Spanish holiday rental specialists, España Breaks, have produced a beautiful chart of what features of a holiday let property actually makes a difference to those renting them.
January remains the most important indicator of booking patterns in the annual holiday season so we decided to analyse our 2012 enquiry data to see how key features in a property can impact enquiry levels. The statistics confirmed some established truths but also threw up some surprises.
We popped the results into this handy infographic; if you own a holiday rental in Spain and want more bookings, make this your bible.
How we compiled the data
These statistics are based on holiday enquiries generated across our entire portfolio at España Breaks in January 2012. The figures compare the average overall enquiry rate per property (the baseline) with enquiries for properties that contain certain key features.
The infographic highlights the eye brow raisers and stand out features that raise interest from potential guests:
WiFi comes of age
Smartphones have caused explosive demand for Internet access while on holiday and it is no longer the preserve of workaholic execs who read email by the pool. People’s urge to upload a video of themselves belly flopping into the sea straight to Facebook is irresistible.
It’s interesting how demand has changed: Back in 2007, a property offering Internet access got precisely 0% more enquiries. It’s now the star of our gadget category and this demand can only grow in the coming years.
Compensating for a large property
The majority of holidaymakers travel in groups of four people or less, a fact that naturally suppresses interest in larger properties. This is generally offset by the higher rental rates a large property can attract but owners can further compensate for reduced volume by doing the following:
- Include key features as standard – large properties that include a large number of the most popular features will catch up with their smaller, less well equipped counterparts.
- Compete on price – 3 bedroom properties in particular can increase demand by closing the price gap with their 2 bedroom competitors.
Avoiding guest reviews is a mistake
Reviews have always been controversial in the owner community. We won’t go back to that well worn debate but the facts speak for themselves: Properties with reviews from past guest get lots more enquiries. (We also analysed the effect on enquiries levels for un-reviewed property: They received 40% less enquiries than average.)
Reviews can make owners very uncomfortable. We understand the dilemma, but failing to harness their power is a clear error in your approach to rentals.
Fact: Ironing isn’t exciting
The inclusion of an ironing board has no effect on enquiry rates at all. This isn’t surprising; people searching for holidays are thinking about time around the pool rather than laundry arrangements. We still think owners should include one, just don’t expect any prizes.
The surprise feature is the humble hair dryer – a cheap feature that raises enquiry levels a whopping 17%. We think this says lots more about a guest’s frame of mind when booking a holiday: They are trying to picture the fun times, which will include going out and looking gorgeous in the evening. For girls in particular, that means a hair dryer.
The wider lesson here is about using online advertisements to create a blank canvas on which guests can draw an inspiring narrative for their holiday. In short – get them excited.