Attracting Niche Guests

Most vacation rental owners create a generic listing – one that tries to attract all types of visitor.  ‘Fully Equipped Kitchen’; ‘Dining Table seating 6’ and ‘Satellite TV’ are examples of this type of one-size-fits-all ad.  However, in a more competitive market it is important to differentiate and if you are able to appeal to several niche groups in your listing there is a greater chance of it being found in a search.  This series of articles covers some of these groups and how you can attract them. 

Attracting Niche Guests - Guests with Young Children

Parents looking for a suitable vacation rental are focused on how they can enjoy their holiday with minimal disruption to normal routine.  They want a safe environment; a range of child-friendly amenities; sturdy furniture and baby/toddler equipment.  Families traveling with babies in particular haul a huge amount of stuff and if you are able to reduce that load in any way, they may be encouraged to look at your place more closely.

If you are claiming to be ‘Baby/Toddler Friendly’, be explicit in your listing and explain what you supply and what parents can expect to find in the way of equipment.  Highlight safety features such as an enclosed deck or backyard, a stairgate and ground floor bedrooms. 

Some of the things that parents ask are:

•    How big are the bedrooms?  Would a portable crib fit?
•    How close are the bedrooms to the main living areas – does noise travel?
•    How big is the bathroom and is there a tub as well as a shower?
•    Is there a nearby play park?
•    Is there a safety guard for the fireplace?

Include photographs to showcase areas of the home that will appeal to parents.  Remember they will be looking at the images and trying to see themselves (and their children) having a comfortable time there.  If all they can see are fancy ornaments and breakables, or cluttered rooms, they will move on to another option very quickly.

Make the listing desirable by incorporating elements that will appeal to the family demographic.  A short paragraph describing child-focused activities in the area can be very useful in attracting interest.  Here’s some more ideas:

•    Satellite TV with children’s channels
•    Collection of children’s DVDs, books and games
•    Baby/toddler equipment – crib, high chair, change mat, bouncy chair, baby monitor
•    Enclosed yard/garden
•    Safety issues - stair gates, night lights and electrical outlet protectors
•    Children’s toys, bathtoys
•    Nearby children’s park/free activities
•    Rainy day attractions in the neighborhood