It’s no surprise that millennials travel more than any other generation – the proof is on social media. Pre-pandemic, if you were to scroll through your Instagram feed, it’s more than likely that you’d come across hundreds of pictures of your friends traveling the world.
This generation is hungry for new experiences, and after a year of travel restrictions, they’re eager to get started again. However, millennials aren’t staying at hotels. Rather, these travelers are opting for cozier choices – vacation rentals. Usually found through online travel agencies or personal accommodation websites, vacation rentals allow for more freedom to relax, explore, and even cook meals at home.
If you’re not yet marketing to this generation of travelers, it’s time to begin. Use these tips to attract millennials to your vacation rental.
A whopping 93% of this demographic uses smartphones on a daily basis. That said, their preferred booking process tends to look a lot different from older generations. Instead of calling a travel agent, millennials plan weekend getaways, compare vacation rental pricing, and read previous guests’ reviews all straight from their handheld devices. If your rental isn’t easy to research or optimized for booking via mobile, you’ll likely miss out on rental opportunities.
List your property on more OTAs
While having a bookable vacation rental website is key, you should also make use of online travel agencies. Millennials like to have options and search for accommodation on several OTAs such as Airbnb, HomeAway, Vrbo, Expedia, and Booking.com.
Use a channel manager to sync your bookings, calendars, and rates from your website and the previously mentioned listing sites. You’ll be able to save time while also increasing your visibility and exposure. Having a channel manager means you no longer have to spend hours cross-checking calendars and rates – the hard work is done for you!
If you don’t know where to start, take a look at guides and other free resources to learn the basics.
Take advantage of social media
According to Skift, 72% of millennials can be influenced by advertising when it comes to accommodation. With 90.4% of them being active on social media, there’s no excuse for vacation rental owners to not participate on these platforms. If you haven’t already, get started on creating Instagram and Facebook accounts for your business today.
Part of catering to millennials is also creating Instagrammable nooks in your property. That’s right – your interior design can play a huge role in how your rental is advertised and discovered by other people. If guests are mesmerized by the plants you have hanging in your living room or the vintage headboard in the bedroom, you can almost be certain that they’ll post it on their Instagram story. That’s the art of free publicity.
Millennials don’t have a lot of money to spend and they expect to get what they pay for. So before doing any marketing to millennials, make sure your home is up-to-date. According to Empire Siding and Windows, even something as simple as a lick of paint can make or break your home:
“A fresh coat of paint on any portion of your property will instantly raise its appeal. Just like a professional realtor, use neutral colors for your palette. Avoid the temptation to get colorful and follow the latest trends.”
Don’t forget to make any repairs and clean up the landscaping as well. You want your photos to stand out against rentals in your area; peeling paint or old features just won’t cut it.
Amp up the amenities
In addition to cleaning up the property, consider adding deal-breaker amenities for millennials, such as high-speed Wi-Fi and energy-efficient appliances. While you might consider upfront costs high, adding new features will likely pay for themselves in one-to-two years. Here are some more amenities that attract millennials:
Smart appliances (such as Smart TVs, lighting, and locks)
Outlets, adapters, and chargers in every room
A surround sound system
An outdoor grill
Streaming services like Netflix
Natural and organic toiletries
High-quality coffee (having a French press or espresso machine is a big plus!)
If you’re located in a warm climate, consider installing a private pool or hot tub, which many guests are willing to pay that bit extra for – quickly offsetting the investment.
Pay attention to reviews
Another consequence of becoming a more digital society is how quickly word of mouth spreads. Instead of hearing about a bad experience weeks or months later, anyone searching for your vacation rental can see your online reviews instantly.
It’s important that you’re aware of the impact negative reviews can have on your occupancy rate. Millennials especially love to compare different vacation spots; one negative experience could be the difference between choosing your home or a competing rental down the road.
Studies show that 82% of travelers look at reviews before booking accommodation. That said, whether you love them or hate them, reviews are a big part of the vacation rental industry and you should do everything in your power to ensure that they are positive.
Take professional photographs
Millenials are very visual people and make decisions based on the quality of what they see. Therefore, taking professional photographs of your vacation rental is crucial in making a good impression.
Throughout the day, we are constantly being bombarded with content. By having photographs that stand out and tell a story, you’ll manage to double your bookings. You don’t want to just show what the bedroom or garden looks like – you want to transmit what it feels like to be on holiday in your rental. If your photographs manage to do that, you’re on the right track!
Use the right keywords
The vacation rental market is competitive, especially for popular tourist destinations. Be sure to use the correct keywords when targeting millennials in your paid and unpaid marketing efforts and you’ll soon see more bookings come in.
For instance, specific descriptions such as “beachfront”, “luxurious”, “slope-side” or “upgraded” can add heaps of extra value to your rental property listing. Don’t be afraid of long descriptions either – if your property has it, you should list it.
If millennials are searching for “beachfront rental house,” but your listing is just “beach house,” they may miss yours. This free ebook will help you better understand how to position your rental with SEO, even if you’re not the slightest bit sure where to start.
Once travel restrictions are loosened and it becomes safer to travel, millennials will be the first ones out the door. As they get older and have more steady incomes, they’ll continue to find opportunities to see new and exciting places. Make sure your rental is on their radar with these simple tips and see how your business thrives.
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