Millennials. You may know us as technology-addicted young adults who still live with our parents. There’s no exact dates defining the millennial generation, but if you’re between 18 and 35 you’re probably one of them (as am I.)
Why is it important to understand millennials? Because we’re a huge market. In the US, millennials have overtaken baby boomers to become the largest generation ever.
Equally important: we love to travel. And with a focus on access over ownership, we’re major proponents of the sharing economy, meaning we’re far more likely to book accommodation directly and use vacation rentals instead of hotels.
If you’re a vacation property owner or manager, it can be worth tapping into the millennial market. Here are a few tips for targeting them as part of your marketing strategy.
Millennials love things to be quick and painless. After all, we’re the generation of “there’s an app for that!” If something’s going to take more than a few button clicks, we’ll probably just give up on it (and then express our frustration on social media, and then search for an alternative way to get it done). The easier you can make the booking process the better, so automate what you can and if you’re comfortable with implementing instant bookings then do give it a shot.
No Wifi. We’ve been shoved back in time to the dark ages and we’re having to farm our own wheat while wearing wooden shoes. If we want to go to the bathroom, we’ll have to dig a trench. We’re way out of our comfort zone and unsure we’ll survive another six minutes.
That’s how primitive a place without Wifi feels to the millennial traveller. Sure, you could argue that we should learn to disconnect a little, but the reality is that we’re unlikely to book a place if we see you have no Wifi, or read reviews that mention slow speeds or connection issues. Make good, reliable Wifi a priority if you want to attract the millennial crowd.
Millennials love being social and travelling with friends. You may not want your place to be overrun with young people having wild parties (rightly so) but it may be worth swapping out your regular sofa for a sofa-bed in order to accommodate one or two extra guests.
Does your decor absolutely beg me to take a photo of it so I can share it on Instagram? To the millennial generation, such details can bring you over the line. If you don’t have views that would make any twenty-something with an iPhone drool, you can still give attention to the interior of your place to make it snappable and sharable. It can be worth engaging an interior decorator – try searching for Airbnb interior designers to nail the decor and make it catnip to the millennial photographer.
Millennials might want to Skype call you. They might want to WhatsApp you. They might want to Tweet you. They might want to “at” you on Instagram. It’s worth your while to be available for communication quickly and across multiple platforms.
If you have a dedicated website for your property, make sure it’s mobile responsive. In other words, it should be specially developed to resize for viewing on tables and mobiles, and should be easy to use and fully functional regardless of the device.
“Wellness” might sound like a lame buzzword, but it encapsulates an important fact: millennials are, generally speaking, far more concerned with health and fitness. Our ears perk up at the mention of organic almond milk lattes and veggie burgers on gluten-free buns. If you have any of the following within easy-to-reach distance of your place, it could be worth letting us know: beautiful running tracks, gyms with casual day passes, organic food markets, cafés with wholesome meals, yoga studios, bike rentals and pretty much anything else that allows us to do any activity we can track on our wearable fitness devices and calorie-counting apps. We’ll be thrilled.
Please don’t write all millennials off as irresponsible party-goers! If you’re designing a guide book for your area, keep in mind that cultural experiences and authenticity are often very important to the millennial traveller as well. We love to know about a range of interesting and unique experiences. In fact, going beyond the superficial “tourist” experience is exactly what we’re after. You might even like to offer experiences of your own as add-ons, in which case the same logic applies. Show us the authentic side of your town or city, and you’ll more than likely win our fickle, millennial hearts as well as our positive reviews.