PhocusWright recently reported that 45% of Short-Term Rentals (STR) users compare rentals with hotels.

There is a real “booking war” going on between hotels and short-term rentals (STR) for every guest and every roomnight. To sway the travel consumers away from STR, focus on and promote features and amenities that STR properties lack.

Here is a simple and inexpensive action plan not to lose guests to the STRs:

  • Research and identify the STR properties in your neighborhood, and what are their typical amenities and features. Your revenue managers should ask your BI rate shopping tech vendor to add short-term rentals to the set of competitors your are monitoring on a daily basis.

  • Identify your property's value proposition and create a list of all of your property's amenities, services and attributes that, in your view, are better than the average STR properties in your area. Then review and update the your hotel descriptions on the hotel website, social media profiles, CRS and WBE descriptions, directory listings, Google Business Profile, and promotional materials.

  • Create a short-term rental type of a hotel product: Introduce weekly and monthly rates for suites with kitchenettes, adjacent rooms to appeal to family travelers; community kitchen, washers/dryers, digital nomad-type of packages/promotions, etc.

  • How many hotels offer rates for extended stays or family stays which are favored by travel consumers in the current environment? Remember, a weekly rate is NOT a daily rate multiplied by seven. A monthly rate is NOT a nightly rate multiplied by 30! Make sure that your CRS, WBE (Website Booking Engine) and Channel Manager can support weekly and monthly rates and fire them if they can't.

  • Make sure to educate your staff about the key advantages your property has over the short-term rentals in the area: from better location to no cleaning fees to better cleanliness protocols, luggage storage and really high-speed Wi-Fi and free breakfast.

The moral of the story? Hire and train a) employees who do not think that diversifying your property revenue by adopting an STR-type of a product is too much work and b) revenue managers that are able and willing to include your property’s STR strategy and diverse revenue streams in their pricing decisions, and you take it from there.

Max Starkov
Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant & Strategist