Increasingly, travellers are searching for properties that offer self-serve facilities, enhanced privacy and room for the whole family. Enter entire places, a segment comprising several holiday rental types that are growing in popularity. We sat down with Inas Abdella, Director of Product for Home, to learn more about the increased customer demand for entire places and what we’re doing to highlight these listings on our platform.
What trends are we noticing in travellers’ accommodation preferences?
Since the pandemic, privacy considerations have played a prominent role in bookers’ decision making process. This aligns with shifts in travellers’ preferences for more domestic, non-urban, longer stays – some of the key long-term trends to emerge from the pandemic. As a result, we’ve seen increased demand for entire places, which usually cater well to these traveller types.
Any listing that offers guests a private sleeping area, a private bathroom and a private kitchen is classified as an entire place on our platform. Those are the three attributes we look for, which can generally be found in seven different listing types: studio, apartment, villa, holiday home, bungalow, chalet and mobile home. The main differentiator compared to hotels is the level of privacy they offer. Put simply, and as the name suggests, an entire place is a listing the guest has entirely to themselves during their stay.
What are we doing to address this demand for entire places on our platform?
We’ve rolled out several features that aim to meet this increase in demand, including ‘entire place’ labels. These appear on our website and app at multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey, helping guests easily identify and book entire places. Hosts can indicate if they have private or shared facilities in the extranet, and we assign the label based on this data in combination with the listing type.
We also specify the configuration of each entire place – the number of bathrooms, bedrooms and beds, living rooms and the size. Customers actively look for this information so making it easily discoverable is important.
One example of how entire place labels are displayed alongside configurations.
Additionally, we’ve added an ‘entire homes and apartments’ filter on our website and our app. Alongside these features, which make entire places easily identifiable, we’ve added reassuring messages throughout the customer journey to showcase the privacy benefits of entire places. One example of how we do this is by highlighting the self-serve facilities – such as a refrigerator, stovetop and dishwasher – guests can find in a property’s private kitchen.
What’s the value of these developments for holiday rental hosts?
The main benefit is increased visibility and bookings for partners with entire places. We see customers increasingly interacting with and booking these listing types, and these new features make it easier for hosts with entire place listings to get found and booked on our platform.
The new features can also help hosts appeal to new and growing traveller segments like family travellers. It’s common for families to book entire places given privacy is important to them. The nature of entire places offers them more space and the ability to stay together in one place, as opposed to being split between two or three different hotel rooms.
How can hosts optimise their listing to take advantage of these new features?
Content is key, and we need our partners’ help for any of our initiatives to be successful. It’s only through the right content that we’re able to offer the right listing to the right customer. My main advice for partners is to make sure your content is up to date and indicate in the extranet if you offer a private bathroom and kitchen, or through your connectivity provider if you offer a private bathroom.
An example of a property with a private bathroom that isn’t only accessible through a bedroom.
Informative, attractive photos also play a huge role, especially when it comes to entire places. To make their decision, guests want to see more of an entire place as opposed to a hotel room. Make sure to capture all of the different rooms in your listing – the bedrooms, living space, kitchen, bathroom, outside view. There are so many more elements to consider, and customers want to see them all.
As I mentioned earlier, entire places cater well to a range of growing traveller trends, which includes longer stays and the work-from-anywhere crowd. Taking advantage of initiatives like our Work-Friendly Programme and Long-Stay Rate Plans can help hosts double down on attracting these traveller types. Similarly, ensuring your pricing, flexibility and availability are set up for success is always crucial to maximising visibility and bookings.
What’s next for entire places on our platform?
We're continuing to improve the search and booking experience for customers who are looking for these accommodation types.
One thing we’re currently working on is flexible property types. And by that I mean extending our guest searches to show travellers related properties across multiple stay types. Currently on our platform, we have very specific property types – villas, B&Bs, apartments – but our research tells us that our customers are a lot more flexible with what property type they stay in, as long as it meets certain needs they have, such as the need for space, privacy and certain facilities or amenities. Someone looking to stay in a bed and breakfast could be just as happy staying in a villa that provides a similar stay experience. Moving forward, we plan to enable multiple ways for guests to easily find entire places, regardless of the property type.
- We’re seeing an increase in demand for entire places on our platform
- As the name suggests, entire places are listings that guests have entirely to themselves, with a private sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom
- To highlight entire places and make them easier for guests to identify, we’ve rolled out features including labels and search filters
- These features can help holiday rental hosts appeal to a variety of traveller types, including families, remote workers and long-stay bookers