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What Guests Look For When Booking Holiday Homes

  • 2016-12-15

Do you know what prospective guests are looking for when they are browsing holiday homes? Many property owners who rent out apartments or villas to short term guests focus their marketing efforts on what they think will attract guests rather than what they know will attract guests. Not very many stop to consider the difference between trying to appeal to all and sundry, and appealing to a more targeted audience.

What Guests Look For When Booking Holiday Homes

A targeted approach can help you keep holiday homes booked consistently with the exact type of guests you are seeking. In order to know how to attract your ideal guests however, you first need to know what potential guests look for when browsing short term accommodation.

What Do Potential Guests Consider When Booking Holiday Homes?

What are the make or break factors that influence a booking decision? What sets certain holiday homes aside from the competition? How can you use this information to get more bookings for your rental? Let’s take a look. First, let’s take a closer look at the things that guests look for when browsing and booking holiday rentals.

  • Price. This is obviously a fairly big factor. But, with that said, it is worthwhile noting that pricing can speak volumes about the quality a holiday let offers. Guests who are typically looking for budget accommodation are usually looking for the lowest price or best deal. Guests who are looking for a truly rewarding accommodation option will consider price along with other factors such as grading, features and overall experience. A 4 or 5-star villa that is fully managed, with a host of high-end services and facilities provided will attract the type of guest that values luxury. The important thing to keep in mind is that regardless of your property’s grading and facilities, it should be priced competitively to provide guests with real value.
  • Swimming Pool. The hot summer months are the busiest time for travel in Cape Town. A swimming pool is often the first thing that prospective guests will note when arriving on a listing. Even a small plunge pool is better than no pool. Shared swimming pools in apartment complexes also appeal to guests who are seeking urban accommodation in the heart of the CBD. You can optimise this feature by ensuring that your listing has plenty of professional photographs of your pool, taken in the best light possible. You can also include a description of the pool in your listing to help guests visualise themselves taking a dip in a perfectly cool pool during their stay.
  • Guest Services. Managed holiday homes will often outperform un-managed rentals, for good reason. Today’s breed of managed rentals provides guests with all the luxury of catered accommodation, with the flexibility and convenience of self-catering. Modern guests want to enjoy a holiday or business trip that provides them with all the comforts of home. Services such as concierge, housekeeping, butlers and private chefs offer the highest level of luxury to guests. For this reason, it can be incredibly rewarding for property owners to consider fully managed short term rental solutions that incorporate guest services along with bookings management, day to day management and active marketing.

These are just a few things that guests look for when making the final decision on where to book. Other factors that influence the decision include location, accessibility, size, outdoor facilities, furnishings and decor and whether or not ocean, mountain or city views can be enjoyed from the holiday house. While some factors are out of your control, it is always useful being aware of the biggest factors that can help sell your rental more effectively.


How can you use this information to increase bookings from the right kind of guest? You could fine-tune your listing to put the focus on major features. You could consider holiday rental renovations. Or, you could do the best thing for you and your property and hire a dedicated short term rental manager to help you take your rental to the next level.

To learn more about working with a professional manager, contact Totalstay for an evaluation of your property. We can then help you succeed with tailored strategies designed especially for holiday homes.