This month’s news is dominated by new opportunities for hosts and property managers. From new partnerships to existing programs expanding to other countries, short-term rental professionals now have even more integrations and programs they need to scale their business.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the new opportunities and trends in the short-term rental industry.
We’re proud to share some fascinating news — iGMS has been recognized as Airbnb’s Preferred Software Partner. This means that our software has met all of the Airbnb program requirements, including minimum standards, feature adoption, integration quality, and partner performance targets. What’s more, not only are we among the preferred partners, Airbnb has also recognized our integration and features quality as excellent.
To help celebrate this milestone, we have also extended our two special pricing offers. Till the end of September, you can take advantage of our special offer and use iGMS from as little as just $7 per property per month with our newly introduced LITE plan. If you are interested in our PRO subscription, you can benefit as well. With pricing starting from only $14 per property per month, you can enjoy a discount of 22%.
iGMS has partnered with a fellow Vancouver-based insurtech company, InsuraGuest Technologies, and Safely.com, an insurtech and guest screening solution. These integrations offer the iGMS users more peace of mind by protecting their properties from unsavory guests and adding insurance coverage to each booking.
Ivan Levchenko, the CEO and co-founder of iGMS explains, “We are always striving to help our clients to ease and streamline their business. That’s why we are happy to collaborate with InsuraGuest and Safely.com and make a vacation rental business less stressful and more protected with their insurance coverage.”
In April 2021, we reported about Vrbo introducing a new program, Fast Start. Fast-forward five months, and the platform has announced that this program will also expand to the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.
The Fast Start program was created to make it easier for new properties to attract rental demand and is aimed at getting hosts who rely on other vacation rental platforms to list on Vrbo too. Hair Nair, Expedia Group’s SVP of account management, explains, “Fast Start removes the cold start problem new properties can experience when joining sites. It helps new hosts and current hosts with new listings get on our platform quickly.”
According to Vrbo, properties that are part of this program can enjoy a 25% boost in bookings, a 50% increase in booked nights, and a whopping 140% increase in gross booking value thanks to better visibility in the first 90 days.
To qualify for this program, a listing must boast a review rating of at least 4.5. Secondly, it should also have generated over $2,700 in the past year. Hosts can rest assured that by joining this program, their review score based on the reviews from the other sites on which they listed will still be featured.
Data gathered by Vrbo has shown that there is another increase in drivable destinations. Short-distance trips up to 250 miles are up by more than 20% compared to the same period in 2019. What’s more, these types of stays account for almost 40% of all bookings.
Melanie Fish, a travel expert at Vrbo, explains, “Though we saw families fly and venture farther from home earlier this summer, we’re seeing many travelers revert to nearby destinations like we saw in the early days of the pandemic.” This trend in traveler preferences is in many instances fueled by the fact that international travel restrictions continuously change, making it difficult for travelers to select longer-distance trips.
Airbnb has partnered with Women for Afghan Women (WAW) and Afghan Coalition, the two biggest Afghan-serving organizations in the US. The aim of this partnership is to help Afghan refugees find free, temporary housing in Virginia, California, and New York. Naheed Samadi Bahram, WAW’s US Country Director, comments, “Airbnb.org’s support will help us provide Afghan women and girls a dignified beginning as they start to rebuild their lives in the US.”
The vacation rental platform has also worked with nine other key US resettlement agencies in its bid to help thousands of Afghan refugees find accommodation. These include the World Relief Corporation, International Rescue Committee, and Church World Service. Hosts who are interested in helping to support Airbnb’s efforts can sign up at airbnb.org/refugees.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of holiday homes in England that are used as rentals has increased by over 20%. The Altus Group has analyzed government numbers and found that over 11,000 second homeowners have turned their properties into holiday rentals. The majority of these properties are situated in the southwest and southeast of England.
Two months ago, we reported about a new show, The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, that will start on Netflix. The show was so popular that its creators have announced that it will return for another season this month. In the second season, viewers can look forward to being transported to destinations like Vermont, Mexico, and Finland.
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