Property risk increases as booking behaviour changes

US: NoiseAware director of business development, Michael Goldin, highlights how changes in guests’ booking behaviour during this pandemic are leading to increases in risks to short-term rental properties and causing significant ‘noise events’. 

It was gloomy there for a while. 

The resurgence has started: Luckily, the tide has begun to turn as most companies now see a resurgence in bookings. I spoke to a property manager this morning in Ireland who said: “What we lost in those two months of shut down, we’ve made back the past two weeks in bookings.”

Promising signs for an industry that was supposed to have a record breaking year on all fronts. While this is a favourable outcome for the industry’s survival and prosperity, for many it is coming at a cost.

The risk has increased: Booking quality has largely gotten significantly worse. Contributing factors such as tighter booking windows, same day bookings, local bookings, drive-to bookings, lower average daily rates and more is putting many property managers in a tough position. 

The change in booking behaviours is exposing homes and property managers to greater risk.

Usage intent has shifted: Another significant factor in the rise in misuse of short-term rentals is the fact that there is nowhere else to go. Bars and restaurants are closed or heavily restricted, night clubs are the same. Sporting events are off limits, concerts too. University doors are shut. Theatres, gyms, museums – all closed. 

The Fourth of July weekend also resulted in a 22 per cent increase in noise events.

Where does everyone turn? Short-term rentals. This activity has a downstream effect on short-term rentals across the world. Neighbours and communities are largely the driving force behind many regulations. 

Three easy steps to help protect your properties:

  1. Do not drop your rates.
  2. Do not take same day, local bookings
  3. Ensure you are using NoiseAware

Think about what the rest of 2020 has in store: Hopefully travel can continue this positive trend, but the reality is that it is likely to be similar to the past couple of months.

People’s willingness to attend events such as Halloween and New Year’s Eve, where they would often turn to a public venue, is likely not to return this year. University students will have shorter semesters, leaving them pent up at home for longer periods of time while longing for good times with their friends. Live musicians and other sources of entertainment have nowhere to turn. Where will everyone turn when they need to blow off some steam?

There are many things to be excited for over the past few weeks and leading into the coming months. With the right measures in place, those of us in the travel industry have to use this time to optimise and re-tool in order to be prepared for the onslaught of tourism that is bound to hit us in 2021.

Three people with success stories 

A professional property manager in Miami was able to eliminate a pop-up strip club [yes, apparently that’s a thing] from getting up and running. The club owner rented out a nice house, called the entertainment and the regulars, and expected to run business as [semi] usual. Luckily, NoiseAware was there to intervene. 

A professional athlete with too much time on his hands turned to a short-term rental for a private event for friends and teammates during the height of quarantine. NoiseAware stopped that too.

College students so bold as to build an Eventbrite page and invite hundreds of their friends to a property they rented online. The property manager knew within minutes of the gathering starting, because of NoiseAware.