US: Software-as-a-service [SaaS] startup Hostfully has published the sixth edition of its annual vacation rental industry trends report.
Featuring more than 20 charts, contributions and insights from 20 industry experts, the report features actionable data for hosts and managers of all portfolio sizes. According to Hostfully, previous years’ reports have been downloaded by 1500+ industry professionals and operators.
While many of the questions remain the same each year, the report not only provides data on how the vacation rental industry performed in 2022, but also comparisons to recent years. For 2022, a record 375 property managers of various sizes participated in the report.
Among the key takeaways of the report are:
- Source of bookings: The majority of bookings are Airbnb, Vrbo, and direct bookings. [page four]
- Direct bookings: Large vacation rental management companies get most of their reservations from direct bookings at the detriment of Airbnb. [page five]
- Niche listing sites and OTAs: Across the industry, hosts and property managers diversify their booking sources and list their properties on at least 33 listing sites and OTAs. [page four]
- Competition: 80 per cent of vacation rental operators report more competition than the year before. This trend is a departure from mid-pandemic years [57 per cent in 2019 and 61 per cent in 2021]. [page seven]
- Revenue: The majority of respondents indicated revenue growth, but it was not as significant as 2021. Large property management companies are the biggest winners, with 82 per cent showing gains of 20 per cent or more and none reporting a loss. [page eight]
- Expansion: Over 60 per cent of vacation rental operators added new properties to their portfolios as a growth tactic. Managers with ten or more properties were twice as likely to have grown their portfolio in 2022. [page 11]
- Small vs large: Smaller operators will be more likely to focus on yield management in 2023, whereas large operators will continue to grow their portfolio. [page 12]
- Technology aches and pains: 37 per cent of respondents report technology as being their top challenge in 2022. This challenge keeps growing each year [30 per cent in 2019 and 32 per cent in 2020]. However, there is no major technology challenge common across all operators. Companies report a wide range of tech challenges. [page 14]
- Automation at scale: Past ten properties, the most common tech challenge is automation and accounting. [page 15]
- Guest communication and cleaning: 2021 data showed that staying in touch with guests and cleaning were operators’ top challenges. In 2022, both categories were noted as having become easier. [page 15]
- PMS is king: 36 per cent of respondents indicated that PMSs are their most useful tech tool. This is the third year in a row, and the percentage keeps growing. [page 21]
- PMS shortcomings: Despite being useful, PMS vendors still have a wide range of features hosts and managers would like to see. 11 per cent want more integrations, eight per cent want better guest communication tools, and eight per cent want more niche features. Respondents indicated over 20 different categories of desired features. [page 23]
- Tech stacks: PMSs form the backbone of 63 per cent of respondents’ tech stack. Other popular tools include cleaning, dynamic pricing, and account software. [page 24]
- Sharing recommendations: 58 per cent of operators use at least one type of digital means to share local recommendations. This trend grew during the pandemic, but has stabilised in 2022. [page 27]
- Upsells: Early check-in / late check-out is the most popular upsell [offered by 60 per cent] followed by mid-stay cleanings [40 per cent]. However, vacation rental operators struggle to offer upsells that are not tech-enabled. [page 28]
To download and view the Hostfully report in full, visit this link.
Earlier this year, Hostfully added $4 million to its seed funding round in May, taking its total funding to date to $7 million.