Worldwide: Mark Simpson, founder of Boostly and known as ‘The Book Direct Guy’, shares the TikTok profiles that can help holiday rental industry professionals capture the attention of Gen Z travellers.
TikTok is maturing into a useful business tool that could prove invaluable to the short stay holiday rental industry.
New research shows that one in ten business owners under the age of 44 now uses TikTok, doubling since pre-pandemic, when just five per cent used the video hosting platform. However, only one per cent of small business owners over the age of 44 currently uses TikTok for their business.
TikTok isn’t just kids and dancing. Just like Instagram, the app has aged up and is now being used daily by your future potential guests. The oldest of Generation Z, who are often assumed to be kids, now includes travellers in their mid- to late-20s, who have disposable income and want to explore new places.
There is compelling evidence on why businesses need to be using this platform to grow their direct contact with customers and reduce their reliance on online travel agents [OTAs] such as Airbnb and Booking.com.
Here, I list the TikTokkers that all short-stay and holiday accommodation bosses should be following to help them boost their direct bookings.
Going by the handle @milliondollarrenter, Sean Rakidzich has more than 145,000 followers and 1.6 million likes thanks to his mission to “lightly troll the Internet while teaching Airbnb”. His popular Airbnb Automated series provides insights into his adventure to make money on the Airbnb platform without owning a property.
He provides insights into property administration and strategy, maximising occupancy, pricing strategy and design suggestions.
Simpson says: “He is very good at taking what he knows really well and putting it into TikTok form. This guy is very funny. He does Airbnb, he does real estate, but he does it in a comedy way, it’s info-tainment.”
Very much proving that TikTok is not just “for the kids” is veteran travel journalist and broadcaster, Simon Calder. A well known commenter on all things travel-related, his expertise and knowledge, plus the way he champions the issues which affect ordinary travellers, has translated into a strong following on TikTok with more than 55,000 followers.
Simpson says: “His videos are really entertaining, he’s very short and to the point. I’ve followed Simon for years and to be able to see him come onto TikTok and flourish in the way that he has been funny and great.”
Sarah Peake is a self-proclaimed @UKglamping_queen, and has 30,000 followers to back it up. She owns Peake’s Retreats, a luxury yurt glampsite in Staffordshire and is passionate about sharing the glamping lifestyle with others.
She posts videos on how she runs her business while also being a mum, fun insights into the little extra details and touches she puts into her glampsite, honest pieces about the hard work it takes to get the lodges and yurts ready, advice on dealing with guest reviews, and cleaning tips.
Simpson says: “She’s doing really well and has a large following, as she posts lots of useful tips and is realistic about her life as a working mum too.”
MAEVELA Serviced Apartments
Also UK-based, @Maevela_ focuses on the city apartment rental market.
Simpson says: “You wouldn’t anticipate a city apartment doing well on TikTok but MAEVELA do fantastically well in this area.”
Offering luxury serviced apartments in Birmingham, it has more than 9,000 followers and over 100,000 likes. Director Shamil’s honest posts about dealing with the aftermath of nightmare guests are especially popular.
As founder of online hospitality training platform Boostly, Mark Simpson has worked with thousands of short stay accommodation owners and helped them to increase their direct bookings. He has written The Book Direct Playbook and has become known as ‘The Book Direct Guy’.