This summer, we conducted a survey of the general traveling public as well as managers and owners of vacation rental properties to inform our Summer Trends Report. While you can view the entire report here, these were the 3 things that are top of mind as we move into the second half of the year.
Property Management with Dynamic Pricing
The results from our survey are clear—dynamic pricing has moved from a “nice-to-have” in the short-term rental industry to a “need-to-have.” Dynamic pricing takes the guesswork out of pricing and it’s widely recognized as a core technology for the industry.
For example, 75% of property owners cite dynamic pricing as very important in their decision for selecting who will manage their property.
Dynamic pricing is a key enabler of the short-term rental industry and it’s a critical part of the equation to being successful with a property. Property owners that leverage a management company for their rentals are looking for agencies that know what dynamic pricing is and how to harness it to price their property competitively.
Not pricing a property effectively was in the top three concerns that keep managers and owners up at night (unexpected property issues and damage to the property being the other two).
Additionally, 70% of owners and managers appreciate that dynamic pricing enables them to be in control and equips them with the ability to be proactive, rather than reactive, when they can capture and capitalize on market changes. Furthermore, dynamic pricing helps level the playing field between short-term rentals and hotels—34% of owners and managers citing this as the best result of using it to price property.
Direct Booking Matters
While Airbnb is the primary listing website for short-term rentals, with 94% of owners and managers listing on the platform, it isn’t considered the one and only magic bullet for listing and renting out properties.
In fact, 38% use their own website or booking engine, which demonstrates how they’re engaged with their property on pricing, using industry data, and incorporating technology.
Additionally, the 38% of owners and managers who use their own website or booking engine might want more autonomy with their properties, not really caring to share their profits with OTAs or follow their rules.
This increase in self-management of online listings can also be partially attributed to Airbnb’s decision to not hold guests accountable for cancellation fees during the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns of 2020.
That decision resulted in managers and owners bearing the brunt of the revenue losses, a decision that still rankles in the community and resulted in some hosts leaving the platform altogether.
The top four booking websites for listing short-term rentals are Airbnb (94%), Vrbo (62%), Booking.com (28%), and TripAdvisor (20%).
Safety is Still Top of Mind
While the vaccine rollout, lifting restrictions and decreasing COVID-19 infection rates have been welcome news for travelers, safety is still top of mind and they are looking for lodging options that reflect it.
As travelers venture out, nearly half of all respondents find short-term rentals to be a safe option for their lodging.
The top 3 factors that will highly influence upcoming travel:
- Lockdowns lifting
- Vaccine rollout
- “Work from anywhere”
Remaining top of mind for travelers is the possibility of lockdowns returning. 47% of respondents consider this an influencing factor in their next travel opportunity. This helps explain the trends we’ve seen lately that booking lead times remain shorter than historical data.