Before we do anything, let’s get this out of the way: 2020 has been an unprecedented year.
Nearly every type of business has been on a rollercoaster of twists, turns, and corkscrews in recent months, and the short-term rental industry is no different. Yet, unlike many other industries, vacation rentals are poised for a major and potentially long-lasting upswing as pandemic concerns persist into the Fall and Winter.
Following an unpleasant Spring, many homeowners have enjoyed a huge rebound that doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In a typical year, Labor Day weekend generally represents a “Last Call,” of sorts, as travelers attempt to soak up every final ounce of Summer fun.
Obviously, this isn’t a typical year.
Homeowners who might be accustomed to things slowing down are now watching their booking calendars fill up well into the offseason months. Pent-up demand, driven by pent-up travelers, is proving to be a legitimate boon for vacation rentals across the country.
The question now is: how can you benefit from this suddenly healthy and robust market?
First, it’s important to understand who’s still traveling and what they’re looking for in potential vacation rentals. According to research, family trips are the most popular type of getaway at the moment, followed closely by trips to visit friends and family. Travelers aren’t hopping onto airplanes, either: domestic car trips skyrocketed during the summer, with roughly two-thirds of trips clocking in at distances of less than 1,000 miles.
More than anything, though, people want to know their vacation rental is clean. Data shows that upwards of 90% of travelers are making choices based on health and hygiene protocols.
The big picture seems pretty clear, then: travelers—especially families—are jumping into cars and driving to places relatively close to home. Safety and cleanliness are their top priorities, and all things considered, they’re far more comfortable staying at private vacation rentals opposed to hotels and resorts.
For homeowners, understanding all that context is critical to maximizing success during what is surely a bizarre stretch of time. But if you truly want to capitalize on this pandemic-driven surge, here are a few other things you need to keep in mind:
Proper revenue management is the first major step you can take toward maximizing your rental profits—not only during COVID-19, but all the time. It allows you to forecast demand, and more importantly, turn that demand into revenue.
Unfortunately, revenue management can be a full-time job in and of itself: it requires data analysis, number-crunching, and a thorough understanding of all the different metrics involved with running a lucrative rental property. At MyVacayHome, vacation-rental experts actually provide complimentary revenue consultations that cover rental demand ratings, revenue growth, seasonality demand, and more.
Current research shows that 93% of travelers would use an Online Travel Agency (OTA) to book an upcoming trip. That is a staggering number, and it has some important takeaways.
First, it reaffirms the present mindset: before they jump into their cars to drive someplace, families and friends are carefully browsing today’s most popular travel sites for the safest destinations. That means it’s more important than ever for homeowners to remain visible on whichever sites they’re listed on—be it Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia, or elsewhere.
What’s more, data collected prior to the pandemic showed that homeowners who list their rental on multiple channels enjoy a substantial boost in revenue. It stands to reason, then, that if you’re utilizing a multi-channel distribution approach, you’re only going to increase your visibility and profits in the months ahead.
Don't Overthink It
Maybe you’re on multiple channels already. Or, maybe you aren’t, and you’re enticed by the potential of listing on several travel sites.
On the flip side: maybe you don’t need any help maximizing your rental revenue! Maybe you’re fully booked, and you just want some help managing the workload.
Either way, the ball is entirely in your court. COVID-19 has undeniably changed the short-term rental landscape, and ultimately, it’s up to you just how much you want to capitalize during the ongoing surge.
To that end, a full-service distribution company like MyVacayHome can help you with all of the above and then some. From complete revenue management and non-stop performance optimization to 24-hour assistance, MyVacayHome shoulders the work while homeowners like you sit back and collect.