Key Highlights

  • Just months ago, Airbnb’s future looked terrible as bookings were down as much as -96%
  • July 8, Airbnb reported +1M booking in one day

During mid March and April, owners of short-term rental properties were beside themselves as Airbnb’s bookings were down an unheard of -96%.

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Now, these same owners are singing another tune. On July 8. Airbnb short-term rental hosts boasted +1M bookings in a single day. What is going on with such demand in the middle of a pandemic?

People are bored, antsy and feeling caged in due to pandemic sheltering in place and they want to “get out.” They’re getting out by driving, not flying, to places that are short distances, often more rural or remote, from home. Airbnb indicated that approximately 50% of all the July 8 bookings were to destinations with 300 miles and that two thirds of those bookings were to places outside of major cities. On top of this information, Airbnb reported that hosts offering short-term rentals in rural destination raked in more than $200< during the month of June alone, a +25% increase over last year.

If you and/or your clients already own short-term rental property in rural areas, good for you! If you and/or your short-term rental investors are not yet owners of short-term rental property in rural areas, now is the time to consider this now-trending potential revenue stream.

Here are some strategies to capitalize on this short-term rental property trend:

  • Airbnb reported that +50% of all July 8 bookings were priced at less than $100/night. Makes sense, right?
  • Run a “special” to get the attention of price-conscious travelers
  • Offer an outdoor “locals” experience that can easily be done wearing masks and social distancing such as a locals’ hike or locals’ bike ride. You or someone you know could be the “locals” guide or expert. Airbnb’s newly launched “Online Experiences” generated in+$2M during month of June.
  • List on multiple platforms such as VRBO and HomeAway to maximize your exposure.
  • Add and/or improve your at-home amenities since your guests will likely spend more time on your property during and/or post pandemic. Throw in a complimentary wine and cheese basket, just because.
  • Adapt an empty closet or spare room into a remote working space with a desk, comfortable chair, and lightning fast Wi-Fi
  • Consider being more flexible with your short-term rental policies and rules. Since travelers themselves are dealing with often unknown or as yet unannounced work and school schedules, you might accommodate them by being more lenient with booking and cancellation windows. You also might want to consider easing your pet policies (within specifics) since boarding facilities may be closed.

Just because we’re in the midst of chaos, making the most of a short-term rental property can, in fact, generate its own and perhaps significant revenue stream for you and/or your clients. Words to the wise regarding short-term rental properties – ensure the property is immaculate and properly sanitized, be creative in marketing the property, dial into traveling trends and start your marketing efforts now for holiday bookings.


Thanks to Millionacres.

Also read: Podcast: Are Your Following These Core Success Rules? | Tim and Julie Harris, 2019 Top Short-Term Rental Markets, No Housing Bubble Crash in 2020


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