In a small survey done in the Spring of 2016, ‘we asked our guests, What do you look for when searching for a vacation rental’. Here were the five answers we got the most:
- A Good Website
We were surprised that this was the number one response we received from our guests, but it makes sense. A user-friendly website that has accurate descriptions and detailed photos of the apartments is the first step in finding the perfect vacation rental. We also got enthusiastic feedback for using the cutting-edge Matterport technology which provides a fully immersive virtual experience that feels so real, it’s like being there. Try it with our Latin Quarter Loft apartment here.
- Location, Location, Location
Location is the most important factor when assessing the desirability of a vacation rental. Since the average stay in Paris is a little under a week, guests want to be in the best possible location. An ideal neighborhood has restaurants, cafés, wine shops, and open-air markets. While it’s ok to overhear other travelers speaking English in the street, our guests want to experience living like a Parisian, not like a tourist. People tend to go for Le Marais or St Germain because they are central, safe, and upscale, instead of Montmartre, which is out of the way and more touristy.
- The Best Price to Quality Ratio
The price is of course a big factor in choosing the right apartment. When we dug a little bit deeper into the subject, guests said that they would prefer something of good value over an economical accommodation. What they were looking for was a fair price for a nice and clean apartment in the best location. Since guests are often families with different needs, comfort and space are key to their experience, and the best value does not necessarily mean going for the cheapest offer. They are in Paris for a limited time and really want to enjoy it and bring home the best memories.
- Must-Have Amenities: A Solid Internet Connection and a Washer/Dryer
As for amenities, a good Internet connection/Wi-Fi is the the most important one for guests. The way they entertain themselves when they are not walking around Paris is browsing the Internet, posting pictures of the trip on Facebook or Instagram, and giving updates to family and friends back home. Nowadays, guests also need to stay in touch with work when necessary. With the integration of the Internet/social media into work and day-to-day life, we were not surprised that this was important. When asked which they would choose between a home cinema and a good Internet connection, everyone chose the Internet. A washer/dryer is the amenity that comes just behind the Internet as something that should not be overlooked, as travelers tend to pack lighter when renting an accommodation.
This is what distinguishes Property Managers and agencies from automated booking platforms such as HomeAway or AirBnB. For guests traveling abroad, a local team is a much sought-after guarantee to avoid unexpected issues. Good service starts at the airport with a pre-arranged transfer to the apartment to ensure a trouble-free arrival. A personal greeting in English is also reassuring to first-timers. But above all, our guests enquire about local support in case something goes wrong, or just to get a restaurant recommendation in the vicinity. A friendly and available on-the-ground staff member can make a huge difference when visiting abroad, and our guests seem to understand the added value of that.
Guest Experience Specialist