Research Insights Top drivers of conversion for short-term renters

Top drivers of conversion for short-term renters

February 2022
Phocuswright Research

Travelers typically have many options to choose from when selecting accommodation, and the typical shopper considers multiple lodging categories before making a booking. According to Phocuswright’s latest travel research report Through the Roof: U.S. Short-Term Rentals, even regular short-term rental (STR) users are likely to have a hybrid consideration set, comparing rental options alongside hotels. Some factors are more likely than others to weigh into the final decision - and convert a shopper to a booker.

For travelers who chose a short-term rental stay, location was king, with 40% of rental travelers booking an STR due to its location (see figure below). A convenient or appealing location is the top factor regardless of lodging type. Other top reasons for selecting an STR include value for money, more space, kitchen/laundry access and a home-like feel.

Phocuswright Chart: Top 10 Reasons for Selecting a STR for Most Recent Stay
(Click image to view a larger version.)

When travelers do decide to book a rental, they are often choosing among multiple properties. What makes a property stand out? The character of STRs is a key draw, and many STR users actively seek out properties with an interesting look and feel.

But when comparing properties of similar size, comfort and cost, the perks make the difference. While travelers don't express a strong consensus on which specific features give similar properties an edge, factors like high-speed Wi-Fi, superior reviews, scenic views, on-site parking and a hot tub/pool are among the top-cited amenities. Homeowners/PMs should focus on offering multiple conveniences, amenities and value drivers to make a property more desirable.

By understanding typical visitor types to a given property and their preferences, hosts can implement and highlight amenities that are most likely to appeal. For example, the types of comforts of home that travelers prefer based on length of stay, whether they plan to work from the property, etc. Hosts who provide and advertise the desired features are more likely to convert shoppers into guests.

The full report, based on a comprehensive survey of STR users, hosts and property managers, explores changes in the STR landscape from both consumer and business-side perspectives. Stakeholders’ attitudes, goals and behavior are discussed in detail, along with projections regarding the growth of the market. Get it here.

Subscribe to Phocuswright Open Access and download this report and the entire Phocuswright research library for you and your company. The subscription also gives you access to Phocuswright’s data visualization tool, which lets you cut and slice global travel market and segment data as you choose. Subscriber here.

In addition, here are 10 things to know about the short term rental traveler in one minute: