Central Oregon is a booming vacation rental market. And things are only getting better—travel spending in the region has increased 6% from 2015 alone. There’s never been a better time to own a vacation rental in Central Oregon. But how can you make the most of it?
Who’s Coming to Town?
In 2015, there were 4.3 million overnight trips to Central Oregon, accounting for 13% of all overnight trips the state. The average visitor to the region is about 45 years old. Historically, the region has been a popular vacation spot with native Oregonians, but recently we’ve seen the number of bookings from neighboring states steadily increase.
Summer is easily the most popular season for the region, and over the last two years, Vacasa homes in Central Oregon saw over 7,279 summer bookings, with an average stay of $1,343—the highest per-stay rate of any region in Oregon. It’s also a season of last minute bookings:
- In July, most bookings are for August
- In August, bookings are split between September and later in August
- In September, most bookings are for later in September
Central Oregon sees a great mix of family and non-family trips, with Sunriver being a naturally more popular spot for parties with children (can’t resist SHARC!). If you’re on the fence about putting in the extra work to make your home pet friendly to land some extra bookings, don’t sweat it—as the data shows, the vast majority of visitors opt to leave Fido at home. There are plenty of more effective ways to boost your revenue and bookings.
Making the Most of Marketing
The media has taken note of the exploding vacation rental market: according to the Central Oregon Visitors Association Marketing Activity Report, in 2016, there were over 500 stories promoting the region, with a reach of over 440 million people. The increase in attention has undoubtedly been a contributor to growth of the vacation rental market in the region.
But once a guest has been hooked by an article, how do they proceed? As of July 2017, most of the traffic to our Central Oregon page has simply come from organic Google search results—over 64% of our unique page views. It helps that organic results for Google searches consistently rank us in the top three search results, which means that more people are seeing the listings.
Vacasa homes are also listed on 75% of paid search results when searching for Central Oregon vacation rentals, which augments the performance of traffic from organic search results. As with most markets, Google search rank is crucial to landing more bookings than the competition.
Amenities are a key benefit to choosing a vacation rental over other lodging, and in Central Oregon, certain amenities consistently perform better than others. Among the most popular amenities are DVD/Blu-ray players or TVs with Netflix streaming capabilities, in-home WiFi, board games, access to a pool or hot tub, and bikes. It’s always a good idea to include just one or two of these higher demand amenities in the title of the listing to draw guests with specific amenities high on their priority list.
If you own a home in Sunriver, SHARC passes are an absolute must. Of the several hundred homes we manage in the Sunriver area, those with provided SHARC passes consistently see higher booking volume (often at higher rates) than those without. If you would like to add this amenity to your Sunriver home, more information is available here.
Advertising That Sticks
Advertising should always be tailored to the platform. A sponsored Facebook post might read more like an ad because users are used to seeing that kind of content in their feed. Whereas on Instagram, sponsored ads stick out like a sore thumb, so it’s better to craft a post about a specific experience or amenity, then tell the users how they can access that experience themselves. Take a look at one our Facebook ads compared to one of our Instagram “ads”.
An example of a successful ad we ran for some of our Sunriver listings. Notice that “SHARC passes provided” is prominently noted.
Instagram takes a different tone than Facebook or Google paid results to fit the audience of the platform. Keep it light and friendly. Sell the experience of the home, not the home itself.