New vacation rental study highlights hospitality industry trends

by Hostfully Founders: Margot Schmorak, David Jacoby and Noah Nieman
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Hostfully has just released a report highlighting hospitality trends in the vacation rental industry.

The report, “The X Factor in Vacation Rental Travel: Hospitality,” consists of a survey and interviews with 60 vacation rental managers, and data from over 4000 vacation rental properties.

Highlights from the report include the need for better vacation rental management tools, a growing interest in certain amenities and services, the importance of local recommendations, and booking channel distribution.

 

Hostfully’s CEO, Margot Schmorak elaborates, “What we found was that the current software available to vacation rental managers focus primarily on getting the reservation, but are not equipped to manage the operations of providing a 5-star hospitality experience. Most managers use tools outside of their primary property management software, or simply give up on trying to offer enhanced services altogether.”

Being aware of the trends contained in the report can help vacation rental management companies (VRMCs) capitalize on current consumer preferences and habits in order to maximize demand for their rental properties.

Hospitality is a key advantage

The Hostfully report includes insights from a number of industry experts like Steven Carvell, Professor of finance and former Associate Dean of Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Carvell noted in the report that, “Hospitality will become more and more of a differentiator for vacation rental companies.”

In their coverage of this report, Skift observed that “While the majority of vacation rental managers are most concerned with getting bookings, they’re also increasingly concerned with the quality of the overall guest experience.”

This means that vacation rental companies who can best cater to the hospitality needs of vacationers will gain a competitive advantage. Results from the study further bolster Carvell’s conclusion, but challenges remain. In fact, 84% of companies offer or want to offer hospitality services that can’t be managed through property management software.

 

Therefore, vacation rental companies want to provide better hospitality — but these services cannot be managed through existing property management software.

Personalization is a key differentiator

Carvell’s insights are just some of many from distinguished vacation rental industry experts that can be found in the Hostfully report. Another expert who provided insight in the report is Susan Doull, owner of Commendable Rentals. Doull said that: “As trends move quickly towards more and more automation in the Vacation Rental Industry, the personal touch will always be the differentiator.”

The study found that one of the best ways that personalization and technology can be united is through local recommendations. Specifically, 87% of survey respondents indicated that they want to improve their guidebooks and communication with guests regarding local recommendations.

 

Margot Schmorak, CEO of Hostfully, agrees: “What we are seeing is a growing interest by VRMCs in providing digitized local recommendations to their guests. Why are they doing this? Because it enhances guest experience, and ultimately the bottom line of VRMCs.”

Desired hospitality services

Another informative topic contained in the Hostfully report relates to the types of services vacation rental companies would like to offer. The top five results of this specific section included: groceries pre-arrival, tours and activities, other concierge services, spa/massage services, and mid-day cleaning.

The results of industry surveys such as this one provide critical market information for VRMCs and hospitality professionals. Particularly in a digital age where toolsets, booking channels, and guest expectations are changing before our eyes.

Help keep your vacation rental business ahead of the curve, and download your copy today of The X Factor in Vacation Rental Travel: Hospitality.

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