Millennials, adults between the ages of 18-34, make up the largest generation in the US at over 75 million. Marketing to and filling the needs of this generation is vital for on-going success of any vacation management company. Almost three quarters of Millennials have used some kind of vacation rental service such as VRguest, Airbnb or Homeaway. That number drops significantly for Generation Y and even less for Baby Boomers.
I put together a list of
- In a recent survey Millennials are willing to pay more for a rental if it is equipped with automation technology. Things like remote key-less door entry, direct to house check in, voice controlled music, HVAC controls, voice-activated lighting controls etc are all heavily used by many Millennials in their daily lives. These same services are expected when they are looking at vacation rentals.
- The current generation likes to have everything easy, painless and convenient. The booking process is no different. Millennials are not interested in calling VRM’s and booking rentals, they want easy and convenient. For that reason it is very important to have at least some of your units available for instant bookings that only required a few button clicks to make the reservation.
- Your website should also be mobile-friendly. Most Millennials almost exclusively use mobile devices as their main method for searching the web and making purchases. That also is true for renting vacation rentals as well. Make sure your website navigates easily, pictures are bright and clear and your website is easily scrollable.
- Millennials like to travel with groups and be social. Place an emphasis on making the rentals accommodating to larger groups with things like bunk beds, pullout sleeper sofas and open living spaces that encourage socializing.
- Your company should be well connected across all networking channels. Not all guests will reach out by phone so make sure you are accessible by as many ways as possible. That should include Facebook messenger, website chat, email, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp etc.
- Speaking of Instagram, the cheapest form of advertisement is your own guests promotion of the rental they are staying in. What better way to capture this than to decorate a rental that begs to be shared on social media. It doesn’t have to be overly extravagant but definitely picture-worthy.
- Millennials are looking for more than just a place to crash. They are looking for memorable experiences that they can share with there friends and family. Creating experiences is what they are looking for. It could be anything from sand boarding in Peru to getting a drink with friends at the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in New York.
- Your vacation rental should be eco-friendly which is very important for Millennials. They are very concerned about over using natural resources, pollutions, climate change etc. If your rental has solar panels, energy saving features, close to public transportation, close to local fresh markets or farmers markets, low-flow shower head, smart thermostat, reclaimed or vintage furniture make sure you advertise it. These are things that are important to them and are very marketable.
- List popular local attractions like craft breweries, health conscious eateries, small music venues and anything else that may be attractive to a younger person coming to the area. They are not the type of crowd to pull up a lounge chair and sit on the patio for their entire vacation. They like to be on the move, socialize and see the local sites like a local would.
These are just a few things you can do to help attract Millennials to your vacation rental. Remember that they like to be interacted with. Don’t blindly mass market your properties without personal interaction. That’s a big turn off for for them. Paid video ads, website pop-ups and mass emails are largely ignored by the Millennial buyer across all markets so use a personal touch and interact, you will get a much better response and possibly open doors to a whole new group of travelers.