How are hospitality operators trying to break the dominance of the major OTAs? How much consolidation are we going to see in the short term rental industry?
And why (OH WHY?!) do those so desperate to get back to nature arrive in their wellies and then start with, “Is there WiFi?”
These were the questions being asked — and answered — when the great and the good of the short stay sector descended on The Skyline London near Tower Bridge on Wednesday for the inaugural Short Term Rentalz Summit.
The event promised not to be a trade show and it didn’t disappoint. While other industry events boast scale, this was the conference circuit’s cosy cousin, where the industry’s key players get together in an intimate setting to solve the big issues of the day.
I’m not here to name drop (it was great to see Nam Quach, managing director at DC Advisory, Doron Meyassed, co-founder of Plum Guide, Simon Lehmann, co-founder of AJL Atelier…) — what we talked about was as important as the networking, if not more.
Here are just three of the key takeaways you missed if you couldn’t make it this year — but don’t worry, the event will be back in 2024.
1. There hasn’t been nearly as much consolidation in the short term rental industry as the hotel industry. And this can happen on both the technology side as well as the supply side. In fact, 70% of the US hotel industry reportedly belongs to the Big Four while the biggest property management player in the US vacation rental market has less than 1% of the available rooms. That’s a yawning gap, which proves it’s still pretty early days for the short term rental market.
2. If you want to cut the amount spent on guest acquisition, and rely less on OTAs, then you’ve got to harvest the right customer information and keep talking to them. Hopper sends 34 notifications to its guests PER TRIP! That’s a lot of love and, while there are good reasons to use OTAs, the consensus is that a rebalancing, largely powered by technology, is coming to the hospitality sector as a whole. As Julie Brinkman, CEO of Beyond Pricing, says, “You should never pay an OTA twice for the same guest.”
3. And finally… the way multifamily operators are starting to leverage short stays is really gathering pace. Greystar, backers of the flexible rental PMS Lavanda, told how they’re still actively exploring the scale of the opportunity here. Sentral are taking a progressive approach by allowing residents to rent their apartments on Airbnb while they’re away, which defeats accusations that short term rentals always remove supply from long-term renters. Filling voids with STR can be a very rewarding strategy. Sentral reported a record 1,000% uplift in nightly rate during the Superbowl, when compared with longer-term, unfurnished ADRs. Multifamily operators are “leaving money on the table”, said Lisa Yeh, President at Sentral.
About Neil Millard
Neil is the managing director of Abode Worldwide. Neil oversees all delivery for clients and brings Fleet St know-how and more than a decade’s journalistic experience to the way we elevate the businesses we partner with.
About Abode Worldwide
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