May has had a number of newsworthy events within the short-term rental industry, with Airbnb dominating the spotlight. Not only did the vacation rental platform introduce exciting features that will benefit hosts and guests, but, on a less exciting note, it’s also closing its operations in China.
Tripadvisor also made the news for changes to its corporate structure. The platform has appointed a new CEO who will take over the reins from its co-founder.
And, if policy and structural changes don’t excite you too much, how about possibly winning £10,000 or securing a loan to grow your short-term rental portfolio? To find out more about the exciting opportunities for hosts and vacation rental investors that were revealed in the past month, continue reading our monthly digest below.
Airbnb’s financial results for Q1 2022 show that the platform is currently enjoying one of its strongest positions. They have recorded more than 100 million nights and experiences booked for this period, the first time that it has broken the 100 million mark. Compared to three years ago (before the pandemic hit), it is an increase of nearly 30%. What’s more, after these impressive results were revealed, Airbnb’s shares increased by more than 7%.
Not only did hosts benefit from higher occupancy rates, but the average daily rates also increased in the past year by 5% to $168. That said, Airbnb expects that the average daily rate will be flat in Q2 2022. Also, the war in Ukraine and more possible COVID-19 outbreaks are risks that hosts still need to keep in mind.
Airbnb has introduced a number of new search and booking features. According to CEO Brian Chesky, these features are the biggest change to the platform in the past 10 years.
Some of the features that have been introduced include an all-new Airbnb Categories feature and Split Stays. With the Airbnb Categories feature, users can now browse accommodation using more than 50 predetermined categories like surfing and camping. The Split Stays feature was created in response to the increase in longer stays. When a traveler searches for a trip longer than seven days, this option will automatically pop up giving users the chance to browse and book two properties within the same neighborhood.
Airbnb has revealed that it will close its domestic business in China. The platform has operated in China since 2016, but has been having a tough time keeping up with other apps that charge less fees and lower average nightly rates.
They are not the first company to follow this path. In fact, before this announcement, they were the last remaining large US internet company left in China. That said, a source has revealed that Airbnb will keep its Beijing office open as it plans to continue operating as a business that will serve Chinese tourists traveling outside of the country.
Matt Goldberg was appointed as the new CEO at Tripadvisor. He will replace co-founder, Steve Kaufer, from 1 July 2022.
Goldberg is no stranger to the travel industry and has worked at Lonely Planet to name only one notable company. He most recently filled the role of vice president of North America and global operations at The Trade Desk, a tech company that specializes in marketing automation solutions.
CHL Mortgages has joined the short-term let industry by introducing a five-year fixed rate product range. To be considered, the property needs to be used as an Airbnb, holiday let, or a serviced apartment, and the valuer has confirmed the security property can be used for occupation under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). In addition, the valuer will also need to show that there is a demand for the property.
Ross Turrell, commercial director at CHL Mortgages, commented that short-term letting will continue to grow and it is an industry that intermediaries should keep track of closely moving forward.
In May, Vrbo revealed its list of the top vacation homes of the year. It is the first time that the platform has created a list to give recognition to the best-in-class vacation homes in the United States.
The selection criteria included a combination of guest reviews, occupancy rate, five-star ratings, amenities on offer, and Premier Host status. Alison Kwong, a spokesperson at Vrbo added that the list tried to include a variety of price points, property types, and destinations. From a remote mountain lodge in Montana to a luxury beachfront house in South Carolina, the list has something for every type of traveler.
With remote work increasing in popularity, Airbnb has announced that it will let its employees work from anywhere without cutting their salaries. Chesky explained the new corporate policy via email to employees and highlighted that part of the reason is that they want to attract and keep the best employees.
From June, the platform will use single-pay tiers by country. However, depending on the nature of their job, some employees will still be required to work from an office or a specific location.
Sykes Holiday Cottages has shared that it will once again run its competition to identify the top holiday lets in the UK and Ireland in 2022. The competition will have five categories: Best Renovation, Most Quirky, Best View, Best Glamping, and Best Interior Design.
The grand prize is set at £10,000 for the overall winner. Prizes for the individual categories include a cash prize of £500 and a consultancy session with one of the experts at Sykes.
Last year’s winner was a wooden lodge in the Scottish Highlands. Not only did this property boast spectacular views, but it also embraced a modern design. In addition to winning a cash prize, the winner of 2021’s competition, Martin Matheson, also commented that he received many more bookings as a direct result.
Entries for this year’s competition close on 1 July 2022.
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