Orlando Vacation Homes 360 – Vacation Rental Survey Results
So you’re starting to plan the big family vacation to Orlando? To many, the first two questions to address in what can be a somewhat overwhelming process are pretty simple: 1) Where and how to begin the process of booking a vacation rental and 2) Most important priorities to consider when booking a vacation rental.
Being a part of the vacation home rental industry, we’ve often wondered the same thing. When a prospective consumer sits down at their computer to begin making lodging decisions for their family vacation or group travel, just what things are most important to them, and how do they go about making those decisions?
Recently, Orlando Vacation Homes 360 (OVH 360) decided to put those questions to the test in the form of a vacation rental survey, and the results were both insightful, and in some instances even surprising.
The first question posed in the vacation rental survey was simply “How do you book your home?”
If you’re a vacation homeowner or management company, and you don’t think people pay that much attention to reviews, you’d better think again. A whopping 68% of those who responded “strongly agree” they “check reviews carefully.” So if you’re in the biz, there’s never been a better time to address customer service, pay closer attention to those review cards, and perhaps start making in-stay and follow up calls to your guests.
Where and How Do Consumers Search for a Vacation Rental?
So where do consumers start their search to find a website and get those reviews?
1. Search Engines
The majority of vacation rental consumers, 34%, “agree” and 28% “strongly agree” that they “go to Google, Yahoo, or Bing first.” Not a shocker at all there, and perhaps even a bit lower than expected.
2. Local Management Companies
However, when given these 3 choices: 1) if they “go only to a big brand site like VRBO or HomeAway,” 2) “I only like to book with local Orlando operators,” or 3) “I want to book directly with the owner-manager,” the responders “agreed” evenly across the board with all of those, with respective rates of 32%, 33%, and 31%. A significant number responded “neutral” or even “disagree” on these same 3 questions, while 30% of those polled even “agreed” that they “will usually call the Owner/Manager.” Perhaps these numbers do suggest that the local companies are finally beginning to close the gap between them and the major industry players.
OK, so we know more now about where vacation rental consumers look. Let’s focus our attention on what vacation home rental consumers search for.
What do Do Consumers want in a Vacation Rental?
The second question we asked on the vacation rental survey was “What is important to consumers in an Orlando vacation rental?”
The results may, or may not, surprise you. The overwhelming most valued preferred amenity in the “Very Important” column was none other than WIFI, at 67% … even more important than “price” which polled at just 28% in the same category. In today’s world, even though people are on vacation, they still want to be connected. Whether it’s to check e-mail from the office, social media, find local entertainment and dining info, or for the kids to play their video games, you’d best make sure to have a strong WIFI system and promote that to your guests.
2. Washer / Dryer
The second most preferred amenity selected as “Very Important” was the good ol’ washer/dryer, coming in at 53%. Yes, people still need the ability to wash their clothes when traveling and nobody likes going to the laundry mat. Coming in third as “very important” was a private pool at 45% (we would have thought that to be higher especially with the kiddos), followed by kitchen amenities at 37% (which also scored a 59% in the “Important” category). So even though guests enjoy dining out, they also like to maintain the ability to prepare meals as needed, perhaps to save some on the overall travel budget.
Some other interesting numbers were while 62% of respondents said that “proximity to restaurants and shops” was “Important,” only 33% reported that “Location to Disney” was either “Important” or “Very Important,” while those numbers were just 25% and 18% respectively for Universal Studios. These numbers certainly suggest that tourists travel to Orlando for much more than just the theme parks.
4. Gated & Guarded
One other interesting observation, especially in today’s security-conscious world, is that only 32% rated “Gated and Guarded” as “Very Important,” while 38% thought it to be “Important,” perhaps a lot lower than expected.
While we realize that all data is interpretative, we feel strongly these results suggest some very interesting trends in consumer behavior ranging from being connected to maintaining practicality on this vacation rental survey.
The staff and team at Orlando Vacation Homes 360 (OVH 360) are dedicated to providing a quality experience for all guests. OVH 360 is an A+ Better Business Bureau rated provider that handpicks all of the vacation homes and condos in its reservations portfolio. The company also maintains a 100% satisfaction guarantee that is unique in the industry.