It might seem counterintuitive to market a vacation rental property to niche groups rather than the general population. Why limit your audience to a certain group when anyone could stay there? Is segregating a vacation rental listing as being a place for parents, the LGBT community, or Black guests a good way to get business? Or will this strategy backfire? Let's explore this.
Why people are using niche rental platforms
In the ever-increasing quest to get a vacation rental booked, especially in high- competition areas, many hosts market their property by playing up its unique features to make it stand out among the crowd: "Luxury City Center Loft on a Traffic-Free Street," for example. Advertising attractive features is one method to make a listing stand out.
Another way to market a short-term rental is to list the property on a niche vacation rental platform, such as one that caters to kids, dogs, the LGBT community, or is listed a Black-friendly space.
People who are looking for a place that accepts dogs or one with highchairs and childproof rooms for babies and small children would probably prefer looking only at sites that offer what they need.
But what about searching for a short-term rental that's geared toward gay couples or people of a certain ethnic group? There are people who prefer to choose their vacation rental from a community of like-minded hosts regarding various racial, ethnic, and gender groups.
This doesn't sit well with everyone
The idea of niche marketing might strike some people the wrong way. After all, there's a difference between needing a particular type of facility that caters to children, pets, or seniors, for example, and a niche company, like Noirbnb that caters to Black and ethnically diverse travelers; Golightly; an invitation-only platform for women-only hosts; and Fabstays for the LGBTQ+ community.
Some people view this like-minded philosophy as the opposite of being diverse, as people are self-segregating themselves into a group in which they identify rather than being part of the general community. But if that type of marketing works for some hosts and there's a market for it, then it works. Period.
But at what point is this niche marketing offensive? You can't very well advertise your rental as Blancbnb, for example, without having that backfire. (Noir is French for black, and blanc is French for white.) But this is the time we're living in, and vacation rental hosts just want to be as successful as possible. If niche marketing works for some hosts, then there will be niche platforms.
The Millionacres bottom line
Some people say they feel safer renting from a place that caters to the group in which they identify. If vacation rental hosts find a popular niche where there's a bigger demand for what they're offering than a supply, then by all means, they should practice niche marketing.
But other people just want a three-bedroom house within walking distance to the beach, no matter who they are or how they identify. Renting out a vacation place is both an art and a science, and hosts should usually do whatever works best for them economically -- that is if they want to stay in business.