The vacation rental industry is changing, almost daily, as you are well aware. Home Away, Wyndham, Marriot, Trip Advisor and other large companies are moving us to places we have never been before. It can be a very challenging environment to work in. The good news is that these companies all bring awareness to our industry that there hasn’t been here before. PhoCus Wright, which is a travel research company, recently published a report, PhoCusWright’s U.S. Vacation Rentals 2009-2014: A Market Reinvented. It is a very expensive report, but brings some very valuable information to us. It was said that only 10-15% of travelers knew or considered vacation rentals. Well in this report, 20% of the travelers surveyed stayed in a vacation rental in the past two years. An additional 27% considered a vacation rental, but ultimately chose another option. Why? Well, part of it is the misconceptions of our industry, that vacation rentals are only suitable for longer trips and larger groups, as well as vacation rentals not having the “amenities” that hotels offer. Today, this is not necessarily the case.
So the good news is that more and more folks are looking at vacation rentals, but the bad news is that still, only 20% of travelers are actually choosing our industry to meet their vacation needs. How did it get from the 10% that it was 5+ years ago, to the 20%? And how do we get it from 20% to 30% and more? Most of us will agree that the national economy hasn’t improved that much. Unemployment is going back up, and so many people are still out of work. So why is it that our business is so much better? I would suggest that the marketing awareness created by these large companies, as well as the internet providing more and more innovation, is finding the average consumer, and we need to take advantage of it. So some thoughts on how you can get on board: