catch up? Keep reading to learn about important changes and how they affect vacation rental managers.
Vacation Rental Industry 2017 Recap: 7 Things to Know
Mobile Bookings Have Surged
According to Simon Lehmann at the 2017 VRMA Conference in Orlando, over 60% of all travel bookings will come from a mobile device. More and more people book rentals, hotel rooms, vehicles and flights via their phone.
Affect: This will impact vacation rental managers and companies that do not have a fast, mobile-friendly website. Potential guests want a seamless booking/travel process at their fingertips.
Other Big Players Have Entered the Space
With industry growth often comes competition and mass appeal. This year saw companies like Trivago and Google including vacation rentals in their search options. For example, when someone searches on these sites, vacation rental options will appear.
Affect: This not only increases the industry’s visibility, but gives vacation rental managers another avenue for marketing properties. Make sure to follow best practices to help listings appear in search.
Fee Increases May Equal Better Services
Fee increases cause immediate reaction, but think long-term. Sites like HomeAway have increased their annual membership fee, however think about the benefits of listing on these sites. These listing sites reach millions of potential guests every day, have large social media followings, and spend millions a year on advertising and marketing.
Affect: Additional costs can add up. Pick listing sites and prices that work best for the business and make sense. Other options include working to become a HomeAway Premier Partner or Airbnb Superhost. Both offer additional benefits and may offset price increases due to more booking revenue.
Experience Is Everything to Travelers
Travelers want more than a good price and clean accommodations. They want to explore everything a destination offers, including activities, food and local shopping. They also need an easy way to find this information – from available rentals to area attractions.
Affect: Vacation rental managers need to ensure they provide the best experience possible. This includes websites, customer service, travel perks, custom apps and enhancements that increase guest satisfaction. For ideas, read about free activities with Xplorie and how to improve reviews.
Vacation Rentals Enter Mass Media
Two major players in the VR industry launched TV shows in 2017. Vacation Rental Potential, which airs on A&E, features 12 rental owners and their journey as they build a successful business.
A Sense of Place follows VR marketing guru Matt Landau as he visits different destinations and meets vacation rental managers. The show aims to explore the greater impact of the industry and the people who make a difference.
Affect: Vacation rental leaders have created new ways to penetrate the travel industry as a whole. Expect to see more exposure, news, social influencers and competition. It’s an exciting time, so enjoy the ride.
Technology and Data Pave the Way
With a focus on user experience, technology and data have become two musts every rental manager needs. New technology showcases properties through 3D images, while custom apps enhance guest experience. In addition, rental management software has evolved to make managing properties more efficient.
Next, consider data. Using accurate data helps set competitive prices, which may generate additional revenue. It also factors into targeted digital marketing and social media strategies. All of these have created a better way to manage rentals.
Affect: Managers not using the latest tools in both data and technology will miss out on big opportunities for growth and revenue. Industry leaders consistently work to improve their processes and generate recurring business. Consider investing in these tools to take the business to the next level.
Perseverance Pays Off
As you see, hard work pays off in a big way. Many vacation rental professionals have received local awards and nominations and top honors. Good press is never a bad thing.
Affect: As the industry grows, vacation rental professionals should stay open-minded and work to build a business that exemplifies outstanding service. Think about ways to positively influence the area and provide a better experience for everyone. Examples include:
iTrip Vacations Vail-Beaver Creek: A Finalist for Actively Green Business of the Year
iTrip Vacations Keystone: A Finalist for Customer Service Champion
10 iTrip Vacations Rental Management Companies: All Earn HomeAway Premier Partner Status
Enjoy reading our vacation rental industry 2017 recap? Find more VR news and trends.