The traditional hotel may be dying, but there’s still a lot we can learn from the hotel industry. This July, Rentals United, interviewed three leading figures in the vacation rental industry in their article, “Q&A With Pros.” Richard Vaughton, Managing Director at Discovery Holiday Homes, Shaun Stewart, Head of Global Vacation Rentals at Airbnb, and Mike Donelly, Owner at ApartmentsApart, commented on the vacation rental industry in relation to hotels and the things that we could learn from their successes and mistakes. Here are three lessons we learned:

1. Give the market what it wants.

“The hotel industry is a global network which has had many years to perfect the industry, yet their share of accommodation is now being diluted by the rental industry,” Vaughton commented. Hotels, however, are still struggling to grasp the concept that the vacation rental industry is not the enemy; changing demands and a failure to give the market what it wants is. The hotel industry’s failure to understand its customer and its failure to innovate with changing demands is what will ultimately ruin the industry.

While this is one lesson that the hotel industry still needs to learn from the VR industry, vacation rentals likewise need to be equally conscious of changing demands in the market.

2. Be flexible.

Not all hotels, however, are as quick to disregard the vast potential of the sharing economy in relation to the accommodation industry. With companies like Hyatt Hotels and already expanding into the vacation rental space, it’s clear that the hotels that adapt will be the ones to survive. Only through innovation and adaption will hotels meet the needs of their customers and be able to retain the loyalty of their customers.

The vacation rental industry must likewise abide by the same rules. According to Stewart, the largest challenge for vacation rentals is differentiating themselves among other accommodation options. To overcome this, vacation rental owners need to focus on delivering authentic, local experiences.

3. Professionalism is key.

Finally, while the hotel industry has much to learn from the vacation rental industry, short term rental operators likewise have a lot to learn from the fading success of hotels. Vaughton stresses attention to detail and personnel training as two key areas in which the vacation rental industry could improve. Professionalism, as our earlier articles stressed, is key in further proving the value of the vacation rental industry, and a move towards standardization of products, professional tools, and better customer care will benefit all parties involved.

To read more, check out the full article by Vanessa de Souza Lage on the Rental’s United blog here.

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