Renter Trends and Priorities: OVH360 Survey Results

    What exactly do consumers look for when booking a vacation home rental in Orlando?
    So you’re starting to plan the big family vacation to Orlando? To many, the first two questions to address in what can be an overwhelming process are pretty simple:  

    1)     Where and how do you begin the process of booking a vacation rental?
    2)     What are the 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 guest 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 (OVH360) decided to put those questions to the test in the form of an online survey. The results were both insightful and, in some instances, even surprising.
    How do consumers find and book vacation rental properties?
    Thirty four percent “agree” and 28 percent “strongly agree” that they use large search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing to first begin their search for a vacation rental property. Not a shocker at all there, and these numbers are perhaps even a bit lower than expected.
    When asked how they preferred to search for and book rental properties, 32 percent “agreed” that they use big brand sites like VRBO or HomeAway, 33 percent “agreed” that they use local Orlando operators, and 31 percent “agreed” that they prefer to work directly with owner managers.
    Once a consumer has found a listing of potential vacation properties, the next step is vetting those properties. If you’re a vacation home owner or management company and you don’t think people pay that much attention to reviews, you’d better think again. A whopping 68 percent of those who responded “strongly agree” when asked if they check reviews carefully. So if you’re in the business, 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.
    What is important to a consumer in an Orlando vacation rental?
    Overwhelmingly, the most-valued amenity was none other than Wi-Fi, which 67 percent of respondents marked as “very important.” Respondents indicated that the availability of Wi-Fi is even more important than price when it comes to selecting a property: Only 28 percent of respondents ranked price as “very important.” 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, use social media, find local entertainment and dining info, or for the kids to play their video games, make sure your guests have a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal, and don’t forget to promote that information to your guests.
    The second most important amenity was the good ol’ washer/dryer, which 53 percent of respondents indicated was “very important.” Yes, people still need to wash their clothes when traveling and nobody likes going to the laundry mat.
    Coming in third as “very important” was a private poolat 45 percent. We would have thought that to be higher, especially with the kiddos. Kitchen amenities followed closely behind, with 37 percent ranking it as “very important” and 59 percent ranking it as simply “important.” So even though visitors enjoy dining out, they also like the ability to prepare meals in as needed, perhaps to save on the overall travel budget.
    Sixty two percent ranked “proximity to restaurants and shops” as “important,” but only 33 percent reported that proximity to Disney was either “important” or “very important.” Those numbers were just 25 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for Universal Studios. These numbers certainly suggest that tourists travel to Orlando for much more than just the theme parks.
    One other interesting observation, especially in today’s security conscious world, is that only 32 percent rated “gated and guarded” properties as “very important,” while 38 percent thought it to be “important.”
    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.
    View the survey in its entirety by clicking here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-9RDTMDMQ/
    This survey was conducted by Orlando Vacation Homes 360, Inc. Find their website at www.Orlando-VacationHomeRental.com.
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