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What Millennials Look For in Vacation Rentals

Millennials, also referred to as Generation Y, encompassed 73m individuals in the United States in 2017. Further, China's millennial generation in itself, for example, is bigger than the whole population of the USA. A quarter of the world's population are millennials. With immense size comes big purchasing power. But who are millennials? Generation Y describes individuals who were born between 1980 and 1995. The term is often used to define a consumer group with certain habits and preferences. While of course individual consumer behaviours can differ greatly, certain overarching trends can certainly be observed. Millennials are known for their insatiable thirst for travel and unique experiences. Gone are the heydays for resorts and hotels with copy-and-paste rooms and offerings. Statistics and studies agree that Generation Y has taken a particular liking to Airbnb versus hotels. In 2017, for instance, 36% of American and Europeans who used Airbnb for accommodation were between 25 and 34 years old. The second largest group (23%) were between 35 and 44 years old. Moreover, millennial travellers are budget-conscious. Vacation rentals offer more value for money in terms of space. Additionally, most rentals are equipped with kitchens making it possible to cook and safe money. Ultimately, millennials are the consumer group you need to cater for if you want to grow your vacation rental business and successfully attract bookings. Therefore, it is important to consider what millennials specifically are looking for in short-term rentals and vacation homes. A multitude of studies have investigated the preferences of Generation Y. This helps us to draw below conclusions about what millennials are looking for in vacation rentals. Positive Online Reputation Former guests recommending you to friends and family can be an influential offline marketing tool for your

6 Vacation Rental Instagram Accounts to Watch

Today we are looking at operators who are attracting attention on Instagram. A well-thought-out and nicely-curated Instagram account that is getting noticed can bring in actual bookings and revenue. We have discussed this in-depth in a previous blog post - Social Media for Short-term Rentals. But what does a 'noticeable' Instagram account look like? Stay tuned for the 6 short-term rental Instagram accounts we are loving right now and what you can learn from them. @hideoutbali With over 145,000 followers, we are certainly are not the only ones who think this Instagram account is excellent. This vacation rental benefits from a great location and unusual tree-house like accommodation. However, going through their feed, you might notice that many stunning shots are reposts of previous guests who have huge followings of their own. Takeaway lesson: If you don't have the means yourself to create outstanding shots for your Instagram, working with influencers can provide you with great content and exposure. @bentapplefarm This Vermont cabin is self-proclaimedly ‘very Vermont’ and its Instagram accounts reflects that well. It gives an insight into what life on the property is like and what activities guests can engage in with the hosts. At the same time, warm-toned interior shots show what comforts await guests. @travelershomebnb It is obvious that this stylish Lisbon citypad is travel-themed and the feed’s fun, bright colors immediately draw in your attention. Dário, the Airbnb host, gives the account a real authentic touch by speaking in first person to his audience and sharing his local tips and tricks to enjoy in Portugal’s capital. @shimanto_riverside_hideaway The tranquillity of this Japanese get-away comes across perfectly in its feed. We love the minimalist but cozy shots of the property and

Short-term Rentals for the Chinese Market

Unless your vacation rental’s calendar is full every day of the year, you will be looking to increase bookings. There are a myriad of platforms out there to list your rental – such as the big ones like Airbnb, VRBO or Homeaway or Flip Key. However, even though you are present on theses pages, are you really reaching all potential guests out there?  A lucrative market, which remains largely untapped, is the large number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad. From 2016 to 2017 the number of vacations Chinese citizens were taking outside the country increased by 7% to 131 million occasions, for example. With that comes a huge spending power. In 2016 alone it amounted to over USD 261 billion for Chinese tourists abroad. So how do you reach Chinese travellers with an interest in staying in vacation rental? CertiStay had an opportunity to speak with an expert in the Chinese market, Donald Kim. Donald is VP of Business Development at Cozystay, which operates a platform for short-term rentals targeting Chinese vacationers. 1. Donald, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about what Cozystay does? Hi, it is a pleasure to be here. I’m the VP of Business Development for Cozystay and I’ve been working with the company since its launch in early 2015. The idea started with Galen, CEO/Founder, who initially looked at providing student housing for Chinese students in North America and then decided for a model similar to Airbnb but targeting the emerging Chinese tourism market. China has surpassed USA and Germany for outbound travel and will be the largest market for the next 10-15

5 Ways to Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out

Get your short-term rental noticed on listing sites! As a short-term rental host, you are probably facing some competition. There are exceptions, of course. Maybe you are in a very special location or catering for a specific niche with a highly unique listing. However, the average location rental is a small mackerel in the big sea of fish of other offerings. So how do you get yours noticed? How do you make it the rainbow fish of vacation rentals with 100% occupancy and plenty of booking requests? Here are 5 easy-to-implement tips to make your vacation rental stand out on listing sites like Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO. Get Picture Ready To get good pictures taken for your STR must be the most common advice to give hosts who want to improve their listing. However, I still see a lot of listings especially in the lower price segment with blurry, dark pictures. Photographs like that give me the impression that the accommodation is more likely to be a comfortable home for some supernatural beings than my family on holiday. Most smartphones are equipped with cameras fully capable to take good shots of your vacation rental. Make sure the bed sheets are crease-free, add some colourful touches (like bright cushions or a vase with flowers) and take the pictures during the day with as much natural light as possible. Professional pictures are of course preferable but can be costly. One tip would be work with local influencers on Instagram. This can be two-fold. As the first option, the influencer gets free accommodation for one or two nights in return for talking about the STR on his or her social channels (usually with images). As a second option, you