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Looking to Attract Vacation Home Renters? Offer a Digital Detox


[Updated: Oct 14, 2020] Feb 06, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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Technology is a wonderful thing, but only to a point. It might make our lives easier and help us stay connected to the people we love, but on the flip side, it also keeps many of us perpetually on the job, and that could actually have serious consequences. In fact, in late 2019, staffing firm Robert Half reported that 96% of the senior managers it surveyed felt their employees were suffering from burnout, and a big reason for that often boils down to an inability to unplug.

Work matters aide, the practice of simply owning a cell phone automatically makes everyone a target for various intrusions, from text messages to social media notifications. It's for these reasons that so many people crave the idea of truly escaping it all when they go on vacation. And as a vacation property owner, you have a real opportunity to capitalize on that.

Help your guests unplug

If you own a vacation rental property, you're no doubt aware that to attract renters, you'll need to price your home competitively, offer amenities like comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms, and be as responsive as possible to guest inquiries and questions. But here's another tactic you might employ to attract renters: Offer a true digital detox.

Think about it: All you need to do is not offer Wi-Fi, cable, or landline service at your vacation property, and suddenly, you've set your home apart from the pack. Guests who rent your home will have the option to truly disconnect from the world for a number of days, whether to bond with the people they're traveling with or simply clear their heads.

You need the right setting

Of course, the digital detox offering doesn't work in every setting. If you own a rental home in the heart of a city, not having Wi-Fi could actually be a deterrent for renters. After all, anyone looking for peace and quiet won't be exploring a bustling metro area.

The same holds true, to some degree, for kid-friendly areas. If you own a home near a beach and boardwalk that's likely to attract folks with young children, those renters may need cable TV to help their kids mellow out after a day in the sun or to entertain them when it rains.

On the other hand, if you own a home in a more remote location -- say, the mountains or a quaint village down the road from a number of wineries -- then it could really pay to play up the digital detox angle. The same holds true if you own a beach home in a non-resort-type town -- meaning, you're beach-adjacent, but there are no boardwalks, rides, or ice cream vendors for kids.

Of course, the one factor you can't control with regard to your vacation home is cell phone reception -- either there's service in the area or there isn't. But if reception is spotty where your home is located, or nonexistent, take what could be perceived as a negative and market it as a positive -- a chance to truly get a break from the dinging, ringing, and alerting that has the potential to drive many of us into a fit of stress.

At the same time, if you're going to bill your vacation home as digital-free, make sure to set your guests up with some type of onsite entertainment. Start a small library and invest in a few packs of cards or board games. This way, your renters won't get bored in the course of escaping the grind, and they'll be more likely to recommend the experience to other people they know.

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