Identifying Your Target Market and Ideal Customer
In the design phase of a nightly rental, one of the first things you need to decide is, "Who is my target market?" By identifying your ideal customer, you can envision how they will use your space and what they need in the home in terms of minimum and ideal offerings. You and your family may be your own ideal customer if you plan to use the space yourself. There is a market for everything, so don't limit yourself here or let others limit you. My business strategy professor always told us, "If you build it they will come."
Below are several questions that will guide you in narrowing your vision of your ideal customer. Once you have a clear vision, keep this customer in mind as you select the size of beds, the bedding, décor style, technology, and amenities that you include in the home. If these things add value to your ideal customer, it will bring you a return on your investment (ROI). It seems kinda funny to think of things like bunk beds and gaming consoles as delivering an ROI but that's the business we are in!
What is the age and familial status of your target customers?
This question is most helpful for selecting the size and type of beds. If your target market are couples and young adults, then you may want to have more queen and king size beds in the rooms. However, if your ideal customer is a family or multi-generational families, you will likely want bunk beds for the children. This question also helps with amenities to include in the home such as toys for young children or gaming consoles for teens or students.
Why are these people staying in your house? And what will they do in the area?
This helps you understand what they need from the home. If you have outdoor adventurers as guests, their needs are different than a family reunion or guests escaping cold winter months. Additional furnishings you may choose to include in the home based on the answers to these questions are a gas grill, a desk with computer set up for remote working, a high chair or play pen for children, and beach or lake essentials. Think of what your guests will be doing in the area and what they may need to complete those activities.
How many people will stay each visit? What is the capacity of your home?
The city of Washington, UT has occupancy limits for homes based on square footage and number of bedrooms. The occupancy limit helps you plan the number of kitchen furnishings and towels the guests will need during their stay. Furthermore, you will want to have plenty of seating in the dining area and living space to accommodate your target customer's group size.
Once you have the vision of your target market in your mind and why they are staying in your home, make each decision about your vacation rental with them in mind.