By The Hospitable Team
Remote workers and “workationers” want a change of scenery from their usual work environment and to experience new destinations.
While there’s an opportunity for owners and managers to tap into this growing market, it’s important to consider the unique needs and desires of this group.
We spoke with Sarah Karakaian, Co-Owner of Thanks for Visiting, to find out how she’s been able to successfully target the workation market and gain tips to help you capitalize on the trend, too.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to tailor your listings to attract remote workers and workationers, from creating compelling listings, to simple steps to digitize the journey of your guests, and selecting strategic marketing channels.
Make your property a workation destination with Hospitable.com
Who are workationers?
Workationers are remote workers who travel. So instead of simply connecting with their remote teams from their homes or a local cafe or co-working office, they travel to far-off locations, often for weeks or even months.
This makes them fantastic guests—less hassle for you trying to pull your next booking out of a hat. You don’t need to worry about them reserving a short stay simply to throw a massive party with their friends.
Instead, workationers are looking for a home away from home. But they’ll have specific needs. They don’t just want good internet; they need a reliable service and a dedicated space that caters to their professional expectations.
And they may well bring big parts of their lives along with them—including their pets.
According to Statista*, there were 16.9 million digital nomads in the US as of mid-2022, compared to 7.3 million in 2019. This growth in the digital nomad market is why we tend to say ‘short-term rental’ rather than ‘vacation rental.’
*Statista, published Sept 2022, surveyed a total of 6,488* people, 18 years and older
How to attract remote workers?
While remote workers want an office with a view, they also expect more than the usual amenities often found in vacation rentals.
Here are our top tips:
- Provide all the information your guests need
- Provide a fast and secure internet connection
- Create functional and quiet work spaces
- Provide office tech and supplies
- Give your renter control over their lighting
- Make them feel at home
- Provide extras and add-ons
- Digitize their journey
- Highlight what’s specific to remote workers in your listings
- Select strategic marketing channels
1. Provide all the information your guests need
On how best to share the Wi-Fi code with your guest, Sarah Karakaian says, “It’s a combination of having all communication available in print in the rental and digital guidebooks they receive before their arrival through automated texting communication.”
When you create a digital guidebook, it’s easy for guests to access all the information and insights they need without contacting you directly. This gives them independence and saves you time from answering a message or call.
To this, Sarah adds, “Yeah, you’re saving yourself time, but you’re serving your guests first and foremost because they don’t even have to contact you. They already have the answers to any question they would need.” Plus, with digital guidebooks, you can make changes in real time, ensuring that guests always have access to the most current information.
2. Provide a fast and secure internet connection
Poor internet connection is frustrating and doesn’t live up to your promise to provide a professional workspace. This would mean bad reviews for you.
Plus, some remote organizations may even have security protocols that require a certain type of connection for their online activities.
“Many remote workers have stipulations from their corporate jobs that they must have a certain internet speed—like it’s at least 100 Mbps here in Ohio. And they have to be directly tethered or plugged into the modem routers.”
So make sure you provide the ethernet cable, along with the modem and router, to ensure they can meet their work requirements. But don’t stop there. Take a picture of it and add it to your listings—you’d be surprised at how many people will be pushed to book with you because of that picture alone
3. Create functional and quiet work spaces
On catering to remote workers, Sarah says, “It’s really important for them to have a place to work that’s separate from everything else there.”
So if your guest is traveling with a partner and they’re both working, you want to ensure they both have a dedicated space. Sarah says, “So if there’s a room with a door and no bed—just like a workspace, that’s what they’ve specially asked for. Just a place where they can shut the door on their workday—away from where their partner might be watching TV.”
That’s all they’re looking for—a quiet and functional space where they can get work done and enjoy their surroundings. Depending on their circumstances, the chance to close that door and achieve physical separation during working hours is just as important as their internet connection.
4. Provide office tech and supplies
Adding to the dedicated office space, Sarah says, “As far as amenities go, a desk, a comfortable chair, the ethernet cord, basics like a stapler, post-it notes, pens, pencils, and we even have really simple printers.”
Workationers don’t want to lug their office supplies around during their travels, plus they might not even think of bringing certain items. Like Sarah, you can include the basics, plus some more, like these:
- Multi-functional charging stations
- Filing cabinets or storage bins
- A whiteboard or a bulletin board
- Paper shredder
When offering an office-like experience, remember to include it in your listings. This way, you can attract more remote workers seeking a comfortable and convenient workation experience.
5. Give your renter control over their lighting
Sarah is also an interior designer and passionate about lighting. She believes in the power of strategic lighting to set the vibe. She gave us some fantastic recommendations on kinds of lighting installations and styles, as well as types of bulbs.
“You need more than just overhead lighting. Overhead lighting is super abrasive. And it doesn’t create a conducive atmosphere to whether it’s creativity or focus.”
Sarah adds, “You want to make sure that you’re giving your renter something that they can control, whether they want to be cozy or maybe have a brighter space. So getting soft white around 2700 or 3000 Kelvins is like the perfect bulb temperature.”
There are three types of color temperatures you can choose from:
- Warm lights with a yellow or orange tint and a color temperature of 2700K-3000K.
- Cool lights with a blue or white tint and a color temperature range of 3300-5300K
- Daylight or natural lights with a balance of cool and warm tones and a color temperature of around 6500K.
6. Make them feel at home
“You don’t want to overcrowd your rental with a bunch of stuff that’s gonna be hard to keep clean and just get in the way of your renter.” Keep it minimal and cozy with a few special touches.
“Remote workers bring stuff with them. They’re usually on the road going from place to place. And so they want a place to put their knickknacks and maybe family photos on a desk or a TV stand,” says Sarah.
And if your guests are traveling with pets, including a pet bed or a dedicated space for bathing them shows you care about their needs. Sarah says, “Many remote workers are traveling with their dogs, so you want to tout the fact that they can bring their pet with them.”
Other simple touches like a welcome basket and a guidebook with information on nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities. Ultimately, workationers are looking for a comfortable place to stay.
7. Provide extras and add-ons
Your workationers are already working from a home away from home, so why not add a little extra sunshine to their stay? Here are a few little cherry-on-top add-in experiences to consider:
- If you’re in a busy city, you can offer bikes on rent
- If you’re in an area with great beaches, you can offer surfboard or boogie board rentals
- If your area is known for its wineries and breweries, consider offering special experiences like wine tasting tours or brewery hopping
For workationers, these extras and add-ons can make a big difference in terms of comfort, productivity, and relaxation. Just be sure to add them to your listing. They also show you’re a thoughtful host and help you bag 5-star reviews and repeat guests
8. Digitize their journey
Sarah talks about their booking journey protecting you, the host, but being seamless for them.
She says, “Ensure you have everything you need to protect yourself legally, but also seamless for the person booking. You don’t want to have a bunch of back and forth. So once guests find a place and agree on the price to go through your booking funnel, ensure that it just takes a few minutes to get it done.”
Your direct booking website should include:
- Accessibility on all devices
- A user-friendly booking process
- Transparent pricing and policy
- Customizable options for add-ons or upgrades
- Secure payment processing
- Automated follow-up and confirmation emails
WIth Hospitable Direct, you can easily create a website with ready-to-use templates and a booking widget that includes an availability calendar, listing details, and payment processing. Plus, with our Premium offering you’ll get covered for each reservation with insurance by SUPERHOG.
9. Highlight what’s specific to remote workers in your listings
Sarah gives us a few tips on how to leverage your listings best to target the remote work audience. She says, “Let’s say you’re listing your properties on certain channels geared more towards longer stays. So the imagery above the fold is the one they’ll care about.”
So you should consider using this space to:
- Display an image of where they’re going to be working from—a desk setup with a laptop and a few knick-knacks.
- Include details on what accommodations you provide for remote workers, like high-speed internet and reliability, office supplies, and a comfortable workspace.
- Emphasize the importance of privacy and peace in your descriptions, as they may look for a calm and distraction-free environment.
10. Select strategic marketing channels
“So how can you meet remote workers where they’re at? Who’s helping them find housing? Do they work for a company where someone’s booking the combinations for them? What are those companies?”
Sarah suggests you need to market your vacation rental in the right channels that workationers are actively engaging with: “Real estate agents can help you find leads and marketing, or maybe the businesses in your town that hire remote workers, or traveling nurses or other IT professionals who might be coming in temporarily.”
For example, if you’re targeting digital nomads and remote workers, you may consider using channels that cater specifically to this audience, such as Airbnb for Work or WeWork. And social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn reach your target audience and showcase your unique offerings.
Create the ultimate workation destination
Your workationers are a unique breed of travelers seeking adventure and productivity. You need to understand their journey, motivations, and how you can use digital marketing channels to reach them.
Sarah’s takeaway is that you should start thinking about your area to make it attractive for remote work seekers. From digitizing their journey to creating compelling listings to selecting strategic marketing channels, there are many opportunities for vacation rental owners and managers who want to capitalize on the workation trend.
Plus, with Hospitable.com’s range of features for automated guest communication and direct bookings, you can streamline your booking process and make it easy for workationers to find and book your property.
Make your property a workation destination with Hospitable.com
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