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What’s driving continued growth in the short-term rental sector and what hosts and managers must do to respond and thrive

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Technology is a significant driver when it comes to setting short-term rentals apart in a crowded market. Creating a frictionless stay by incorporating smart home automation to help streamline the process between host and guest won’t just be an added extra - it’ll be a basic expectation.

When it comes to travel accommodation, to say there has been a boom in the popularity of short-term rentals would be an understatement.

Over the past couple of years, when the pandemic took hold it prompted many of us to rethink how we would spend our valuable time away. When switching our out-of-office on and getting into vacation mode, rather than heading to far-flung destinations, travel restrictions meant staying closer to home became the new normal.

Coupled with greater concerns around hygiene and cleanliness, as well as getting used to home comforts as a result of enforced home-working, we began to expect more from our accommodation choices. Opting to stay somewhere that would act as a sanctuary became
commonplace, to create a sense of security during uncertain times.

Whereas before, staying in a hotel for a two-week getaway was often seen as a slice of luxury, this is no longer the case. Booking somewhere that achieves a ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling has been bumped to the top of the agenda.

This is how the rise in demand for STRs began.
According to research by AirDNA, 2021 saw a demand in STRs exceed all expectations, with new bookings across the U.S. reaching a record high. What’s more, the popularity of STRs is expected to continue into 2022 and beyond.

How can property managers stay ahead of the game?

Technology is a significant driver when it comes to setting short-term rentals apart in a crowded market. Creating a frictionless stay by incorporating smart home automation to help streamline the process between host and guest won’t just be an added extra - it’ll be a basic expectation.

If you are considering taking the plunge into the short-term rentals market, here are my top five tips to help you create the ultimate guest experience:

1. Connectivity. High-speed internet is non-negotiable for guests looking to combine business with leisure, and should be the first item on any property checklist.
2. Comfort. Creating a warm and inviting environment is essential, especially when accommodating longer-term guests. Think high quality amenities, well designed rooms and plush soft furnishings.
3. Designated work spaces. Separating areas for work and play is vital to those wishing to blend business with leisure. Making sure the space is well lit, has accessible charging points and is away from the bustle, while also ensuring the desk setup is as comfortable as possible, will make working remotely all the more enjoyable.
4. Fresh air. Vital for those all-important breaks between meetings - or for guests looking to relax round-the-clock, a quick escape to the great outdoors will be viewed as a major plus. Maximize the value of a garden or balcony by keeping it well maintained and
adding outdoor furniture or lighting, or go the extra mile by providing details of the local area to aid exploration.
5. The wow factor. While all of the above will set you on your way to creating a fantastic guest experience, think about what makes your property stand out from the crowd. This may be an unusual location, quirky design or, perhaps, most important of all, the smart
technology that allows guests to enjoy a memorable, frictionless stay.

 

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