The prevailing themes for the travel industry in 2020 has been, and will end up being, safety, survival, and recovery. For so many in the industry, the coronavirus has spelled doom and disaster, both for its widespread human cost and for its damage to the foundation of tourism. For some, the product they offer actually fits into the aforementioned themes.
Airbnb for instance, by virtue of its service, kept the guest a little bit safer by adding a personal touch to the stay – complemented by hand sanitizer, of course. As travel restrictions tightened, the flexibility of Airbnb also added some ease to the nerves of the local traveler. Rounding out the benefits, Airbnb put a generous foot forward by relaxing its refund policies, despite suffering losses of approximately 50% of its total revenue.
Moreover, Airbnb has been growing in popularity since its inception in 2008. The brainchild of Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb evolved from an idea to a 31 billion dollar company. They had planned on seeing the company traded publicly on the Stock Market, but the coronavirus dampened those plans, temporarily. In fact, Airbnb has already filed their IPO (initial public offering), sticking to their plans of trying to make it public in 2020.
For travelers, especially during this tenuous era where the very air and unclean surfaces can lead to hospitalization or worse, the individualized attention one might find renting from an Airbnb-type property rather than a monstrous hotel brand can bring some solace to travelers of every level of germaphobe. Besides the cleanliness factor, vacation rentals often give the traveler more space for less money overall. In addition, the vacation rentals often offer kitchens and washer/dryers, and although one might not want to cook or do laundry while on vacation, the convenience factor is substantial. Finally, in a world where high speed wifi is as important as hot water and indoor plumbing, vacation rentals frequently have stronger and more reliable wifi.
On the flipside, if one owns an Airbnb, the profits can be sizable. According to priceonomics.com, the average monthly income from an Airbnb property is $924. However, some owners are moving away from the traditional Airbnb format and branching out a bit more on their own. Owners who wish to remain part of a huge network might try booking.com, which charges 15% commission on rentals, or perhaps homeaway.com, which has a yearly or a per-booking fee. Flipkey.com allows owners to rent out any type of accommodation from castles to houseboats, offers free listing and charges only 3% commission.
However, when the time comes to sell or purchase a property (for personal use or as a vacation rental), the concept of using high tech marketing platforms is still wise. The increasingly sophisticated homeowner software available can truly benefit future owners of vacation rental properties. One home marketing agency, for instance, Xolde.com, can transform the way the owner makes decisions about their properties. Through the use of AI, proprietary machine learning algorithms, and a tech-driven team of experts, the aspiring vacation renter has many more options for his/her business.
The company’s website also features a home wealth monitor which can be a useful tool for buyers, sellers, and renters alike. Through the monitor, the vacation rental property owner, for instance, can track home improvements, home values, and potential rental income on their future Airbnb investment. It is not all just about technology. This home marketing agency uses a team approach through a personal account manager and a close network of team members.
The pandemic has affected the travel industry as much as any other industry, but short-term rentals were only mildly impacted. This is due to many rentals not utilized in a full-time capacity. If owners do choose to sell rather than rent, or investors who are optimistic for 2021, then a book like Home Selling Secrets by Raphael Orozco Jr. might be as useful as leveraging the high tech management platforms aiding property owners and buyers. In any case, the concept of privately-owned vacation rentals is surviving the test of time and the challenges of a worldwide pandemic.