2019 Forecast for Myrtle Beach Vacation Rentals: 6 Expert Predictions
It’s not yet January, but your 2019 housing forecast has already arrived. For property owners in or entering the vacation rental market, knowing what potential guests value is the key to a successful experience—for you and your vacationers. What matters most to guests, whether millennials or extended families? What should you promote about your property and the surrounding area? And how can you make small changes to your property that will yield a big return on your investment? Read on for six major trends and timely predictions for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation rentals in 2019.
1. Spacious and multi-purpose properties
Who doesn’t want more space? People looking to book vacation rentals certainly do. In 2019, expect to see the search for larger rental homes increase. Whether potential renters want space to accommodate extended family, embark on increasingly popular multigenerational travel or simply to create a little distance between the kids and adults, more is better.
And it’s not just more space that renters are seeking—it’s a variety of opportunities available within that space. The grand vacation rentals described by Forbes writer Christopher Elliott, including an estate in California’s wine country with sleeping room for 10, are mansions with their own pools, hot tubs, spas, outdoor bars and outdoor living rooms.
There are plenty of ways, however, to create this cozy look and feel without having thousands of square feet to spare. Think about how to break up your vacation property in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, so that different rooms have different functions. Here are some ideas:
- A room stocked with rainy day games
- A jewelry-making station for collected shells
- A napping nook for children (and adults!)
- A picnic patio for seafood nights
- A porch for ice cream desserts and cocktails
If you’re thinking about renovating to meet some of these goals, creating more open kitchen and dining room areas for guests to gather is an ideal place to start.
2. Catering to millennials
The 2019 housing forecast reveals that there’s more to property rentals than large families. Consider millennials—travelers in their late 20s to early 30s—who come your way alone or with others to attend events, see the landscape or just hang out.
Many millennials are flexible and experienced travelers, even at their young age. They’ve had all kinds of vacation experiences, from staying in condos, beach houses and hotels as children to booking vacation properties online with ease as young adults. But they’re often looking for something different: rentals that accommodate a smaller budget and fewer vacation days.
Here’s how property owners can help: Have an option for shorter stays. Think about making multiple properties in the same complex available for groups on vacation. And absolutely don’t forget millennial-style amenities:
- Speedy Wi-Fi and plenty of bandwidth for streaming
- Mobile services for all property-related interactions, including booking and paying
- Proximity to scooter, car and bike sharing resources
Millennials can also be nostalgic for locales from their childhoods. By mentioning neighborhood restaurants, beaches or arcades from their childhood vacations to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, you could book a stay—and even prompt a new tradition—built on memories.
3. Local outdoor and dining attractions
Nature sites are becoming big travel destinations for 2019. The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and the Catskills in New York have been listed among Lonely Planet’s best affordable adventures for the new year.
The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, vacation rental market can benefit from this trend. Adventures abound here, including:
- The surf fishing, natural trails and equestrian facilities at Myrtle Beach State Park
- The Dangerous Reef exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium—a 340-foot underwater tunnel where you can walk surrounded by sharks, tarpons and green moray eels.
- Day and night safari tours at Myrtle Beach Safari’s 50-acre tropical preserve
- A variety of kayak tours, including the National Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tours, Historic Conway & Big Cypress Kayak Tours and the Sunset Refuge Kayak Tour
One trend that has become increasingly apparent as it takes over Instagram is the rise of foodies. Experiencing local food, adventurous dishes—and taking pictures of it all—is a particular priority for many vacationers. Myrtle Beach’s food and beverage venues are up to the task—and so are you in what you recommend to renters, such as:
- WaterScapes Restaurant, a local favorite described as “upscale but not uptight”
- The Library, fine dining on the Grand Strand by the water
- The Fowler Dining Room at The International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach, where culinary students explore cooking techniques focusing on taste, texture, color and creativity using locally grown ingredients
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, also features food festivals and events galore. Depending on the week or month, guests might encounter a barbeque or shrimp festival, events centered around local Greek or Italian foods, or—if they’re lucky—the world-famous Blue Crab Festival.
4. Quality, consistent service
We live in a digital society, and companies continue to invest in technology that accelerates the speed of business. But outstanding customer service—the kind with a personal touch—is timeless. And in the world of vacation rentals, it’s an essential differentiator.
According to a publication summarizing the 2018 VRMA Conference: “Booking a vacation rental is more of a ‘considered purchase’ than booking a hotel room.” Property owners have to stay focused on the core tenets of customer satisfaction, like meeting or exceeding expectations with regards to the quality of the experience, the amenities offered and the level of service delivered.
This can mean:
- Maintaining the property with timely repairs and upgrades
Adding modern conveniences that enhance the stay, including key-based entry systems and digital thermostats
- Simple benefits that guests will remember and appreciate, like free passes to the local gym, mid-week cleanings and delivery services for groceries and other essentials
In the property rental business, you cannot overestimate the importance of personal engagements and the value of making guests feel welcome and cared for. That’s not always easy for busy owners, so it’s vital to select property management experts with a reputation for delivering impeccable service.
Hospitality consultant Debby Hudspith defines this service as: “Knowing why the customer is there in the first place, making them feel important, building a relationship, responding to requests out of the ordinary and ensuring someone is always available for them, no matter which department.”
5. Value over luxury
What’s one of the most important elements of vacation rentals in 2019? Value. It’s not always luxury that guests are after, and since group trips are on the rise, dividing up a property’s nightly rate is an efficient and cost-effective way to get more space. Divided by 10 people, the cost of the California wine estate we mentioned earlier was just $68 per person per night. It’s hard for any hotel to beat that rate.
Property owners can offer value in a myriad of other ways for any kind of rental property. Including in the price of your rental amenities like a complimentary bottle of wine and/or a welcome basket of snacks might just be the reason your renters return next season.
Further ideas highlighted by Successful Meetings include:
- A record player and an eclectic vinyl music selection
- Customized cocktail packages brought right to their door
- A pet fish as the property mascot
Choosing skincare products, robes and linens that reflect the changing seasons or come from a local source is a trendy bit of detail much appreciated by renters. And lots of these ideas will fit into any budget.
Other bonuses renters enjoy are practical elements that will make their stay easier—coffeemakers, blenders, bottled water and energy bars, fresh fruit, baked goods straight out of the oven and water bowls and treats for pets.
6. Benefits of booking direct
This year, local vacation rental property owners are taking the lead over online travel agencies (OTAs). Managers of large vacation properties revealed at the VRMA International Conference a decline in the overall use of OTAs.
Local owners have plenty to offer that OTAs and their customer service representatives just can’t, including personalized communication with guests and availability at every stage of the booking and renting process. More and more, guests will rely on owners and property managers for hyperlocal Myrtle Beach information, such as:
- Last-minute dinner recommendations at Barefoot Landing
- The inside scoop on the area’s best ice cream parlors
- Recommendations for kid-friendly spaces and the coolest clubs for adults to dance the night away
- The most unique local shops and top attractions at Broadway at the Beach
- The most memorable spots to explore at Myrtle Beach State Park—surf fishing, nature trails, equestrian facilities
These are just a few of the trends and predictions we’re keeping an eye on for vacation rentals and travel in 2019. As the year gets going, the experts here at Vantage Vacation Rentals will be on the lookout for more opportunities to help you keep your guests satisfied while getting the most from your Myrtle Beach property.
In the meantime, we’re here to answer your questions, provide support and set you up for a successful year. Reach out to us at any time by calling 888.404.3110 or email us at Info@VantageMB.com.