Vacation Rental Owners

How to Make Money with a Vacation Rental (Know the Trends)

Vacation Rental Industry Trends for Winter 2021

Part of running a successful vacation rental business is keeping up with industry trends. Adjusting your business strategy to fit the current events in the industry can help you earn more bookings and, therefore, more revenue from your vacation rental properties. In this article, we’re going to cover Lodgify’s recent report regarding current industry trends. Then, we’ll talk about how you can implement the report’s discoveries into your own vacation rental business.

In a hurry? Click through the Powerpoint presentation below for a quick overview of this article:

 

Vacation Rental Trends

Lodgify recently released a detailed report on industry trends in 2021. You can read the full report here. In the report, Lodgify analyzed the vacation rental market from 2019 to 2021 to make predictions about the upcoming season in the industry. It found that many markers showed recovery after the pandemic, and in general, there’s plenty of hope and optimism for the current vacation rental industry. Here are some of the main takeaways:

  • The length of stay at vacation rental properties is steadily increasing.
  • On average, rural accommodations have the longest stays (longer than urban accommodations).
  • However, short stays are still more prevalent, with over 70% of bookings spanning one to three days.
  • After the 70% of short bookings, the runner-up for stay length was four to seven days, and these mid-length stays contributed 25% of all bookings.
  • Compared to last-minute bookings, long-term bookings have a 25% longer stay length.
  • As guests gain confidence in planning in advance after the initial part of the pandemic, the booking windows continue to grow.
  • The longest length of stay is in the southeast United States.
  • The value of vacation rentals continues to grow, and we’re seeing the average daily rate climb each year.

How to Implement These Trends Into Your Business Strategy

Now that you know the trends that are taking place in the industry, what are the best ways to implement this information into your own vacation rental business strategy?

If you own or run a rural vacation rental:

If you own or run a rural vacation rental

Rural vacation rental properties had quite a bit of success thus far in 2021, and they’re predicted to continue to do well into the winter. One of their main achievements was attracting travelers who stayed for longer periods than were considered typical before the pandemic. The guests booking these rural stays tended to stay longer than guests who booked stays in more urban locations. And not only did they book longer stays, but these rural guests also booked farther in advance than the average urban guest.

Because of this, there are a few things that rural vacation rental owners can do to take advantage of the current trends.

Offer Early-Bird Specials

To entice your guests to book their stays further in advance, consider offering early-bird specials. This means giving a discount to guests who book their stay a certain time period in advance, perhaps six months or a year (you’ll want to consider what will work best for your specific vacation rental business). Early-bird specials can draw in more guests and fill up your calendar far sooner than the average booking.

vacation rental early bird specials

Reward Longer Stays

If you want your guests to book longer stays, you might want to offer discounted rates for stays that are longer than a week or even a month. You could potentially include weekly and monthly rates on your listing to let potential guests know that you offer mid-term and long-term stays. You could also reduce your daily rate for guests that stay for a longer amount of time. Be sure to advertise these different rates and discounts on your listing so that guests are aware of them.

Try Out Large Family Discounts

Many families who have been stuck in urban settings during the pandemic are now looking for a chance to stretch out and relax in a more rural environment. They want to have space for the kids to run around and for everyone to enjoy some relaxation. You can appeal to large groups and families by offering discounts to large groups who stay at your vacation rental.

Provide Family-Friendly Amenities

Provide Family-Friendly Amenities

Another way to draw in families is to provide amenities that they’re sure to appreciate. Family-friendly vacation rentals often have amenities like child-friendly entertainment (toys, books, board games, video games, outdoor sports equipment, streaming services), multiple places to sleep such as pull-out couches and bunk beds, and additional security features to give parents peace of mind.

If you own or run an urban vacation rental:

Since urban vacation rentals are seeing shorter bookings than rural rentals, there are some actions you can take to encourage guests to stay for longer periods of time.

Implement a Minimum Stay Length Rule

First, you might want to think about implementing a minimum stay length rule. This way, you can avoid scattered one- and two-night stays and bring in more guests that are staying several days or even a week.

Offer Segmented Discounts

Offering segmented discounts for longer stays is another way to encourage guests to stay at your vacation rental property for a longer period of time. For example, you could offer 15% off seven days, 20% off ten days, and 25% off 14-day stays. However, be sure to calculate what type of discount would work best for your business so that it doesn’t harm your income.

Start your holiday marketing ASAP

Whether you have a rural or an urban vacation rental property, you should start marketing your property for the holidays as soon as possible! We have some great articles on Black Friday marketing and getting your vacation rental ready for Thanksgiving that should be especially helpful.

If you haven’t done Black Friday marketing before, it’s the perfect time to jump in and offer your guests great deals while racking up lots of bookings. Be sure to update your website and all of your listings to show off any seasonal changes you’ve made for the holidays. Pictures of a large dining room table set for everyone to enjoy a meal together are perfect for this time of year, as are photos of spaces where families can gather to spend time as a group. It’s not too soon to start marketing for Christmas and other winter holidays as well!

Cater your space to workationers

Cater your space to workationers

Since the start of the pandemic, more people have been working remotely than ever before. This has led to a trend of “workationers,” who travel to different locations while they work. You can boost your bookings and income by catering your vacation rental to this particular group of guests. All you need to do is make sure your vacation rental is work-friendly, with ergonomic spaces to work on a laptop, and reliable high-speed internet.

Consider amenities for families

As mentioned for rural vacation rentals, adding amenities specifically for families is a great way to appeal to more guests and earn additional bookings. Currently, most vacation rental guests are traveling because of family. They want to spend time in a different location as a family, or they’re traveling to visit family members they haven’t seen in a while due to the pandemic. Offering amenities that hold value for them can definitely result in more success for your vacation rental property.

Invest in self check-in

While self check-in has been popular for a while now, it’s become the norm ever since COVID-19 began to spread. With guests now being more conscious of safety and germs, they’re more likely to book a stay at a vacation rental that offers self check-in than traditional check-in, where they must interact with another person. Plus, society is becoming more technology-oriented in general, so self check-in is a great way to keep up with this trend.

Main Takeaways

  • Lodgify recently released a report regarding current trends in the vacation rental industry.
  • Overall, the industry is seeing growth and recovery after its initial decline due to the pandemic.
  • The average length of stay at vacation rentals continues to increase, and rural accommodations tend to have the longest stays.
  • Booking windows are expected to continue to grow as guests gain confidence in planning in advance.
  • If you have a rural vacation rental property, consider offering early-bird specials and rewarding longer stays with discounts. Adding large group and family discounts and providing family-friendly amenities are a couple of other ways to bring in additional bookings.
  • If you have an urban vacation rental property, you may wish to consider implementing a minimum stay length rule to avoid having scattered one- and two-night stays throughout your calendar. Segmented discounts can also encourage guests to stay for longer periods of time.
  • Whether you have a rural or an urban vacation rental property, you should begin marketing for the holidays as soon as possible. Get your Black Friday marketing strategy started and begin thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holidays.
  • Cater your space to remote workers and workationers by providing workspaces and high-speed internet to your guests.
  • Consider adding amenities for families regardless of your location, since many families are looking to travel at this time.
  • If you don’t already have it, set up self check-in to cater to those who are nervous about spreading COVID as well as people who are technologically inclined.

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