Whether you are just starting out on a short term rental service, or you’ve been doing it for awhile and are looking to increase your occupancy rate, the very first thing to do is figure out your rental audience – who would be interested in staying in your rental, and how can you appeal to those people? Below we cover 4 things to think about in helping to determine your renter demographic.
This can be a little counter-intuitive. A lot of hosts make the mistake of thinking they should appeal to EVERYONE, and end up appealing to NO ONE. You can make your space work for different types of trips (family, work, romantic getaway) but you need to take the time to think about who you are trying to appeal to first.
1) Look Around:
Think about why a person would be coming to your neighborhood. In a city like Los Angeles, there could be a million reasons so zoom in on your area: are there office buildings near by? An amusement park? Is it mostly residential, maybe people come to visit family?
2) Your Space:
The type of space you have to work with can be a major determining factor in what direction to go with your marketing. Are you renting out a studio apartment or a 5 bedroom house? These will obviously appeal to very different groups. A studio apartment can be perfect for a single person on a business trip, or a thrifty couple on a romantic getaway. A larger house will either be a big family, or a group in town for a wedding.
3) The Budget:
The per night charge for your rental is based on many factors, including #2 above, but another is the level of luxury your guests can expect to find in your rental. And that is 100% controlled by you, the host. Demanding a higher per night charge for your rental requires some cost on your part in extra amenities. If you are willing to put in that effort and expenditure, it will pay you back. This can also help determine what type of guest you are aiming for. Successful business person on a work trip? Or backpacking couple on a shoestring budget? There is room in the short term rental market for both, but you need to decide which one you are in order to meet guest expectations.
4) The Competition:
If you still aren’t sure what type of traveler might be interested in your space, take a look at the properties in your neighborhood. Is there an obvious gap in the market that you can fill? For example, are all the other properties high budget houses? Your apartment is perfect for the traveler on a budget. Or, are they all pretty low budget? You can situate yourself to offer a high end luxury experience.
On the other hand, maybe there is an eclectic mix of properties available, but you notice that all the reviews for properties near you were left by people traveling with their families. Then you better offer the very best family experience possible, in order to stand out.
Running a short term rental is a business like any other, and anyone has taken Marketing 101 will tell you that the first step is knowing your rental audience. Taking the time to give this some thought will give your design much needed direction, and will absolutely pay off in the long run. Happy Planning!