Meet Your Future Perfect Guest: The Digital Nomad

Mar 29, 2018 | Vacation Rental Industry

Digital Nomads. Remote work is a big emerging trend. A few years ago, the words “work at home” made it sound like you were one step away from being let go. Now, it’s what all the cool kids do. However, home is no longer a specific place. Today, “home is where the heart is” has a whole new meaning. Digital Nomads combine a career with the freedom of traveling on their own schedule and they want to make the most out of it. They are abandoning boring office cubicles and looking to buy experiences, not things.

Stereotypes have no room in this article. Don’t categorize digital nomads as millennials, freelancers, travelers, backpackers, or castaways. They are professionals who decide to change the busy city life for a beautiful beach in Bali, the Festival of Lights in Berlin, or just to spend a few months in Central America.

Digital nomadism has been around for many years, but if the first wave of semi-permanent expats were bohemians, the most recent influx are MacBook Air-wielding digitally savvy independent workers. They are not committed to a place and tend to book their trips at the last minute. A digital nomad is basically a remote worker, independent contractor, or freelancer—anyone who can get stuff done from anywhere.

So why are Digital Nomads your perfect guests?

Will spend most of the time working

This is the main purpose of their trip and what allows them to travel, so you won’t have to worry about the person who is renting your place. Most probably, they will use the apartment as a hub for work.

But don’t underestimate them. They love to feel like home wherever they go, regardless of the time of their stay. Their expectations of a place and a host are probably higher than most guests.

While there are different lodging options, from extended stay hotels to hostels, vacation rentals is the go-to option for many. Most will need a dedicated workspace, so try to cater to this.

Suitable Wi-Fi is a must. It’s the glue that holds remote work together, and getting a poor bandwidth connection is a non-starter. Be sure yours is up to the task.

As with all guests, the Nomad chose your place because it looked perfect on the listing, but if you believe it is not the right fit for them, be honest about it. They will appreciate it and might choose your location for their next holidays without any work obligations.

They are neither travelers nor tourists

This guest has different needs and desires. Find out what they do for a living and tell them about related events in the city during their stay. Most of them would love the fact that you took the time to make them feel special. As a host, you can make their trip better because you know the local area, culture, language, etc.

Respectful with other guests and the property

With approximately a billion tourists traversing the globe, many properties have become threatened by frequent —and at times destructive— visitations. We see such news every now and then, but Digital Nomad are generally among the last types of travelers you need to worry about.

Your property is the Nomad’s temporary home and your neighbors are their temporary neighbors too. Digital Nomads are running a business themselves and understand that vacation rentals are doing the same thing. They travel as a way of life and they are very used to it.

They are your perfect target for low season

You may have heard of these crazy stories about people who sold everything and left their hometown to travel the world. More people are now able to do it for longer periods as they have a monthly income that covers their expenses. Vacation rentals should take advantage of this and start targeting Digital Nomads for the low season, offering them the best deals as they are able to travel any time of the year. Most of them will have no strings attached, so why not go to Hawaii in September for 50% less during the low season time of year? Most of them prefer to go to a country they have never been to before and seasons don’t matter that much to them.

They will promote your business

80% of Digital Nomads feel that online travel reviews were very important in helping to make decisions such as what vacation rental to choose, the best places to see, or where to have a great meal. 56% said they would write reviews of their travel experience as they understand how important this is for future guests.

This means that they put greater trust into the opinions of their peers, frequently consulting crowd-sourced review sites before booking. Short term rentals and travel destinations must scrupulously monitor their online reputations if they hope to attract Digital travelers.

Vacation rentals: welcome to this new era where non-stop social networking, make-or-break Internet reviews, and last-minute bookings are revolutionizing travel marketing. Make sure they have easy access to the information they desire for making smarter purchase decisions, whether that information comes from friends on social media, crowd-sourced online reviews, or your brand’s own website.

Want to start targeting Digital Nomads?

  • Offer online booking
  • Listings with real and useful information
  • Have a responsive website and a nice layout
  • Be prepared for last minute inquiries
  • Ability to have a fast response time
  • Work hard on your social media channels
  • Be trustworthy
  • Provide them with personalized attention
  • Treat them as friends, not tourists
  • Make them feel at home

Why should you target this audience? Because there would be over 1 billion Nomads by 2035, and not many are doing it YET!

Are you interested but don’t know how to get started? We will tell you all about it in our next post.