Not just any vacation rental guests

Sometimes, as vacation rental owners, it’s easy to get tied up in the thought that only holidaymakers will want to become vacation rental guests of our property. It’s the terminology: holiday home, vacation retreat, weekend getaway and the like. It’s easy to imagine that it’s just stressed out workers and families seeking the sun that want to come. But, there’s a whole other – possibly lucrative – market to tap into. We have compiled a list of ideas, so get online, start widening your research, and making more profit!

For more analysis of the vacation rentals industry today, check out our interview with ASSC Chairman David Smythe.

hand luggage

1. The budget ‘hand luggage only’ traveller

Previously these travellers were backpackers, but these days, everyone is a backpacker given the meagre amount of luggage we are allowed to travel with on budget airlines. Rules get tighter and tighter, so vacation home owners should all get more and more imaginative with what home comforts can already be put in place for their vacation rental guests. To save space on luggage allowances, perhaps a kindly offer of throws or shawls for chilly evenings, sun cream lotion, or decent toiletries could be included in the price of a stay. Maps or travel guides take up space, so include a house copy of such titles that guests may use for the duration of their visit.


2. The Happy Families

Getting families to be vacation rental guests is easy – keeping them happy and getting them to rebook is a little more work. An amount of pre-planning is essential, and making your home family friendly means providing a little extra kit and kaboodle. Child seats, melamine tableware, beakers, a sterilising unit, child gates, a fenced pool, safety covers on sockets – some or all of these will help with anxious parents. Wet days ahead? Then games, books, DVDs or a Netflix subscription are all bound to help with smiles. Read more about how to adapt your vacation rental for families here.


3. The Commuting Business People

Sometimes, an impersonal hotel is not very appealing, especially to the commuter or businessperson who spends half their life on the road. More and more are choosing to be vacation rental guests and stay in homes like yours, even if it’s just a short stay. So, create a home-from-home! Great Wifi speed and connection is the first Big Thing to consider. Some of these people never stop working! An office chair and desk will save many a sore back. Stock up on some paper and pens for those that like to make longhand notes as they go, and make sure you have plenty of sockets for all those devices. Go homely with guest slippers. A real fire in winter (if you have one) is a winner, and a couple of cold beers in the fridge is a must. Place local takeaway menus in clear sight, and you’ll be assured guests will always stopover at your place. Welcome one night stays – they’re worth it. Here is all you need to know about adapting your vacation home for business travellers.


4. The Honeymooners

Not everyone gets as far as a white Caribbean beach for their honeymoon. If the loved up newlyweds (or weekend lovers) choose your vacation rental as their love nest, then make it a special one. Scent it up with romantic candles, dried rose petals, and soft towels. Plenty of soft lighting and a selection of music is a good tip. Fit your pad with luxurious bedding, and maybe a bottle of the best fizz in the fridge, and you’ll have your vacation rental guests hooked. Of course, they’ll want to relive this special experience every year as long as the knot stays tied, so you’ll also be creating a likely return booking for those dates. That’s why you’ll want to make it as special as you possibly can! Find out more in detail how to adapt your vacation rental to welcome couples and honeymooners here.


5. The Culture Vultures

If you are lucky enough to live close to cultural activities, things to see, historical sites, or a bustling city, then you should be attracting the culturally aware of your vacation rental guests. Usually lone travellers or couples, these culture vultures will want information! So a great selection of leaflets and brochures should be to hand (raid the local tourist information) along with details of any upcoming events. If you have art galleries close by, then check out the seasonal collections that come and go, and let guests know about them. Mention in your advertising medium if you’re near to some interesting attractions, monuments, galleries, and how easy it is to get to them. Offering to book ahead to certain attractions on the guests’ behalf is always a good marketing ploy, especially if it’s by phone in a foreign language.


6. The Hens and Stags

Some may shudder at the thought of large, single sex parties who like to…well, party. But, they’re out there, and they are a viable opportunity to attract as guests. If you have a large property (without antique furnishings or Ming Dynasty objets d’art!), and you have a large pool and a beer fridge to go with it, then you’re hen and stag ready. Yes, there will be a mess, but if you use a cleaning company, and monitor it closely enough, and always lay some firm ground rules (usually enforced by a sizeable damage deposit) then go for it.


7. The Adventurers and Explorers

Is your area on the edge of the countryside, or even deep within? Then play to that category, and extol the virtues of spring walks, migrating birds in Autumn and spring, winter walks et al. Back to nature types love a good hike or walk, then there’s cliff climbers, coastal path scramblers, mountaineers, cyclists, and general out and about types. Make a point of detailing the beautiful outdoors where you are, and help the marketing strategy along by having some equipment, for borrowing or for paid hire. We’re talking walking poles, maps, compasses, binoculars, wet outerwear, and so on. How about offering to launder wet clothes, the bane of any walking holiday on an out of season vacation? You may find you will fill all of those out of season weeks, by flipping your summer country home into a winter walking retreat for your vacation rental guests!


8. The Writers and Poets

Vacation rental guests can also be musicians looking for somewhere quiet in order to pen their next big hit, dreamy poets, artists and writers all love a place with creative appeal. Great walking close by, a little local bar with atmosphere, chatty locals, or traditional small village locations with no immediate neighbours will all appeal to the bohemian set. They might be bloggers (think of the recommendations from a great review!) or even journalistic types. A weekly or monthly secondhand market will also get their creative juices flowing, so be ready with all the necessary information, dates and places they may want to visit.


9. The Bikers and Trikers

They’re not all Hairy Bikers. Well, many of them are, but targeting the biking brigade is actually a very smart idea. They all know each other, and it can be a great source of repeat bookings once you have a firm recommendation or two. Also, there are often rallies in the countryside during the summer months especially, and advertising for bikers if there are super roads close to you, such as those in Andalucia, is an added bonus.


10. The Foodies

Local gastronomy and fresh seasonal ingredients are an instant winner. There are food related groups everywhere, just check out the likes of Facebook for fans of the slow food movement, real food, organic food, veganism, the list goes on. Foodies the world over love to buy local and cook in their vacation rental. If you’re close to a farmer’s market, an olive mill, a winery, or just good old-fashioned local food such as the Mediterranean diet will ensure they will be lining up to get their feet under your table. Photos of your state of the art kitchen will draw in the culinary crowd!

To summarise, inject a bit more useful and personalised information in your listing description. Yes, include the necessary, regarding travelling and house details. But a little more detail to attract certain types of traveller will go a long way, and put you firmly ahead of the game!

If you’re ready to to start targeting your guests and you already have a Your.Rentals account simply edit your listings now, or if you’re new to Your.Rentals you can sign up free and start building your listing today!

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