To be successful in any industry, you need to ensure that you keep tabs on the emerging trends. Though, what you do with that information is what matters most. Using the information to identify gaps in the market and then responding appropriately to the changing needs of customers are key. In many instances, this means that you need to be willing to change, for example, your target audience, cancelation policy, minimum length of stay, etc.
Many of this month’s main news events are great examples of how stakeholders in the industry have implemented new policies and products to meet the gaps in the market.
Let’s find out more about what’s new as we prepare for the new season.
iGMS is now officially integrated with Booking.com, one of the largest online travel platforms. The new direct integration with Booking.com offers many new opportunities to current and new iGMS users.
What’s more, hosts will also be able to receive a payout without first having to log off their iGMS account by connecting a Stripe account to iGMS. To boost their occupancy rate, it’s important for hosts to increase their presence on different OTAs. With this in mind, on top of the existing functionality iGMS has introduced a set of new features enabling hosts to manage their properties on Booking.com as well.
Booking.com’s data has shown that guests traveling for leisure are starting to opt more for longer stays as they prefer to unwind in one place. Also, with more people working from home, the digital nomadic lifestyle is on the increase, resulting in longer stays being booked.
In response to this increase in longer bookings, Booking.com has now introduced monthly and weekly rates. In order to qualify for the weekly or monthly rates, the stay should be at least for 7 nights or 28 nights respectively. The vacation rental platform has also introduced a pilot program in certain cities to accommodate travelers who would like to make a reservation for longer than 30 nights.
Booking.com’s commercial director, Gianbattista Vespucci, explained on the platform’s website that accommodation providers should look at all growing segments in order to improve their occupancy rate. He added, “The rise in long-stay demand offers partners an opportunity to reach and capture new markets – such as domestic vacationers, families, remote workers and expatriates, to name a few – while boosting occupancy and increasing revenue.”
In addition to helping to increase the occupancy rate, by accepting longer stays, hosts can also reduce the effort as there will be fewer turnovers.
The Association for Short-Term Rental Homeowners (ASTRHO) has been launched to provide owners of short-term rentals with more educational resources. The president of the ASTRHO board, Heather Richer, commented that their aim is to create a professional community and help advance this specific segment.
The website of the association provides discussion boards, e-learning courses, and opportunities for networking. To join, homeowners have to pay a monthly fee of only $10. They also offer a free two-week trial.
It will now be easier for property owners to use Alexa in their properties. Amazon has introduced a new Alexa to help manage residential buildings.
A property manager will be able to tailor the Alexa device for individual properties. The device will also be able to be reset remotely to its standard settings after a guest has checked out. In the past, guests have shared their issues regarding the threat that smart home technology can pose to their privacy. Therefore, this new feature that will boost transparency and trust could be a great solution.
Matt Landau, the founder of Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB) has now launched another valuable resource for vacation rental managers. “How To Save Your Vacation Rental Business” is a new podcast series that will help vacation rental managers with unfair regulations. The series, consisting of 10 episodes, will be hosted by Dana Lubner, the director of sales at Effortless Rental Group.
Lubner is no stranger to dealing with regulations. Her company faced the risk of having to close its doors earlier this year when Denver’s hosting community experienced some issues with problematic operators. In response, she arranged the Good Neighbor Summit to get professionals in the industry together to put in place some standards.
Airbnb has shared new trends that have emerged in the United Kingdom. Local and coastal travel is still popular, but demand for urban destinations have started to pick up again. Another emerging trend is that travelers are more interested in unconventional accommodation and interactive experiences online. Treehouses, tiny homes, domes, huts, and cabins prove to be popular choices!
The UK has announced stricter rules relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to Airbnb’s data travelers are still keen to plan their next holiday. Some of the top UK destinations currently include Pembroke Dock in Wales, Warton in England, and Eyemouth in Scotland.
The Frontline Stays program that was launched by Airbnb earlier this year enabling hosts to open their rentals to healthcare workers has proved to be a tremendous success. Since it was introduced, healthcare workers have booked more than 200,000 nights! In addition to using the platform to book stays, more than 10% of US Airbnb hosts are healthcare workers themselves.