Rental homes challenge hotels among vacationers

Geoff Roberts
Geoff Roberts | 2 min. read

Published on April 16, 2013

A hotel is the traditional destination of choice for an individual or family going on vacation. But that seems to be changing. Today rental homes are all the rage, at least among U.S. travelers.

That’s the upshot of TripAdvisor’s fourth annual vacation rentals survey. Nearly half (49%) of those who responded to the survey plan to stay in a rental home in 2013 as opposed to a hotel, up 9% from 2011. “The survey results show that rental properties continue to be a very desirable accommodation option among U.S. travelers,” said Brooke Ferenscik, director of communications at TripAdvisor.

When asked why they were opting for a rental home instead of a hotel, 82% of respondents cited savings and last-minute deals as the two biggest reasons. In terms of benefits, those renting homes vs. hotels cited access to a full kitchen/laundry room (31%) and more living space (27%) as the two biggest advantages. And what do renters look for in a vacation home? A private beach (25%), amazing view (18%) and private pool (18%) topped the list.

So what does this all mean for you? Here are a few things to consider.

Are Your Properties Suitable as Vacation Rentals?

Investigate what prospective renters desire in a rental home by looking into your competitors’ offerings.

How Will You Stage or Prepare the Rental?

Vacationers will be expecting a fully furnished and equipped home when they arrive.

Will Your Rental Be Seasonal or Year-Round?

In some markets, it might make sense to lease the home during the off-season in order to maximize your revenue stream.

What Will You Charge?

Note that vacationers want the feeling of a home away from home; but depending on the area, you may not be able to charge a premium price for the home. Consider what area hotels and even other rental homes charge. Also consider last-minute deals to fill vacancies.

What’s your experience with vacation rental homes? Please leave a comment below to continue the conversation.

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Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.

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