5 things we’ve learned over 5 years in the lodging industry

“During the 5 years that Abode Worldwide has been working with operators and tech companies supplying the short-term rental sector – so much has changed,” said Abode Worldwide’s Founder and Managing Director, Jessica Gillingham.

As a B2B PR agency, both our markets and our services have evolved in recent years as we’ve grown. We now work with leading innovators in the hospitality, hotel, short-term rental, and property technology sectors, offering both high quality PR and content marketing services. Here’s what we’ve learned along the way…

Growth: something that has grown or is growing

The short-term rental and proptech industry “is one of the most interesting stories to look at, particularly given that before the pandemic, we weren’t really talking about short-term rentals in the way that we were hotels or cruises,” said Laura Bolton, Senior Account Manager at Abode Worldwide.

According to Goldman Sachs research, this accelerated growth was triggered by the emergence of alternative accommodations (in which over $17 billion has been invested) and then sped up further by the pandemic. Subsequently, customers began to demand a more flexible way of working and living as the digital nomad trend took hold and working full-time in an office became a thing of the past.

The short-term rental industry performed well as a lodging class during the global crisis and has emerged stronger. But why, and how has this happened?

Alternative accommodations offer more flexibility, perceived safety from infection (due to limited human contact), and often larger living spaces perfect for those choosing to work from home or travel with families. These features made short-term rentals the choice over the past two years, increasing their popularity massively.

AirDNA research demonstrates this showing a 13% rise in demand for short-term rentals in December 2021 compared to pre-covid levels. This naturally led to an increased level of investment in the sector as a whole as well as many innovative technology solutions taking off. As an agency working with tech companies in this ecosystem, we’ve scaled too – Abode Worldwide is now a team of 10!

Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties

Another thing the pandemic proved is which sectors and companies were resilient enough to weather the storm.

The experience showed how persistence is key. For those in the know, the short-term rental sector was always going to have its moment to shine; it was just a matter of ‘when’. “The pandemic wiped out some ambitious operators but it also gave rise to even more opportunity for others,” commented Jessica Gillingham.

To survive at this time, we too had to be resilient. So, as travel slowly came back, Abode Worldwide focused on building a business and team for the future. We adopted new ways of working to adapt to the changing landscape of daily life and implemented a hybrid work model.

Like Airbnb has recently announced for their company, our team now works wherever works for each individual. We find this increases productivity, fuels creativity, and delivers the best results for our clients.

Abode Worldwide, just like the sectors it operates in, has come out the other side of the global crisis stronger – with a team that’s more than doubled in size and a 400% growth in revenue over 12 months.

Specializing: concentrate on and become expert in a particular subject or skill

“A few years ago we talked just about ‘vacation rentals’. Then it became short-term rentals encompassing leisure markets with urban rentals and corporate housing. Today we are moving to a far greater hybrid proposition with flex rentals, mid-term stays, hotels adopting rental units and apartment operators looking more like hotels. The term ‘lodging’ seems a far better fit to encompass all the various opportunities out there and perhaps also aligns better with what guests experience,” said Jessica Gillingham.

At Abode Worldwide, we focus on six pillars in the lodging sector: short-term rentals, multifamily rentals, student accommodation, senior living, co-living, and hotels. We specialize in growing the reputations of technology companies in these industries, that is our niche. As experts, we offer clients specialized PR over generalized industry knowledge.

Our experience has taught us that PR is also about specializing in people. As Abode Worldwide’s Account Manager, Rosie King, pointed out, “business begins with people; nurturing our employees, clients, media contacts and stakeholders, with a human-centered approach.”

Demand: the desire of consumers, clients, employers

Clients’ needs, customers’ demands, industry trends: they are forever evolving. That is why businesses need specialist public relations. We know for our clients to stand out from their competitors they need to be consistently ahead of the curve, on trend, and present in the industry.

More and more clients now also demand high-quality inbound content marketing alongside authority building public relations. And experience has taught us that these two elements work effectively together, in alignment. “In tandem they can be rocket fuel for a brand”, Jessica Gillingham states.

This is why we have expanded our content offering and are building a team of content writers to work alongside our PR specialists. We are continuing to grow this side of the business and hone our skills in this area.

Values: principles or standards of behavior

A company is only as strong as its team. At Abode Worldwide, we have four core values: integrity, partnership, flexibility, and vision, and use these as a framework for building and maintaining our strong team.

Values help team members understand what a company stands for, enabling them to make decisions in line with its vision and goals.

Through integrity in what we do, partnership with our clients and each other, flexibility in how we approach working life, and a clear vision for the future, we have created a fool-proof recipe for success.

To learn more about the current state of the industry, read our latest blog on how vacation rentals have captured the media landscape.

About Abode Worldwide

Abode Worldwide, is an award-winning B2B public relations consultancy and agency focused on raising the profile of transformative technology solutions operating within the global short-term rental, hotel and real estate ecosystems. The agency sits at the heart of the developing intersection between work, life and play in the property and hospitality markets and partners with technology solutions playing a lead role in this transformation.

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