Bigger isn’t always better, but the recent HomeAway Trend Report suggests otherwise when it comes to vacation rentals. Their data shows that, in the last year, demand for unique accommodations like castles and estates rocketed by 55 and 25% respectively.
But, what’s the reason for this increase?
In general, vacation rentals offer much more space at a lower cost per person than traditional hotel-style options. Unlike travelers staying in hotels who only use the room as a base to sleep and shower, vacationers staying in rented homes tend to make much better use of the property as a whole. In fact, many vacations revolve around the property itself – common activities include spending time with family by the poolside, preparing group dinners in the full kitchen or chilling out on the sofa with a good book or movie.
HomeAway’s deep dive into the demographics of travelers who are booking larger properties found that millennials are driving this trend forward. Those 20 to 40-somethings who are maturing, starting families and opting to travel with their parents (children’s grandparents) in tow. According to the report, the number of families traveling with children has grown by 325% in the last 12 months.
Knowing how to market your big vacation rental can dramatically improve booking numbers and drive more guests to your home. Follow our advice to increase reservations for your oversized property!
Target the right guest types
In the very initial stages of launching your vacation rental business, you should spend some time identifying who your target market is in terms of guest types. For those who boast large and unusual properties, there is a whole range of people you can aim to attract.
Vacation rentals offer a convenience factor for traveling families that many other accommodations cannot. Space, entertainment options, kitchen/dining areas, and a washer dryer are all great reasons to opt for an Airbnb. Providing family-friendly amenities for your guests – such as cots, highchairs and a selection of toys or games – can give your property a competitive edge and persuade families into booking.
An increasing number of non-family groups are also booking large vacation rentals as a result of the more “bang for your buck” effect. When costs are shared between multiple friends or members of a group, the nightly rate reduces while the quality and amenities are often far superior to any competing accommodation offering. So, make it known on your website that your home is suitable for these guests by showing photos of other groups enjoying your space and be sure to ask previous groups for reviews and showcase these on your site, too.
Plenty of companies hold annual off-site activities for each team or even the business as a whole. As well as providing a comfortable place to sleep for a corporate weekend trip, you can partner with local services to offer catering, activities and a concierge service. Savvy company owners will appreciate saving on accommodation as it will free up some of the budget to spend elsewhere.
Establish your property as an events venue
If you have a distinctive property in a desirable area, there is another highly effective method for achieving a full booking calendar: transforming your vacation rental into a venue for special events.
Destination weddings now account for one-quarter of all marriage celebrations. Considering couples spend around $16 billion on weddings each year, it’s a prosperous market to tap into. If you decide to use your property as a wedding venue, however, be sure to have the right kind of insurance in place, always ask for a damage deposit and adhere to any local laws and restrictions of event planning.
Besides overnight stays, many companies and startups get together for teambuilding events throughout the year. If you have a low season with typically fewer bookings, think about renting your place out for a daily rate to host these types of activities for local businesses. This is especially effective if your property is a unique accommodation, like a castle or farmhouse, as it will make it even more memorable for the invited guests!
It may be a 50th birthday, a silver wedding anniversary or a newborn child’s naming ceremony – whatever the occasion, there is never a shortage of reasons to throw a party! In particular, vacation rentals with ample outdoor space can really make the most of this business opportunity for hosting summer parties. Pitching your home as an ideal party location can attract event planners who are looking for something a bit more special than a stale hotel conference room.
Go all out on amenities
The HomeAway report also states that the most desired vacation home feature is a private swimming pool. While many big properties boast this amenity already, for some owners, it may even be worth considering installing a pool in order to attract more guests and reservations. Although it is a hefty investment at first, the return will be seen (and enjoyed) for years and years to come.
Apart from a pool, make sure you invest in the essential amenities that every guest looks for. This can include everything from a welcome basket prepared with local treats from the region and an abundance of nice-smelling toiletries, to robes and slippers for every guest and a stack of board games for whiling away the evenings!
Bigger vacation rentals = bigger value and better for guests
A big vacation rental can be so much more than a home away from home for travelers. When you know what guests are looking for, you can capitalize on this to bring in more revenue by offering the best amenities, most value for money and a better overall guest experience than any of your nearby competitors can.