Making Your Property Appeal to the Largest Generation in the World
Not just a fad, or a sub-culture; millennials are now the biggest demographic in the world. They have overtaken baby-boomers as the largest section of the population. Defined as those aged roughly between 18 and 34, they have disposable income, time and the freedom to travel, often at a moment’s notice. They are career focused, having children later than their parents and have a desire for new, original experiences and travels. In short, millennials could almost be called the ‘vacation rental generation’. They are digital natives. This is the first generation to grow up in the Internet. Immersed in technology. They are adept and skilled at using technology to research and book holiday accommodation as well being independent bookers. Only 10% of millennials will use a travel agent, the majority researching and booking their own trips, based on media information and anecdotal evidence from friends and family.
So, what do they want? What do millennials look for when booking a vacation rental property? Today we're running through the features that will make your property as appealing as possible for millennial travellers.
Mobile Responsive Websites
Hyper-connected, millennials may want to book or research from anywhere and at any time. Mobile responsive sites are expected as the norm rather than the exception to the rule. Not having a responsive site is a sure fire way to limit your appeal of your site to millennial guests.
For millennials, having to disconnect is similar to stepping into the wilderness. Not having WIFI is the sort of rustic escape that has to be planned in advance. A willful disconnection as opposed to a major inconvenience. WIFI can be a relatively inexpensive addition to your properties that is a major sticking point for millennial travellers. Even major hotel chains are not yet universally adopting free room WIFI or even expanding out of the lobby-based communal area. Vacation rentals can take this chance to advance and have high-speed WIFI as standard. This is merely the first generation that demand this service, so in many ways it is an investment for the future.
Social Media Sharing
Facebook and Twitter are still two of the biggest networks for millennials. The next generation are bringing with them newer networks like Snapchat and Instagram, but for millennials, Facebook and Twitter still reign supreme. Give your guests impetus to connect with you on these portals. Consider millennial guests as offering a ringing endorsement to their friends and family every time they connect with your business.
They want to share their experiences with their family and friends so give your guests the opportunity to share experiences that are unique and captivating. Part of this means you can get some of your work done for you by your guests. Encouraging user generated content means your site and your social media can be filled with rich, captivating content that your millennial guests will love, and share. Photo and caption contests are a great way to start this.
Last Minute Bookings and Offers
60% of mobile bookings for hotels happened within 24 hours of staying. If you can apply this hotel style speed and convenience to your properties then you can see more bookings coming from millennial travellers, as well as the last minute gaps in your booking calendar being filled up. Having last minute availability is not a disaster. Using a Revenue Management system will allow you set the best prices for your last minute properties, filling these gaps.
Research and Reviews
Millennial travellers have the technology and expertise to find out everything they need to know about your properties. Buy the time it comes to booking, they will know everything about your property there is to know. They will have made comparisons, checked prices and amenities and your competition in the local area. SEO optimised content will ensure that your site comes up in their research searches. Have content that answers their search questions and gives valuable information on your local area. Interesting content will also funnel these researchers towards your site and closer to booking. The more your guests can find out about your property and area, the more likely then will be to book.Numerous reviews, on various websites, will also make sure your business is seen and will give credibility to each glowing review. Ask every guest to leave one and promote your best reviews on your website.
These are the basics for making sure your site and business is geared towards the largest generation of travellers and a major part of the vacation rental industry.