Once a cottage industry operated by entrepreneurial property owners, today’s billion-dollar vacation rental market is undergoing massive growth, driven by digital platforms that are evolving in tandem with its users’ needs. –Airbnb.
Things have certainly moved on in the vacation rental industry, and there’s been a year-on-year increase in the number of people booking a stay in a vacation rental property. Airbnb has grown at a staggering rate, and there are now over 150 million Airbnb users globally.
That’s great news for hosts, more customers equals more profits – and nowadays, thanks to digital technology, it’s easier than ever for guests to find and book vacation rental properties. Technology has also made things easier for the busy host, streamlining processes and freeing up time to develop and improve their business. Let’s explore the ways in which new technology is transforming the vacation rental industry.
Guests are Searching & Booking Online
More of more of us are now turning to online websites to research vacations and book a place to stay. It’s fair to say that travelers expectations are shifting too, and taking a holiday is no longer synonymous with a standard two-week package holiday. Instead it’s all about spontaneity, and that means gusts want to be able to find and book what they are looking for quickly and easily. Guests are using mobile technology to shop around, so as a host you need to make sure your property is easy to find and book. Travelers don’t want to have to make phone calls to check details or provide payment – and if they can’t book instantaneously with you, they might just go to a competitor and book their pad instead!
Hosts are Investing in Vacation Rental Software
Vacation rental software is reshaping the vacation rental market – providing hosts with the ability to automate and streamline their business. Once upon a time owning multiple rentals, and trying to rent them out on different platforms, could be a real headache.
With the arrival of vacation rental software, hosts have been able to relax a little more – safe in the knowledge that they can easily keep track of bookings, schedule cleanings and communicate with guests. Hosts can even use automated templates to reply to messages and provide feedback.
Hosts are Turning to Digital Marketing
There’s no need for grainy images of rental properties, new technology enables host to take and upload clear photographs of what they have to offer. Hosts can even create an Airbnb video to market their property – showcasing all its best points and enabling potential guests to see exactly what they are getting. Add to this the fact that research indicates over 90% of mobile video viewers share their videos with others – and you start to see why this could be a great way to creatively promote your property.
Hosts are Using Digital Data to Make Improvements
Property management software enables you to gain a useful snapshot of your property rental business. Data can let you know whether you are charging the correct rate, and make decisions about minimum stays and check in/ out times. Data can also provide some ideas on how you can improve your guests stay – perhaps they would like a few extras, in the way of add-on experiences, to enhance their vacation?
Hosts are Getting Smarter
Hosts are choosing to incorporate smart technology into properties, in a bid to save money and time. Wi-Fi enabled smart controllers allow hosts to digitally control their vacation property from afar. There are now smart locks – a code is provided for guests which allows them to enter and leave the property without the host needing to be there to handover or collect keys. Homes can also be fitted with smart lighting and heating, both of which helps to decrease energy usage, and save on utility bills.
Hosts and Guests are Embracing the Digital Age
We live in a digital world, new technology has revolutionised the travel industry, and it’s time for guests and hosts alike to embrace what it has to offer. We can’t wait to see what new developments will appear on the horizon next!