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A widespread misunderstanding of guest priorities among short-term rental property managers has been revealed in a new report by privacy-safe monitoring provider Minut.
More space was the most common reason for choosing a rental over a hotel, with more than half of guests selecting it as a decisive factor (56%), according to Minut’s report, Expectations vs. reality: Bridging the perception gap in property management.
However, only 4% of property managers think space is a factor, meaning 96% are not advertising this value-add compared to other types of accommodation.
Over 750 property managers and guests were polled on questions ranging from how they prefer to communicate to expectations around safety in short-term rentals, covering the period before, during and after stays.
The study also revealed that affordability is not as important as property managers think: only 11% of guests said that this was a factor in their choice of lodging, while more than a third of property managers (37%) thought this was why their rentals were chosen over hotels. This requires a change in perception because the industry has often been thought of in some quarters as a cheaper alternative.
The gulf between expectations persists well beyond check-in, according to the report, which suggested many property managers are unaware of issues impacting the quality of their guests’ stays. For example, just 3% of property managers indicated their WiFi was ‘quite slow’ — yet a staggering 60% of guests said they’ve been forced to depend on their personal hotspots.
More alarmingly, one in four property managers has had the police called to their rental due to excessive noise. Despite this, the research revealed a number of incorrect assumptions by property managers regarding how noise monitors are perceived by guests. While property managers believe that 43% of guests think noise monitors record video or sound, 92% of guests actually understand they don’t record speech, and 96% know that they don’t record video. Moreover, three-quarters (73%) of guests would be happy to stay in a property with a privacy-safe monitor.
Nils Mattisson, CEO and Co-Founder of Minut, said: “This research reveals the enormous rift that exists between what property managers think matters to guests and the reality.
“This is despite the fact that understanding and meeting guests’ actual expectations is the only way to win positive reviews and those all-important new and repeat bookings.
“Our research shows that although we have come a long way as a sector, we really are only now scratching the surface of what our guests genuinely want and need.
“Short-term rentals are not like hotels, and by making sure we’re designing stays around guests’ real priorities, we can be at the forefront of the tech-driven innovations that will continue to set new benchmarks for the wider hospitality sector.”