At their 2015 European Seminar in Dublin, the VRMA (Vacation Rental Managers Association) revealed that 58 per cent of vacation rental bookings in 2014 came via the internet.
Their Vacation Rental Industry Trends (Europe 2015) Report also shows that this is up on the previous year and compares with just 22 per cent of vacation rental bookings made through traditional travel agents.
Findings are of worldwide interest
This is just one of the significant findings thrown up by the Seminar which, though it focuses on the European market, offers plenty of food for thought for vacation rental owners worldwide.
Although the figures may differ in detail between Europe and the USA, the trend is clear: the internet is becoming an increasingly powerful factor in the vacation rental business. The message for independent vacation rental owners is that if you want to succeed, the internet should now be an integral part of running your property.
But this need not worry Homes and Rooms subscribers. Internet vacation rental bookings opens up a whole new world of opportunities and potential guests, while the dedicated services we provide will enable you to benefit with little effort.
Influences on travelers
VRMA meetings such as this one often generate much that is of interest to us as vacation rental owners. Still on the subject of the importance of the worldwide web, and contained in the same report, were some fascinating findings about what influences travelers evaluating vacation property listings on the web.
As expected, photos and good reviews were a high priority when making vacation rental bookings. Useful, informative descriptions and ‘amenities’, though trailing, were not far behind in importance. Not unexpected.
Eye-opener is calendar update frequency
But the real eye-opener is the importance attached to ‘calendar update frequency’ and ‘inquiry response time’.
Respondents were asked about their expectations when evaluating a rental. Around 78 per cent cited calendar update frequency – close to the 81 per cent who listed good reviews as a factor in their vacation rental bookings.
If these guests have to wait around for hours or days to get information and confirmation they may look elsewhere for a speedier response.
Imagine how pleased these potential guests would be if vacation rental websites and all listing sites were updated simultaneously to display their information in real time? They already are for Homes and Rooms subscribers.
If we were ever in any doubt about how the modern guest likes everything to happen quickly and painlessly with their vacation rental bookings, consider this: the item that scores highest (92 per cent) in what travelers expect in a listing site is…the ‘Book it now’ button!