As the corporate traveler segment grows in the short-term rental industry, it is becoming more important for property managers to attract business travelers to their vacation rentals and to turn them into repeat guests.
If you have a rental property in a location close to one of your city’s popular convention centers or other business-focused amenities, you should be able to easily attract business travelers and have them book with you. But just because your properties’ locations are not close to typical business hubs, doesn’t mean you are out of luck.
The business travel segment is rapidly growing because of changing corporate consumer preferences. Millennials are extending business trips for leisure, teams are looking to develop chemistry during corporate offsites, and businesspeople don’t want to be in a stuffy hotel for weeklong trips.
Business travel accounts for 15% of nights booked with Airbnb, and many property managers are putting in the extra effort to attract business travelers to their rentals. The growing demand for private rentals among business travelers has spurred Airbnb to launch Airbnb for Work, a new program dedicated to business travel.
The reasons you want to attract business travelers to your rental are strong. Professionals tend to travel frequently to the same cities, allowing for more repeat bookings. And business travelers tend to have large networking circles, meaning if they enjoy their stay with you, they will likely refer colleagues to your property as well.
So, how do you attract business travelers to your vacation rental?
Provide an ergonomic workspace. Create a thoughtfully decorated office space in your vacation rental. You don’t need to convert a bedroom into a dedicated office space, but making sure that your guests have what they need to be productive, creative, and collaborative are best practices. Amenities like good lighting, fast Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a large desk area are sure to make a good impression. It is best to plan for too many people using your space rather than too few, as many times more than one person will be working out of your property. Adding a fax machine, printer, and extra office supplies are great additions as well. Don’t forget to highlight your collaborative workspace in your listing’s photos!
Help them relax. While it’s important to give your business guests a space to work in, it will be even more appreciated if you give them an outlet for relaxation. Whether it’s a comfy couch in front of soothing fireplace, a big screen TV with one-button access to Netflix, or a huge soaker tub with an array of calming bath treats, have one or more clearly defined relaxation options that will help your guests unwind after a long day of meetings.
Keep it simple for them. Traveling for work can be exhausting. Business travelers spend the majority of their time on the clock, working and running back-and-forth between from meetings. They’re most likely used to staying in hotels with many comforts and amenities, so if you wish to attract repeat business travelers, strive to make everything as easy as possible for them, especially the check-in and check-out process. A lockbox or keypad entry, for instance, would be much preferred to having your guest wait to meet someone for a key.
Help them live like a local. Traveling for work typically has boring and exhausting undertones. Make your guests’ stay as pleasant as possible by taking out all of the guess work for them. You know where to get the best coffee and sandwich shops are in your neighborhood, but your guests don’t. Provide a guidebook of your favorite spots for coffee, dinner, nightlife, live music, boutique shopping, laundry service, and parking—the types of information you would like to have if you were in an unfamiliar city. Be sure to add in notes about for each like “great place to take a client” or “go-to for locals.”
Bonus points if you put this information in a digital version of your welcome book so your guests can take it along with them, wherever they go.
Invest in their sleep. Your guests deserve a good night’s sleep, and because business travelers are used to hotels, they’re used to quality beds. You should have the best beds you can afford, with comfortable pillows and hotel-quality bedding. Give your guests the gift of a great sleep.
Anticipate their other needs. Think about what business travelers may need during their stay, and have as many of those things on hand as you can. Some ideas include:
· Welcome basket with snacks
· Iron and ironing board
· Coffee maker and quality coffee
· Travel coffee mug
· Carbonated water
· White noise for sleeping
· Ear plugs and sleep mask
· Lint brush
· Washer and dryer
· Toothpaste, disposable razor, and other toiletries
Again, always keep in mind that business travelers tend to visit the same cities over and over, so if you manage to attract business travelers and 'wow' them during their stay, with some of these tips from us here at MyVR, you will quite likely have the pleasure of hosting them again and again!