In our previous blog post, we discussed the growth of remote work after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As nearly 30% of U.S. employees work from the comfort of their homes, many are redefining the meaning of a “work vacation”: Instead of seeking short-term escapes to more exotic destinations, “work-from-home guests” are now booking vacation rentals for longer periods of time with environments conducive to both work and play.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Airbnb has noticed an increase in long-term bookings (28 days or more), and guest reviews mentioning “remote work” or “work-from-home” have nearly tripled since the same period the previous year. In order to attract and satisfy the needs of a work-from-home guest, vacation rental owners should embrace flexibility and explore new strategies to increase bookings and garner rave reviews.
Understand your traveler
Often traveling with family, pets, and a briefcase, these guests are looking for a change of scenery — but they don’t want to sacrifice the comforts of home, and they aren’t interested in a far-flung destination, either. According to research by VacationRenter.com, nearly 80% of travelers in 2020 sought vacation destinations that were only a 4-hour drive from home, primarily due to safety concerns around COVID-19. But the “nearcation,” as described by Rob Stein at The Stein Collective, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — its convenience is hard to beat.
For vacation rentals, simplicity and space are key: They want ample room to spread out, especially if the kids are tagging along, and the easier the process is from check-in to check-out, the better. Airbnb has made longer-term bookings even simpler with a page dedicated solely to subletting, which prospective renters can use to search exclusively for stays lasting 28 days or more, and renters pay a monthly rate without worries of additional charges. Plus, vacation rental owners can even get competitive by offering a discount when travelers book the monthly rate.
Update your amenities
Amenities that were once nice-to-have are now must-haves for the work-from-home guest, such as high-speed Wi-Fi, pet-friendly spaces, and office nooks. Offering on-site parking and even a makeshift gym, such as a spare room with light workout equipment, will earn owners bonus points — but at the top of the list for work-from-home guests is, of course, a dedicated workspace, which is a filter guests can apply to their search on Airbnb.
Rentals that provide a comfortable, well-lit office space with conveniently-placed power outlets will be extremely attractive to prospective guests, and those that include a monitor, a mouse, and extension cords for guest use could be one way for owners to go the extra mile. All in all, flexibility, from allowing pets on the property to adopting more lenient cancellation policies, is the name of the game for vacation rental owners looking to please this new kind of renter.
Invest in universal access control
Since the work-from-home guest is typically staying for a longer period of time than the average renter, they will likely be leaving the rental to run errands, shop for groceries, or explore nearby attractions. Equipping your rental with smart locks will not only simplify the access experience for your guests, but will also increase their sense of safety and security, especially if they’re traveling with children. If you’re managing multiple vacation rental properties, consider investing in a universal access control platform like RemoteLock, which grants you control over any smart lock and any door on your property — and can even integrate with Airbnb to automatically issue entry codes to a new guest once a booking is complete.
An access control software platform can also minimize stress and increase owner visibility: no more late-night calls to replace lost keys, and no more guessing whether a guest has checked out and left the property. Track guest access in real-time, issue access codes when needed, and create custom access schedules for cleaning crews and more — all from the convenience of your mobile device. With RemoteLock, you can give your work-from-home guests (and yourself) ultimate flexibility and peace of mind.
Learn how RemoteLock Works with Airbnb
Ready to explore the transformative capabilities of a universal access control platform? Contact RemoteLock today to see how our solution can work for your business.