Knowing how to advertise your property to different target markets is key to maximizing profits. Vacation rentals for seniors are a great way to appeal to one of the most active traveler demographics in the travel industry. Senior vacation rentals are properties tailored to the tastes and needs of older travelers. Targeting this group with those types of properties can be an excellent business strategy to make the most of your vacation rental property.
What are the benefits of attracting seniors for your vacation rentals?
Tapping into this demographic offers numerous benefits, including:
- Seniors are likely to be calmer, less risky guests. This means you won’t have to worry about wild parties or find your property damaged following a stay.
- Retired seniors have a greater amount of leisure time. Typically this demographic will book a longer average length of stay (LoS) in your vacation rental properties.
- Seniors may have more disposable income since they likely have a fixed pension and fewer expenses than, for example, a family with children. Seniors will be more likely to book the more expensive properties in your inventory.
How to capitalize on the senior vacation rental traveler demographic
It’s time to look at catering for this highly profitable niche. There are several simple steps you can take to make your rentals for seniors as attractive as possible.
Increase the number of distribution channels
The first step to success in senior vacation rentals is using a variety of platforms to advertise your properties. Listing your property on multiple platforms such as Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com will increase its exposure and result in more bookings.
It would help if you also took advantage of a direct booking site (generated through your property management platform or custom-built). The current senior demographic takes into account word-of-mouth. If you delivered a high-quality experience to one set of seniors, you’re likely to attract some of their friends or acquaintances in the future.
Highlight senior-friendly activities
Older travelers are reported to respond well to more detailed advertisements when making vacation bookings. So be sure to highlight activities that are attractive to seniors in your listing. For example, outdoor activities like well-marked hiking trails, golfing, or going to the beach can catch the eye of older travelers who are interested in spending time in nature.
Another way to showcase that your properties are senior-friendly is to include a line in your listing that local activities offer senior discounts. Then to help senior guests take advantage of those discounts once they arrive, you can create a custom category for local recommendations in your digital guidebook.
Give older guests what they want
Be sure to detail the property’s accessibility. This is important in terms of accessing both the property itself and the local area. Consider answering the following questions in your property description:
- Is there an elevator if guests are staying on a higher floor?
- Is parking available in the immediate vicinity?
- Do guests have easy access to public transportation and other conveniences like grocery stores?
As for the properties, you’ll have to cover the basics which apply to any vacation rental guest demographic:
- Your space should be inviting and cozy.
- The mattresses should be comfortable.
- The properties need to be immaculately clean.
Finally, if you’re attracting more senior travelers, you’ll have to let your maintenance crew know what to look for when they inspect the properties. They should repair outdoor stairs and sidewalks as quickly as possible. Similarly, landscaping surfaces like interlocking stones can’t be uneven or have protruding edges.
Help with airport transfer
Another senior-friendly addition to your listing description is to include a line that explains your airport pickup offerings. Senior travelers may be less accustomed than younger guests to arriving in a new area, and making their way to the rental via their smartphone’s GPS. However, giving guests a hand with matters like airport transfers or other transportation and helping them get settled into your property can go a long way.
Make it known that you’ll be reachable
Another important line to include in your listing description is that your staff will be reachable to answer questions throughout the stay. The odds are, you already have a guest communication system in place. So really, you’re highlighting a feature of your business that’s already there. The bonus of listing that you’re available is that it differentiates from local single-property hosts who charge lower nightly rates. By
From the senior guest’s perspective, it’ll reassure them at booking time that you can offer assistance with the logistical aspects of their trip should something come up. Communicating with guests about their plans and welcoming them on arrival also personalizes their renting experience and can promote a positive first impression of your property.
Consider bundling your cleaning fees into your nightly rate
Although they might have more disposable money for travel, senior travelers are also financially prudent. If you charge a high cleaning fee that only appears at checkout, it might turn some of them off.
To bundle your cleaning fees into nightly rates, you’ll have to do a bit of spreadsheet work. First, start by pulling your properties’ performance analytics find out your average length of stay (LoS). Then calculate the impact on your average daily rate (ADR) if you bundled fees into it. Since you’re looking at analytics, you might also want to look at your shorter stays and see if it makes sense to bundle fees for those stays, so you never run a loss.
Make it clear that your properties can host multiple families
Senior travelers are more likely to invite friends and family to stay with them for a portion of their stay. So if you operate a portfolio of homes that can accommodate more than one couple or family, put it in your description. Even if it’s obvious that a five-bedroom house can accommodate more than one couple, you want to make it clear that their friends and family are welcome.
Strike while the iron is hot
Now’s the time to start orienting your business model toward rentals for seniors. Older travelers not only have plans to travel, but they’ve also saved up a nice chunk of change to make the most of their trips. Start advertising to seniors now to strike while the iron is hot!