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2023 Guest Experience Trends for Vacation Rentals

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Translating guest experience into customer satisfaction is key for short-term rental businesses to grow as exceeding guest expectations means increased occupancy and average daily rates

Still, achieving guest satisfaction and standing out is not only about having a fantastic house, condo, or villa. It requires a professional approach, guest-centricity, and the ability to observe changes and customer trends in the current landscape. 

This article will lead you through significant guest experience trends in the hospitality industry to watch out for in 2023 and answer your questions about how to improve guest satisfaction as a vacation rental manager considering these emerging trends.

Why Guest Experience Matters for Vacation Rental Businesses

Guest experience can be defined as the cumulative effect of every interaction your guests have with your management operation. It occupies the entire journey, from the booking stage to post-departure.

Providing a great experience creates a variety of opportunities for property managers, from having more repeat bookings and getting 5-star guest reviews to increasing revenue and referrals. So it is clear that acing the experience is directly connected with successful vacation rental management.

For example, 81% of travelers always or often read reviews before booking their accommodations and make decisions accordingly. If you provide an excellent journey for your guests by handling operations seamlessly, you can get better reviews. This in turn helps you build trust and loyalty among your guests and increases your visibility.

2023 Guest Experience Trends in the Vacation Rental Business

It is essential for property managers to track emerging trends in the vacation rental industry to stay up to date with their operations, seize business opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition.

Here is a close look at upcoming guest trends that will help you understand the changing market dynamics and transform your business accordingly.

1. Greater Priority on Health and Safety

During the past year, fears over the COVID-19 pandemic decreased, yet its effects on the hospitality industry still continue. Breezeway’s Property Operation Report revealed that in this post-pandemic era, guests’ priority towards quality, safety, and cleanliness has increased. 


Providing a clean and healthy guest experience

So today’s vacation rental guests expect improved experiences, including stricter sanitation and safety practices during their stays. Therefore, short-term rental property businesses need to be aware of these concerns and ensure that guests feel safe, secure, and clean.

2. The Rise of Nomad Travelers

The COVID-19 pandemic reminded the world that people do not need to be chained to an office building to keep working. As a result of this realization, the global workforce has started to shift towards traveling while working remotely.

In fact, 55% of U.S. workers claim that they can do their jobs remotely. So there is a new type of traveler for the hospitality industry to adapt and cater to: the nomads. 

Digital nomad travellers

These people have become a sizable market segment in the hospitality industry for the last couple of years. They are traveling from place to place, centering their lives around the places they visit and work simultaneously. 

As they are looking for short-term accommodations that will make them feel comfortable and allow them to discover the local culture, they represent a great opportunity for short-term rental businesses.

If you want to grab the attention of nomad travelers and improve vacation rental guest satisfaction among your nomad guests, make sure to offer key services for them, like a strong internet connection and convenient workstations. 

Additionally, most of these travelers are vlogging or blogging alongside their main salary jobs. So having an extra room for guests to convert into a studio or workplace might be useful to attract nomad travelers.

3. More Last-Minute Stays

According to Forbes, the average number of days between bookings to check-in has been reduced by 50 days. This means that travelers are up for more last-minute trips.

If you can show off your flexibility as a vacation rental business, this last-minute travel trend can reduce your number of unoccupied properties and increase your revenue.

To achieve the flexibility of accommodating last-minute bookings, ensure that your rental property is prepared daily, availability calendars and rates are up to date, and supplies are stocked.

4. Sustainability at the Top of Priorities

Nowadays, 87% of travelers want to travel more sustainably, which shows that sustainable travel, or eco-travel, is a growing trend.

Therefore, your customers might expect you to follow sustainable practices and allow them to maintain their sustainability habits during their stays.

For short-term and vacation rental businesses, this may mean creating unique ideas to showcase that you care about the environment. For example, you can find ways to save energy or manage waste more responsibly in your vacation rentals. 

The efforts you put into sustainability as a property manager create terrific brand-building opportunities. Let your guests know about it and connect sustainability to your brand through memberships in industry associations that validate your work.  

Contactless Check-In as the New Norm

Contactless check-in, or keyless entry, frees guests from feeling stressed about arriving at the perfect time or losing physical keys. In fact, 43.5% of property managers claim that guests appreciate keyless technology solutions even if they don’t expect it.

Keyless entrance

So following the contactless check-in trend in the near future will be essential in improving the vacation rental guest experience.

A Tip to Keep Up With the Vacation Rental Industry: Find the Right Team Members

All these trends and transformations show that the future of the short-term rental industry will be challenging yet full of opportunities for property managers. 

But to get the best out of the vacation rental market, you need talented professionals on board to manage your reservation requests, check-ins, payment collections, maintenance tickets, and more while you focus on expanding and scaling your business. 

This will be key to keeping up with emerging opportunities and sustaining the growth of your business.

With 15+ years of experience in the STR industry, Extenteam is here to take care of the costs and hassles of team building while you scale and focus on your business!

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