By Pete Comeau, Managing Director, Phocuswright
Short-term rentals in the US have been on a steady growth trajectory over the past decade. Since 2013, Phocuswright, a leading travel industry research firm, has conducted several pioneering research studies to size the market, analyze consumer and industry trends, and explore the rise of digitalization in this segment.
Phocuswright’s most recent study, “Here to Stay: U.S. Short-Term Rentals Move Mainstream,” showed that gross bookings increased at a CAGR of nearly 6 percent from $31B in 2017 to $34B in 2019. Furthermore, online bookings grew at nearly double the pace of the total industry.
COVID-19 upended nearly all travel in 2020, and short-term rentals also felt the impact. Some companies operating in the sector shut down, while others downsized. Homeowners and hosts pivoted to serving long-term renters, taking short-term inventory off the market.
But as the year wore on and travelers sought to get out and about while avoiding high-traffic areas to stay safe, they turned to vacation rental properties with social distancing baked-in. Short-term rental demand recovered as summer travel skewed toward rural, less-crowded destinations and drive trips.
With vaccines on the way and an expected recovery in travel to follow, will short-term rentals continue to prosper and outpace the greater lodging market? Will short-term rentals benefit from the behavioral changes the pandemic has wrought? Which trends are holding up? What new trends are emerging?
Phocuswright is conducting a 15-minute survey of US-based short-term rental property managers to understand the marketplace and study key trends among PMs who offer their properties to travelers.
The study will answer key questions, including the following:
- What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenues, and how is the short-term rental industry projected to recover through 2025?
- How satisfied were travelers with how brands handled the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How have travelers shifted their preferences in a post-pandemic world?
- How are homeowners and property managers evolving in a post-pandemic world?
- Which trends will be short-lived and which will be here to stay?
- Which technologies will be most important as the market matures?
- What impact will short-term rentals have on the future of lodging?
What’s in it for you? If you qualify for and complete the survey, Phocuswright will share the results of the study with you.
All responses will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only to determine trends.
IMPORTANT EDITOR’S NOTE ABOUT WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE TIME TO ACCURATELY COMPLETE THIS SURVEY
From Amy Hinote to VRM/PMC owners and GMs:
It is incredibly important for you to complete this survey, as many significant investment decisions in our industry are based on this particular research presented by Phocuswright.
Our professionally managed vacation rental sector has been lumped under the broader short-term rental umbrella, and your participation is critical to ensure that Phocuswright is not hearing from other sectors disproportionally, (e.g., urban rentals, individual hosts, marketing platforms, and shared accommodations). If our sector is not accurately represented, then subsequent investment decisions will be flawed, bringing a continued and substantial influx of capital injected into bad business models.
When investors continue to pour money into bad business models, it makes it harder for all of us—VRMs, tech companies, and service providers—to compete as we are unfairly competing head to head with under-performing companies propped up by outside investment. And we’re not the only ones who suffer; guests and homeowners suffer from these poor business models as well.
The professionally managed vacation rental sector needs to be heard, recognized, and represented in this study.
I implore you to have someone in your company accurately complete this survey.
Your participation is critical and will directly help the entire industry.