Did you know that nearly 1.3 billion people worldwide have disabilities? That's approximately 16% of the global population. However, according to recent data, less than .002% of short-term rentals are accessible for people using a wheelchair.
To have a wheelchair or mobility-accessible short-term rental property means that there are no barriers to entry for anyone; an elderly relative, a family member with a physical disability, or a friend who has been temporarily disabled.
As a property manager or a host, you want your vacation rental property to be accessible to all types of guests. That's why vacation rental managers and hosts should take into consideration all types of disabilities, physical, mental, or visual when it comes to their short-term rentals to be truly accessible. It may require some extra effort, but it will make your property more desirable for travelers with disabilities and bring its own rewards, both altruistically and financially.
More Accessibility in Short-Term Rentals is a Win-Win
People with disabilities desire and need to travel but often struggle to find rentals equipped to fulfill their needs. Unfortunately, not enough vacation rentals are listed with mobility and accessibility in mind on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online travel agencies (OTAs). When looking at Airbnb in particular, we can see that most accessibility features show up in less than 2% of listings.
As a vacation rental manager or host, it's crucial to make your property more accessible and accommodating to travelers with disabilities. Not only can you help an often underserved group, but making your rental accessible can also lead to a significant boost in bookings and revenue for you. By adding accessibility features to your vacation rental, and in turn adding those filters to your Airbnb listing or vacation rental property website, you will turn up in more searches, and guests can find you easily.
How You Can Make Your Short-Term Rental More Accessible
Don't miss out on the benefits of making your rental accessible and inclusive for everyone. Incorporating accessibility information on your vacation rental property listing is critical. Integrating accessibility statements with exceptional photos and applying descriptive filters can help attract guests with disabilities and make them feel welcome. Remember to be as accurate as possible, guests need to be able to trust that the home is truly accessible to them.
First, you’ll need to decide which accommodations you can add depending on your rental’s structure/layout, your budget, etc. Becoming rentABLE, the accessible short-term rental experts, has great resources to check out that can help you decide which accommodations to add. Also, remember to take a look around your rental, you might already have accessible features like step-free guest entrance or an accessible parking spot.
Once you have your accessibility features added to your rental, you’ll need to highlight them accurately in your listing on the OTAs and your direct booking site. Properly using Airbnb and other OTA’s accessibility filters to show your rental property's accommodations is key to attracting guests with disabilities, increase bookings and revenue. Here are a few tips:
- Be accurate: When adding accommodations to your rental, it is important to be correct as guests in need depend on this. Follow all guidelines, building codes, local laws, etc. to ensure that your property is up to standards.
- Highlight accessibility features in your photos: Not only can future guests check out those features, but taking the right photos can make all the difference in terms of accommodating guests who have mobility issues or visual or hearing impairments.
- Describe accessibility features in your listing: In order to turn up in searches, you will need to describe accessibility features in your listing well. Plus, it will help guests with disabilities determine if your rental is set up to accommodate their needs.
- Don’t forget to account for all types of accessibility: While the physical aspect of accessibility is significant, hosts should also take into account mental, visibility, and any other conditions that affect a guest's mobility.
As a vacation rental property manager or host, it's essential to make your property accessible and accommodating to all guests, including those with disabilities. Doing so is not only ethical but also profitable, as it opens up your property to a new demographic of guests. By using accessibility filters correctly and incorporating robust accessibility information on your vacation rental listings, you can attract more guests with disabilities, increase bookings, and boost revenue.
If you want to find out more about information about accessible short-term rentals or have a property you would like evaluated for accessibility, check out Becoming rentABLE!