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Vacation Rental Marketing: Two Key Demographics in 2021

Marketing your vacation rentals is more important than ever.  But like any type of marketing, vacation rental marketing is more effective when you do your homework and target a precise audience. Placing your listings in front of as many travelers as possible is a good start; placing your listings in front of the appropriate travelers,...

Marketing your vacation rentals is more important than ever

But like any type of marketing, vacation rental marketing is more effective when you do your homework and target a precise audience. Placing your listings in front of as many travelers as possible is a good start; placing your listings in front of the
appropriate travelers, though, is the real secret to success. 

As we slowly emerge into a post-COVID world, then, the question we need to ask is:
who will be traveling the most in 2021? 

Recent data in vacation rental marketing demographics provide the answer to that question with two key groups of travelers, meaning you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly and make your vacation rentals stand out. 


Vacation Rental Marketing Demographics 2021: Bucket Listers

Every year, Expedia conducts a “Vacation Deprivation Study” that analyzes work-life balance trends around the globe. This year’s edition of the annual research revealed that in 10 of the 16 major markets surveyed, vacation deprivation is on the rise. 


In the U.S., 64% of respondents reported deprivation; that number was as low as 50% just three years ago. Similar trends appeared in Canada, the U.K., and throughout Europe.

Source: Expedia’s annual “Vacation Deprivation” study


Now for some good news: Expedia’s study also revealed that people all over the world plan to take at least an extra week of vacation this year, leaving more time for them to travel—and more time for them to cross off items on their bucket lists.


Indeed, bucket-list travelers are primed to run rampant in the months ahead. Expedia reports that 66% of people in their research have been inspired to create a bucket list, and the longer the pandemic has lasted, the longer the lists have grown. 


A whopping 61% of those survey participants also claim they are willing to spend more money on their bucket-list vacations than they originally planned.  


Clearly, the pent-up demand is there and so is the cash. 


Expedia’s data shows that American travelers are currently flocking to warm areas, which is understandable, considering the study was conducted during the winter months. So Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Oahu, and Maui have all reported a surge domestically, and destinations like Cancun and Los Cabos have enjoyed an uptick in international travel. 


Once winter and the early parts of spring give way to summer, though, we can expect bucket-list trips to spike and destinations around the country to enjoy the influx of travel that warm-weather areas are currently experiencing. 


Vacation Rental Marketing Demographics 2021: Millennials

Millennials travel more than any other generation, and after the past year, they’re more ready than ever to get out and go. The best part? Millennials typically don’t stay at hotels. They search around for short-term rentals, instead. 


Because of that, their vacation-booking process is totally different than previous generations. Travel agents have essentially been replaced by technology: according to Lodgify, more than 90% of the millennial generation uses a smartphone on a daily basis. Do you think they use those phones to book vacations? Oh, you bet! 


Property managers and vacation-rental hosts need to not only factor millennial wanderlust into their marketing strategies but also the techniques younger generations use to search for and choose places to stay. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you remain ahead of the curve:

Top 2021 Travelers: Millennials & Bucket Listers


  • Be visible on OTAs: Millennials shop around. In fact, statistics show that travelers sift through an average of four different online travel sites before finally booking a stay. So it is imperative for you to maximize exposure, and the best way to do that is by listing rentals on multiple OTAs. That way, as millennials bounce from Airbnb to VRBO to while comparing pricing and reading reviews, your listings remain front and center no matter the venue.


  • Be visible on social media: With such bountiful options available to them on OTAs, millennials also utilize social media to complement their research. According to Skift, 72% of millennials can be influenced by accommodation-related advertising. When you consider that roughly 90% of the millennial generation is active on social media, it’s a no-brainer: vacation rental owners need to be present on these platforms.


  • Showcase the appropriate amenities: All that research empowers millennials to get maximum bang for their buck. They know exactly what they’re looking for, and when it comes to amenities and features, millennials generally gravitate toward up-to-date rentals with perks like high-speed WiFi, fully equipped kitchens, and streaming services such as Netflix. But let’s take it a step further: if your rental has some really cool, unique features, you can pretty much bank on your millennial guests sharing those details on their own social media feeds. That’s free advertising for your business, not to mention, it plays right into your goal of being more visible online. A true win-win!


  • Prioritize your visual content: Lastly, you can and absolutely should use your visual content to drive bookings. It starts with your photos: millennials tend to be very visual consumers, and often, their purchases boil down to the perceived quality of whatever they’re looking at. On a daily basis, we are all bombarded with content, and ultimately, some of that content stands above the rest. Your visual content is your first and perhaps only chance to make a lasting impression—it can either draw online shoppers into your listing, or it can turn them away and compel them to keep browsing. Put your best foot forward with a set of high-quality, thoughtfully planned photos of your property in order to attract travelers from any generation.