Attracting business travellers have always been in any short term rental owner or manager’s interest, particularly for serviced accommodation operators, due to many reasons. Depending on the size of their company, business travellers are willing to pay more money to corporate housing companies in order to guarantee their employees’ comfort in another city or country.
Contractors and other corporate travellers also bring business to the area which is good for the local economy. But on top of all of that, corporate travellers are repeat guests. In contrast to leisure travellers who tend to explore new places to stay, business travellers want everything simple, and if they experience a comfortable and hassle-free stay, they’ll come back to you again and again.
Moreover, as a result of the exceptional current situation, getting business or corporate guests and contractors is going to be very popular during the rest of 2020 and also well into 2021. But how are you going to attract business travellers to your rental in this highly-competitive market and why corporate housing agencies have a vital role in helping you to achieve this goal?
Keep up reading this article as you’ll be provided with some useful information about the different needs and features of leisure and business travellers, how you can equip your property to fit this market segment, how to optimise your listings to be appealing for corporate travellers, and where to advertise your properties on.
In the end, there’s a free list of top 10 corporate housing companies you can work with to increase your visibility and capture more corporate guests.
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Differences Between Leisure and Business Travellers
The first step to attract more business travellers is to dig into this target market and see how they’re different from leisure travellers.
When it comes to travelling, people have various purposes. Based on their purposes, their needs and the time they stay in their destinations varies. Some travel for business purposes and others for leisure. Some travel for months, weeks, days and some for even less than 24 hours.
It’s called travel, but it’s not very different from the ordinary days you have in your hometown. When most people hear the word “travel”, they think of having fun, going to clubs, sight-seeing and everything that’ll cheer them up. But, business travel means to keep doing your job but in a different city, or in some cases in a foreign country. You have to meet clients or colleagues, deal with professional issues or even sometimes take care of difficult negotiations. So, all this group of travellers want from the place they’re staying at is comfort. If they’re staying with some colleagues in the same place, they need to have at least a little bit of privacy so that they can refresh every night for the next morning. In this case corporate housing companies can help.
As mentioned above, leisure travel is all about exploring new places, sports, entertainment and recreation. As opposed to business travel, leisure travellers are not forced to go on a trip, so it’s all in their hands whether to go or not. They may spend most of their time outside the accommodation enjoying new experiences. Therefore, they might prefer to pay less for your rental and more for the fun activities they’ve planned in advance to regain freshness and vigour.
Overall, we can say that the main difference between leisure and business travellers is needs and tastes.
Tips on How to Attract Business Travellers
As most business travellers might work as a team, a house or an apartment with 3 or more bedrooms is a perfect choice for them. If you want them to be comfortable, avoid using sofa beds. Moreover, sibling beds can be very effective whether you have corporate guests or leisure travellers as you can switch between single beds and double beds whenever necessary. With double beds, you just half the occupancy with a contractor guest because they need separate beds. Contractors may be willing to share rooms, but few would share beds with their colleagues.
Strong Internet Connection
Business travellers have to connect with their clients, colleagues and even their boss in the company. Sometimes, they need to make immediate calls to consult with their company and make urgent decisions. So, providing them with fast Internet connection, ideally free Wi-Fi, is a must if you want them to repeat their booking.
Contractors and corporate travellers prefer self check-ins as they usually might arrive at irregular times, especially if they’re travelling internationally. Moreover, self check-ins could decrease the transmission of COVID-19 during these uncertain times. Travelling during the pandemic is difficult enough for business people; you don’t want to add to their worries.
Business travellers need different amenities to reduce the time they have to take to prepare every morning, eat, and rest every night. So, amenities like breakfast, a coffee machine, an iron and ironing board are essential for morning prep. You can also leave welcome packs on the fridge for them or stuff over the weekend since they might not have enough time or energy to go shopping or cook for themselves.
Most businesses may use corporate housing companies sometimes and book their stays from Mondays so that they don’t have to pay for one extra day. However, this way their employees might be too tired on the first day, but at the same time have to start their job as soon as they arrive. You can offer a discount if they arrive on Sunday. This is more profitable for you, AND an extra perk for your guests as well.
With business travellers, you should keep things simple. They need a place close to work, so they don’t have to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes to commute to their destination. They don’t usually expect a luxury place; a clean and functional accommodation will do.
How Can Business Travellers Find You?
Be on OTAs and Google My Business
Your listing(s) should be present in the right place such as Booking.com, Airbnb and Google My Business, just to name a few. What the companies mostly do is look for a place on an OTA, choose one, Google it and make the first direct contact. They give you a call and negotiate, and if you can come to an agreement, they’ll book with you. However, your listing should have some specific features in order to attract companies to make contact.
How to Attract Business Travellers Through OTAs and Booking Platforms
The first and foremost item that catches a company’s eye while searching on an OTA is the photo of your property. We talked enough about the features corporate travellers care about; make sure the main photo presents them. For instance, you don’t want an image of your kitchen but one of your bedrooms that boast single beds. This way, business travellers will be assured their employees can at least have privacy while sleeping.
Use gender-neutral colours as you don’t want to risk losing the interest of the female or male contractors. Be sure to use keywords like contractor, parking (which matters to them a lot), or the location of your property in its name. Last but not least, put your brand’s name in your listing so they can easily Google you.
In addition, it’d be better if you optimise your Google My Business listing and have a direct booking website. This way, there’s a chance you can be found through organic search as well.
These platforms are not the only way. There are corporate housing companies that can help you as well.
Corporate Housing Companies Help You Attract Business Travellers
Another way you can open the doors to more business travellers is by cooperating with corporate housing companies or corporate agents. Businesses tend to book the same place and don’t want to look for a new rental every time. Instead of looking for accommodations on OTAs or Google, some of them have a tendency to work with companies that act as an intermediary between serviced accommodation providers and businesses. There are many companies in the hospitality industry that work with this niche. Here’s a FREE list of top 10 corporate housing companies in 2020. Enjoy!