HomeAway is constantly working hard to match you, the homeowner, with the perfect traveller.
As such, we constantly conduct extensive research on the types of travellers that book on our sites in order to help you understand their distinct needs.
Here is a sneak peek of our travellers – Families, Groups and Millennials – as well as useful tips for you to help them create long lasting memories in your home.
Meet Rebecca, a manager based in Singapore. The first three months of every year keep her occupied with work. But, despite her busy work schedule, her family is still her priority. She reserves a big portion of her leave to have a long holiday in June, to coincide with her the school holidays. Planning usually starts between April – May, for a trip that will last for about 8 nights.
Rebecca does her research on both her mobile phone app, when she’s on-the-go, and her laptop when she has a break in the office. Upon shortlisting options, she will share them with her husband and children to gather their input.
From this, we already know the importance of having the following:
- Optimising property photos: The quality and quantity of the property photos plays a critical role in not only attracting potential travellers, but also for them to determine if the layout and quality of the property is suitable.
- Traveller Reviews: Nothing works as well as hearing it from previous guests who have experienced staying in the property. Travellers place a lot of wight on ratings and reviews, and gauges the credibility of not just the property, but also the homeowners, from reviews.
Rebecca’s family does not mind staying in a sub-urban area as long as it is still convenient to go to the city centre. In fact, it could even be a better choice for the family as it allows them to have a more relaxed holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They would also prefer it if there is a communal space where they can interact as a group – be it a large living room with board games and movie collections, a BBQ pit in the garden or a swimming pool!
What Rebecca and families are seeking in properties:
- Wi-Fi: The internet is indispensable. After all, what is a holiday without check-ins, Instagram pictures, and ‘getting-away-this-Monday’ tweets! So make it a point to mention whether Wi-Fi is available (ideally, it always should be) and the speed too. Print the password out and make it easily accessible so that guests don’t need to contact you for it.
- Air Conditioner: This may not be critical for HomeAways in countries that are cold throughout the year (in which case a heater would be essential). But if your home is located in sunny Singapore or any other hot/humid country, an AC is a must. Do ensure that the servicing is up to date; the remotes are working; and are placed where they can be easily seen.
- Family/Kid-Friendly: HomeAways are often the first choice for families and large groups. Your home must be child-friendly and if there are any toys, board games, gaming consoles, etc., do let your guests know.
- Kitchen: Travellers choose HomeAways over hotels for a home-like environment, and a well-equipped kitchen will make your property more appealing to a potential guest. Do list out features in detail like dishwasher, electric kettle, coffee machine, cutlery, wine glasses, microwave, fridge, etc. While mummy may not want to cook on a holiday, having the option (and the space!) to whip a quick meal is always good.
Meet Sheryl, an advertising executive based in Hong Kong. She is detailed-oriented and thoughtful – she remembers the birthday of all the people she cares and is always the planner of the group or family. She makes sure that any property she books can meet the needs of the group and help to minimise drama while maximising their time spent together!
Apart from bathroom essentials, she ensures that basic amenities like a hair dryer and washing machine are available in the property. While hair dryer is especially crucial for her lady friends and herself, washing machine allows the group to travel lighter.
As she enjoys planning, she also volunteers to plan for corporate retreats too. For this type of event, having a large common room that can accommodate all the attendees is key. If that option is not available, she will then look for properties situated within close distances to each other.
Value-added services of help to Sheryl and her group-planning:
- Luggage drop-off & storage: Due to the differences in time zone and off-timing flight schedule for budget airlines, requests for early arrival or late departure from travellers are bound to happen. The likelihood increases when the travellers are in large group as they would carry several bulky items.
- Disposable utensils such as cutleries and plates: would come in handy as they would most likely dine at the property. Providing this would help you avoid shocking water bills!
- Multiple sleeping arrangements: to optimise your space such as multi-functional sofa bed, daybeds or even bunk beds.
Meet Benjamin, a millennial working in a technology start-up company. He craves for new experiences in exotic places that he has never been to. Although he usually travels with his significant other, he is also open to travelling solo – something that is gaining popularity here especially among the younger generation in Asia. It is appealing as solo travels allows him to have greater control and flexibility over his travel experience.
Similarly to the typical of millennials like Benjamin, he is attracted to unconventional, quirky properties that he can share with his network of family, friends and followers on his social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Having ‘insta-worthy’ content is important tfor Benjamin who likes to share his experiences in real-time. As such, being connected is also an utmost priority for him. A property that includes Wi-Fi and provides portable WiFi devices is a bonus!
Unlike the older generations, Benjamin and other millennials value experiences a lot more than material possessions. He would not mind taking unpaid leave days in order to extend his holiday to make sure he gets the most out of his travels. In fact, more and more companies these days are adopting a forward-thinking mindset and allow greater flexibility for employees to work remotely or from their global offices, if they have any.
Quick tips to attract millennials:
- Transform at least one part of your home to be uniquely to the city (e.g kimono or samurai display in the living room at homes in Kyoto).
- Offer attractive prices for days post their intended check-out date so that they can consider extending their holiday. This way, you can also have the opportunity to fill out any awkward gaps in your calendar and earn some additional income. You can also consider offering special discounts during the low seasons so that they will be enticed to book an an impromptu getaway!
- A working space within your property comfortable enough for guests to work from if they happen to be digital nomads working or students looking for a little inspiration for assignments!
Now that you know a little bit more about the type of travellers who book on HomeAway, we encourage you to take another look at your current listing. Have you checked all the amenities available? Could your headline be more attractive? Is it time to give your apartment a fresh coat of paint? Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh perspective, which does not necessarily require a lot of money.
Travellers are not just looking for a home to stay in, they’re looking for an experience! And it all starts from the moment they begin searching on HomeAway. 🙂