How to Market Your Vacation Rental Towards Business Travelers
Somewhat ironically, many vacation rental markets are becoming increasingly oriented towards business travel rather than travel for leisure. According to a recent study, U.S. business travelers took 462 million domestic trips last year, and that number is expected to rise to over 500 million by 2022. What’s more, businesses and employees are quickly realizing the advantages of opting for vacation rentals over traditional hotels. With these stats in mind, determining how to market your vacation rental becomes a bit more involved.
Analyzing the growth of business-ready accommodations will lead property managers to a quick conclusion: marketing listings towards business travelers is one of the best ways fill mid-week booking lulls, increase ADRs, boost revenues, and improve visibility on all online booking platforms. That being said, many homes may not be an immediate hit with the business crowd. Here are the most important steps you can take to market your vacation rental towards business travelers.
Market Your Location Towards Business Travelers
It goes without saying that the tastes of business travelers differ from those of traditional tourists. Coffee machines, parking spaces, and WiFi are coveted amenities that often trump hot tubs and sweeping views.
In that same vein, one of the most important tactics in marketing your vacation rental towards business travelers is highlighting its location. At the forefront of your listing’s brand, mention its proximity to airports, public transportation, business districts, convention centers, and coworking spaces.
Commercialize Your Aesthetic
As a vacation rental manager marketing towards business travelers on sites like VRBO and Airbnb, hotels pose as much competition as other vacation rentals. Your aesthetic therefore needs to match — if not exceed — with the traditional hotel aesthetic. Stark white linens, heavy comforters, plush pillows, sleek decór, and modern furniture should be at the forefront of your design.
Upgrade Your Amenities
In that same regard, the list of amenities appealing to business travelers is distinct from those of a generic short-term rental. Consider including the following:
- Flat screen TVs
- Printer and scanner
- Fast WiFi with a range extender for larger homes
- Complimentary toiletries
- Ironing boards and hair dryers
- Full-length mirrors
- Virtual assistant device
- Desk/work station
Having a lineup of marketable amenities (highlighted with professional photography) helps hosts advertise listings on social media which ultimately leads to more bookings, increased occupancy rates, and higher monthly revenues.
Design and Highlight Work Spaces
Arguably the most important amenity in this conversation is the availability of workspaces and leisure spaces. Try to include desks with good lighting, or repurpose your dining room into a conference room.
That said, these workspaces shouldn’t come at the expense of social areas. In fact, many businesses book Airbnbs to facilitate team bonding. If your guests are looking for a space to wine and dine clients, the availability of a nice living room or a comfortable patio setup may be the difference between a confirmed booking and a lost customer (or even a negative review).
Implement Flexible Check-Ins
Because business travelers arrive at all hours of the day and night, implementing a self-check-in system is by far the most convenient way to manage guest arrivals. Property managers and co-hosts aren’t burdened by wonky airline schedules, and guests are able to check-in any time of day.
In addition to convenience, offering self-check-in actually boosts listings’ visibility on platforms like Airbnb. Hosting platforms know what guests are looking for (Instant Book being the other key feature), and they reward hosts who respond to customer demands.
List Prices According to Market Data
Pricing structures based on educated guesses are officially a thing of the past. Today, the most successful hosts rely on an arsenal of industry insights and market data to help them price listings in accordance with the ebb and flow of supply, demand, and ADRs of the surrounding market.
AllTheRooms Analytics provides a line of products ranging from Event Analysis Reports to Market Intelligence Reports that allow both hosts and those in the industries of tourism and public governance to make informed decisions in regards to the evolving vacation rental marketplace. Optimizing your pricing is another great way to market your vacation rental towards business travelers who have a keen eye for expenses.
Use a Channel Manager
Property management software like iGMS and Smoobu is key for any host looking for a more hands-off approach to their day-to-day management duties. In addition to providing an easy-to-use platform and syncing your calendars, many these services also publish your listings across all top online travel agencies. While Airbnb for Work is growing, many business travelers still look for their accommodations through traditional platforms like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and so on. Use a channel management software to maximize your listing’s visibility in places where businesses normally make bookings
Offer Private Transportation and Airport Pick-ups
A little networking goes a long way. Establish connections with a handful of local, friendly, reliable drivers who can drop everything to provide excellent transportation services for your guests. To and from the airport is the most obvious service, but some older clients may be unwilling to fumble with ride-sharing apps and happy to pay the extra dollar for private on-call service.
Provide an Invoice
This is a small touch that can go a long way in the eyes of prospective business clients. Rather than a simple receipt, draft up a formal invoice travelers can print or download at the end of their stay. This will make their bosses happy, and it will further solidify your reputation as a business travel-friendly vacation rental host, as well as kickstart your unique branding. Ideally, when another conference comes to town next quarter, you will have repeat guests knocking at your door.