20 Important Vacation Rental Industry Trends to Watch Out for in 2018

vacation rental industry trends 2018

Your vacation rental property is expected to make you a lot more money in 2018 than it ever could in the past; and making money out of your vacation rental is, at the same time, going to require much more effort and strategizing than it ever did in yesteryears. Here’s a look at trends expected in the vacation rental business in 2018.

20 Vacation Rental Industry Trends That Will Shape Guest Experience in 2018

1. Number of People Booking Vacation Rentals Will Rise

An awesome piece of news for all vacation rental owners is that the accommodation type has risen enormously in popularity over the last few years and the trend is expected to continue in 2018. More and more guests across all ages are looking at spending their holidays based out of a home instead of a hotel.

Alternative accommodation, as the segment is known as, is an enticing option for those looking at immersing themselves in a new place culturally, for those seeking privacy and warmth, and for those looking at cost savings. So it is a great time for tapping into the market and making the most of the property you own.

2. Expect Guests to Expect More

As the alternative accommodation goes up in popularity, so do the expectations guests have from their experience during the stay. Even though cost savings remain a popular reason for people to choose rental homes over hotels, other factors such as an immersive, private and comfortable stay are extremely important to people trying to decide where to stay during their vacations.

So, you can expect guests to want as much comfort as they would get in a hotel, much more privacy, interesting activities and amenities to keep them amused, an authentic feel of the place and cost effectiveness at the same time.

3. Reviews to Play a Bigger Role in Influencing Booking Decisions

Vacations are one of the most memorable parts of people’s lives and they don’t want to take any chances there. Therefore, before booking their stay for their vacations, almost everybody would take a serious look at how previous guests have reviewed the place. Besides what you say about your own property and how the pictures depict it, reviews act as the deciding factor to whether people prefer your rental property to any other in the area.

In 2018, it is going to makes more sense than ever to request your happy guests to review your property. And in case there happen to be any negative reviews, respond to them with what steps you took or have taken to resolve the issue.

4. Longer Stays are a Likely Trend

Gone are the days of visiting a place only to see all the famous tourist sights of a place and going back home. Vacations mean a lot more than just ‘seeing’; they are now about experiencing and relaxing. To get a richer experience out of their travels, people stay in one place for much longer than they did in the past. And this holds especially true for people looking for vacation homes. So, as a vacation home owner, you can expect longer stays so come up with offers that make it all the more enticing for people to book you for longer.

5. Unique Experiences, Appealing Kitchen and Thoughtful Amenities will Win You More Guests

Memorable experiences and rejuvenation are quintessential elements of vacations. Offer your guests just that and your vacation rental would soon be a hot property on the block. When it comes to vacation homes in particular, people also look for a homely vibe and the ability to enjoy cooking and dining in with family. As a result, how appealing your kitchen is influences the booking decision. Use this factor to your advantage in 2018 by building a beautiful kitchen, equipping it well and letting it be known to your guests through all advertising portals.

6. Be Sure to Hire a Vacation Rental Manager

You don’t have much of a choice on whether to have a vacation rental manager to look after your property; it has become quite a necessity. If you want to be booked back-to-back in 2018, you are going to have to make that investment in your property. All the maintenance chores and services guests take almost for granted are a full-time task. You absolutely need a rental manager to do that bit for you. Hire a person who’s exceptionally good at his job and it will pay you back for sure.

7. Guests will Be More Keen on Experiences

A fast growing community of people around the world is shunning the traditional touristy model of travel and calling themselves hard core travelers. The top among their expectations from travel is to have immersive experiences. They want to live like the locals, do what the locals do and adopt an entirely new identity for their period of travel.

It is this set of experience seekers that is shaping the vacation rental market today. Simple things like decorating your home in the ethnic ways of your country can make a difference here.

8. More Bookings Likely through OTA Channels

People do not book vacation rentals the way they used to a decade ago. The way to go about it earlier was to make several inquiries into the availability of rental properties and then finalizing a booking. In the current day, people expect to have the option of making instant bookings over OTAs.

Vacation rental websites allow people go to for finding the best vacation homes in the segment and booking them reliably. So be there and be seen by your entire big potential clientele before your competitors grab the opportunity to.

9. Be Geared Up to Service More Last Minute Bookings

Previously, when people wanted to take a relatively longer vacation they’d start planning for it months in advance. This held particularly true for those who wanted to stay in rental homes. Now, however, vacation planning is much more impulsive in nature than it used to.

A lot of bookings are done within a month of travel. What this means for you as a vacation rental owner is that, you need to get really efficient at organizing your calendars. The role of booking automation software and a professional manager becomes all the more pronounced here.

10. Significance of Local Service Can Not Be Undermined

Your role as a vacation rental host does not end just at providing your guests a comfortable stay; you can take it much further by ensuring they have a great experience in your city. Organize cultural activities for them, provide them with personalized guided tours of the major tourist spots, keep them up to date with events around town that they might not know of. In addition, offering some delights like an authentic local food can boost people’s holiday experience in turn boosting your property’s user ratings.

11. Prep Up for Instant Book

Online bookings and payment gateways have eliminated the need for people to make elaborate enquiries before booking a place. People read about a property, watch pictures, read reviews and if it all looks fine to them they book instantly. If you add into this process another step of calling and booking manually, you could lose out on many precious opportunities. Not just people themselves but search results on major OTAs could also de-prioritize you in case you do not provide that option. Therefore, avoid being held back due to the lack of a basic feature and get it installed as soon as possible.

12. Many More Entrants in Vacation Rental Business Possible to Cater to the Rising Demand

The amazing popularity of vacation rentals is a cultural shift. More and more people are getting drawn into the community, and a large majority of them end up being loyal followers of the culture. The same community of people is also playing with the idea of owning vacation homes in their locations that they too can rent out for an additional buck. There is not a morsel of doubt about the burgeoning supply of rentals but the demand for them is also increasing proportionately if not more.

13. Mobile-Friendly Vacation Rental Sites Will Be in Demand

Almost everything people did on their desktops they do on their mobiles now, be it shopping, browsing or booking flights. Same way, the accommodation booking chores are fast making the move to mobile devices. All the major rental booking websites are already competing to give their users the easiest mobile experience through their websites as well as mobile apps. What you need to do here is, optimize your website (if you have one) for mobile.

14. Talk About Yourself Boldly

Enchant your guests with all things you can tell them about your property, the locality around it and your city. Build a website or a blog and use it to communicate with your potential guests. You could then use the content you create to reach out to people on social media. If the saying ‘Content is King’ holds true for the rest of the digital space, it holds equally true for the vacation rental industry as well. Another brilliant idea of storytelling would be to request for guest testimonials along with their personal pictures that show them having a nice time at your place, and display them on your portal.

15. Enhanced Professionalism Expected

People choose to stay in rental properties for a warm and homely vibe. But at the same time, they want their vacation to feel like a vacation, which means, getting at least some of the facilities that they would at a hotel; this could mean things like professional housekeeping, crisp linen, readily available help in case of any issues etc. As the industry grows up and gains a certain sophistication, guest expectations rise in tandem and an increased level of professionalism becomes absolutely necessary on your part.

16. Technological Advancements

The right technological infrastructure makes the task of managing bookings, leads and reviews very efficient. Moreover, if you wish to scale up, it will be an excellent idea to build your own website and promote it on the right platforms. You can outsource services like web design, reporting and onsite optimization to firms specializing in providing technological support to the hospitality industry. So start looking at how other successful vacation rentals around the world are managing their digital operations and take your cues from them.

17. Traveler Interest for Vacation Rentals to be at an All Time High

Traveler interest in vacation rentals is increasing by leaps and bounds. In a survey conducted in March 2015 on vacation rentals, the findings were exceptionally favorable towards vacation home owners with 60% travelers genuinely interested in staying in rentals for their upcoming vacations. This is a strong indication that is, as a property owner, you are ready to put in the work towards making your rental a fabulous place to stay; you will have no shortage of business at all.

18. Vacation Rentals will Need to Be More than a Vacation Rental

Vacation rentals are now a large segment of the travel accommodation industry and are often referred to as ‘alternative accommodation’. It’s a booming space made immensely popular by a host of vacation rental booking websites. A vacation rental, today, means an experience – people look for homes and hosts that appeal to them and they want it all booked just like they would book a hotel or a flight, that is, instantly.

19. Expect More of Family Travelers

Family reunion vacations are the most fun when they happen in a big house that lets the members share a common space. They can participate together in activities like cooking, playing games, going for swims and watching movies. It is no wonder then that vacation homes are extremely popular among family travelers and continue to further rise in popularity.

20. Make Your Rental Pet-friendly

Families vacationing together have it high on their list of priorities to be able to spend time with each other in a nice and peaceful setting; and when the entire family is together, they can certainly not miss out on a very important member – the pet. Pet owners would use specific filters on the homes being pet-friendly when they are doing a vacation property search. People want their pet to have as nice a time on vacation as they are themselves having. So if you don’t already advertise your property on the lines of pet-friendliness, you might want to start doing so immediately.

In the nutshell, it’s the golden age of vacation rental properties around the world. Brace up for immense gains in 2018 but do remember to put in the extra work for it all!

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