The end of 2019 might be in sight, but vacation rental sites are still hard at work. While glasses are being raised at end-of-year parties, Vrbo and Airbnb are attempting to raise the standards with new partnerships and features.
And, if you hoped that furniture shopping will raise your spirits, our digest will tell you why it might not be in the best interest of your short-term rental business. Let’s find out more about the headlines that the short-term rental industry has helped to create during the month of November.
Capterra, a website where you can search for and compare various software vendors, has released its Top 20 list for hospitality property management software solutions. iGMS, a professional all-in-one vacation rental software for hosts, has also made it into the list. In order to be included in this list, companies have to boast core property management capabilities and should have received a minimum of 10 unique user reviews between September 2018 and September 2019. This means that it is an independent resource that is actually based on both the functionality of software solutions and users’ reviews.
Hosts and guests can now use Airbnb in even more languages. Airbnb has recently increased its number of languages to more than 60! They are hoping that by doubling this number, more hosts will be able to take advantage of the chance to start their own business and that it will help guests to enjoy an even more authentic travel experience. Some of the new languages that will now be available include Armenian, Estonian, Hindi, Swahili, Tagalog, and Zulu.
Hosts from Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Milano Cortina, and Los Angeles have been presented a perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the game… Airbnb has been identified as an official Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic partner. This exciting partnership will extend over nine years which means that Airbnb will be supporting the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games which will be held in 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028. The hope is that it will help motivate spectators to interact with the different hosting nations’ local communities.
This new partnership will also mean that Airbnb will introduce Olympian Experiences. The vision is that this new type of Airbnb Experience will give participants a chance to meet and work out with Olympic athletes!
Another advantage of this new partnership is that host cities will not have to invest that much in new accommodation. The previous Olympic Games that was held in Brazil in 2016 came under fire when Brazilians protested about the excessive spending during a time of recession. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) commented, “One of the goals of this agenda is to make the Olympic Games more feasible and more sustainable. This will provide accommodation that will reduce the costs for the Olympic Games organizers.”
Airbnb has introduced cooking as a new Airbnb Experience. According to Airbnb, Experiences relating to food and drink have increased tremendously in popularity. The Airbnb Cooking Experiences will give travelers the chance to participate in a culinary class taught by locals. They are also running a competition where 100 local cooks can win a cooking scholarship at Slow Food Institute’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy.
John Kim has been replaced by Jeff Hurst as senior vice president and general manager of Vrbo. Kim will still be at the Expedia Group, but he will now be the president of their Platform & Marketplaces unit that deals with user experience and AI.
Vrbo is not the only vacation rental site that has made new appointments. Following the example of previous months, Airbnb has made another new appointment again this month.
Belle Baldoza has been appointed as the new head of comms in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong. She is no stranger to the sharing economy, having worked with Uber, Spotify, and Netflix previously.
Fulhaus, an interior design company in Canada, has completed an interesting analysis of furnishing rental properties. According to their analysis, renting (as opposed to buying) furniture can, in fact, be more advantageous to smaller hosts who want to grow quickly.
One of the main perks of opting to rent instead is that it allows hosts to “access” the latest styles straight away. This means that hosts can change their style as they see fit which will help them to keep up with current trends better.
City Relay, a property management company in London, has identified the areas in London that are the most sought after this festive season. According to their analysis, Westminster, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, and Millbank are some of the most popular neighborhoods this time of the year. On average short-term rentals in these neighborhoods charge a nightly rate of about ￡250 on average. Neighborhoods like Charing Cross, St Giles, and Covent Garden are not far behind with an average rate per night of about ￡240.
These findings are not that surprising. After all, areas in the borough of Westminster are popular among guests throughout the year thanks to their proximity to museums and other attractions.