Marriott sees Homes & Villas as a key part of keeping its customers happy to grow its loyalty market share, as opposed to dominating the short-term rental market.
Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy has grown from 60,000 listings to 115,000 in just a year. But the premium short-term rental offering from the world’s largest hospitality group isn’t focused on being the biggest.
“We’ve never wanted to be scaled to the millions,” said Jennifer Hsieh, Vice President for Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy, at the Skift Short-Term Rental Summit in New York on Wednesday. “We want to be in a business where we are curating the best properties for our guests who already in their mind have a sense of what they expect from Marriott.”
Hsieh pointed to a continued focus on 180 million Bonvoy members who directly drive about 90 percent of Homes and Villas’ bookings. She said 40 percent of those bookings see some form of points redemption.
“This is the incredible behavior that we are seeing with our best guests,” Hsieh said.
Last year, Marriott added Bonvoy to the branding, and the small change forms part of Marriott’s loyalty program’s core strategy to keep it top of mind.
With the entry into Australia and New Zealand last year, and most recently India and Korea, the brand’s vision is global, Hsieh told Skift’s Sean O’Neill in an on-stage interview.
Homes & Villas is focused on the professionally managed component of the business, with whole-home rentals. According to Hsieh, while skewed towards premium and luxury, the brand saw stable average transaction values year-on-year. The three-to-seven-day stay appears to be the sweet spot for premium vacation rentals, added Hsieh.
Short-Term Rental Customer and Hotel Customer as One
There appears to be no separation between a short-term rental customer and a hotel customer. “It’s become about trip purpose. What do you want to achieve during that stay,” said Hsieh. “We are not an open platform. We are a closed platform. We work specifically with professional property managers, and we make sure that those that we work with are really strong operators.”
“We’ve curated those homes, and we reward you for that with the ability to earn and burn points. Obviously, we have an advantage because we have the world’s largest hotel company, and we have the scale to provide you with a solution no matter where you want to go, and we want you to be able to trust that home.”
While the vetting process to ensure quality has in the past caused bottlenecks, Hsieh said the brand had reached a place of balance.
However, success is not about size – certainly not compared with Marriott’s hotel business, according to Hsieh.
“When you think about this segment of the business, strategically, it is very important for the company, for keeping our guests within our ecosystem. However, we’ve never said that we want to be the biggest out there, and we don’t think that’s the right strategy. We want to be the best out there. Where we see value is stickiness to our portfolio. And then, obviously, we’re competitors and want a bigger share of their travel wallet. So that’s how we think about it.”
Tags: daily lodging report, future of lodging, homes & villas, hospitality, loyalty, marriott, Marriott International, skift live, Skift Short Term Rental Summit, skift short-term rental summit, skift summit, vacation rentals
Photo credit: Jennifer Hsieh, vice president, Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy and senior hospitality editor Sean O'Neill at Skift Short Term Rental Summit 2023. Source: Skift. Ryan Bourque / Skift