Updated: Jan 23
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – one of America’s most notably historic cities, having hosted the signing of both the Declaration of Independence & The Constitution. In more recent years, Sylvester Stallone enshrined the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with his celebratory run in “Rocky.”
The city is a destination for many, whether it be history buffs, foodies or art enthusiasts. Philadelphia’s draw has made it an incredible location for building a vacation rental business. But in a sea of Airbnbs, how does one stand out in the Philly short-term rental market? We’ve got some tips:
1. Identify & Lean Into Your Rental’s Niche
As we touched upon previously, Philadelphia draws a wide array of vacationers, each with their own unique tastes and preferences. Before marketing your vacation rental, it’s helpful to identify what makes it unique in the market in order to attract guests who will appreciate it for its unique features.
Is your rental a walkable studio in City Center ideal for first time visitors looking to lay eyes on the iconic Liberty Bell? Or, are you a brownstone in the artsy Fairmont neighborhood – a dream pad for museum goers who appreciate a quieter vibe? Positioning your vacation rental accurately and creatively while leaning into your niche is a great way to engage guests who are looking for a unique Philadelphia experience only you can offer.
2. Put Together a Philadelphia Guide Book
When managing a vacation rental in Philadelphia, you’re likely attracting guests who are looking to explore the historic metropolis. What better way to please them and secure a 5-star review than putting together a guidebook with all Philly has to offer? Whether this is a printed pamphlet or a digital experience integrated into your Airbnb listing, such an initiative is a great way to surprise and delight.
Similarly to identifying your niche, you might start by breaking the guide into categories such as historic sites, arts & culture activities, food & drink options and maybe even some ways to step outside of the city to see what the surrounding suburbs provide for entertainment. Another option might be structuring your guidebook like a bucket list, providing your can’t-miss attractions from a local’s perspective. Either way, a guidebook is guaranteed to set you apart from other rentals in the Philadelphia area.
3. Collaborate with Local Partners
Let’s be real – as vacation rental owners and managers, we can’t always do it all. Luckily, Philadelphia has a plethora of local businesses that owners and managers can tap into to optimize their properties. Such partnerships can make or break the guest experience, taking your rental from OK to amazing in their eyes.
For example, let’s tackle the topic of trash. When hosting vacation goers, it’s almost guaranteed they’re going to accumulate a lot of it. They are on vacation after all. Collaborating with a trash removal company built specifically to support the varying schedule of a vacation rental can ensure your rental is spick and span for each check-in. Rather than relying on city services, such a partnership removes the unpredictability, in turn transforming one of property managers’ top stressors for the better.
Launching a vacation rental in the thriving Philadelphia market is exciting. By continuously optimizing your property’s amenities and approach, you can ensure your property shines. Remember to start with a solid strategy & approach, continue to tweak as you gather takeaways, and connect with some local Philly business partners to take things to the next level.