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Price, Amenities Draw Travelers to Vacation Homes

Written by on Tuesday, 21 November 2006 6:00 pm

Own a vacation home rental?

Chances are, you've got a captive audience.

And that's good news for your bottom line.

Virtually all travelers who've tried a vacation home for their travel accommodations would do so again largely because of the cost savings, roominess and family friendliness.

According to Denver, CO-based lodging management company Destination Hotels & Resorts, 99 percent of customers who have stayed in a luxury vacation rental would choose this style of accommodation in the future.

Destination questioned approximately 3,000 consumers who have taken a vacation in the past three years and stayed either at a traditional hotel or vacation rental property. "Vacation rental" was defined as vacation home, condominium, townhouse and condominium-hotel.

The survey also found that 78 percent of those surveyed said they believe vacation rentals in residential resorts provide the same level of service as traditional hotels.

That doesn't necessarily mean your particular vacation home will have them lining up around the block. It has to have the right stuff.

When Destination asked respondents what amenities were important in a vacation rental experience, they included, in order of importance, cable television, spa/golf amenities, daily housekeeping, high-speed Internet access and front desk services among their top preferences. Less important were room service, grocery delivery and shuttle transportation.

"This information is invaluable. It validates what we are doing with our owners to continually update and upgrade their units to provide the latest guest amenities, while providing us with insight to what is most important to our consumers," said Maureen Callahan, vice president of marketing for Destination.

Destination manages some 2,000 private vacation rentals primarily in full-service, premier resort destinations, but its study is in line with that of Austin, TX-based HomeAway, Inc. a network of vacation rental listing websites that includes a variety of 130,000 vacation home rentals in 100 countries.

"The surprising thing is the actual cost to rent the homes. I think, the average traveler thinks that vacation homes are expensive to rent. Our survey results show the opposite," said Christine Karpinski, real estate investor, author and director of Owner Advocacy for HomeAway.

"Yes, there are the $20,000-a-week properties out there, but the vast majority of the homes available for rent are within the $100-$300 per night, peak-season range and if you want to travel off peak, you can snag a very nice place for $100-$200/night," Karpinski said.

In a HomeAway survey of nearly 4,000 vacation home owners, 20.9 percent charged from $100 to $142 a night; 22.78 percent charged $143 to $199 per night; 23.99 percent charged $200 to $299.

"And these are nice properties, properties on the beach, with swimming pools, tennis, on site-restaurants, high speed Internet, etc. They cost anywhere from $400,000 to $500,000 to purchase, but for the renters, they are only $250 per night during peak season, and during off-peak, you can rent them for as little as $150 a night," said Karpinski.

In another HomeAway survey of more than 36,000 respondents, nearly 60 percent said they plan on renting a vacation home, rather than a hotel or other accommodations for their next vacation.

"Since 75 percent of the respondents to this survey have children, it's quite obvious that for families, renting a vacation home offers so much more than a single hotel room. They can put their kids to bed in separate room, have the convenience of the kitchen (not eating out every meal), and the cost will not break their budgets," Karpinski said.

All while the owner enjoys positive cash flow.

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  About the author, Broderick Perkins

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.