September 24, 2015

Changes in the Vacation Rental Industry associate, Taylor King, spent the weekend in beautiful Los Angeles for the HomeAway Summit. These are the lessons he learned:

I got to spend this past weekend in Los Angeles for the HomeAway Summit. There are a lot of exciting shifts taking place in the vacation rental industry. Here are a few highlights:

Back in 2007, only 10% of the US population had stayed in a vacation rental. This year, that number has ballooned to over 50% with more people opting for vacation rentals, rather than hotel rooms, every day. HomeAway alone sees 37% of its inquiries coming from first time renters. In addition, the past four years have seen a 57% increase in the purchase of vacation rentals, and with over 17,000 travel apps now in existence, there is more inventory and more avenues than ever before to book vacation rentals leading to a continued upward trend for this industry.

Within these numbers an interesting trend has emerged. The largest profile of vacation renters is increasingly becoming the younger generations (18-34 years of age). With more money to spend and more time spent vacationing each year the industry is evolving to cater to this group. But what does this mean for homeowners alike?

Up-to-date profiles and speed rule all. Renters are more frequently opting to make reservations a few weeks out rather than the traditional month or two ahead of time, placing a premium on keeping calendars up-to-date. The average renter makes seven inquiries, receives five responses and has three touch points over a nine day period before a reservation is made. By being the first to respond and offering online booking, rather than solely over phone or email, a homeowner greatly increases the chances that the property will be chosen over the competition.

Further, the shift to mobile browsing means renters increasingly rely on high quality pictures.

While the shifting trends may demand more of your time to run a successful vacation rental, the long term payout will be worth it.

What changes will you be making to the way you manage your rental properties? Let us know in the comments below!

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