Zumper has launched its short-term rental product and raised an additional $30 million [Credit: Zumper]

Zumper launches short-term rentals with $30m funding

US: Privately owned rental marketplace Zumper has announced the official launch of its short-term rental product and added a further $30 million to its Series D funding round.

The additional investment, which takes the company’s total funding to date to $178 million, has been earmarked for short-term rentals at a time when consumers are demanding, and in some cases requiring, flexibility in housing choices on one purpose-built platform.

Zumper, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins, Goodwater Capital, Headline, Dawn Capital and the Blackstone Group, will now offer new inventory of more than half a million short-term listings.

Working from anywhere has prompted a cultural shift in day to day life, and is just one example of how the pandemic accelerated macro trends in alternative accommodation.

According to a 2021 survey of short-term rental users, Zumper found that a third of those surveyed – whether they are digital nomads or consumers adopting a flexible lifestyle – were interested in flexible rentals.

For others, short-term rentals are a means for a vast number of situational stays, such as a gap in housing, migratory work and even a stepping stone to building rental history, credit and more.

The survey also revealed that 74 per cent of users are booking one- to two-monthly rentals annually and 49 per cent remain in one unit between two and six months. Short-term rentals are therefore not just an option for how people vacation, but how they live, according to Zumper.

Shalin Amin, chief experience officer of Zumper, said: “Our brand is aspirational yet grounded. We’re not just for trendsetters and digital nomads but for those in-between leases or those trying to build a rental history.

“We’re a solution for many people looking for temporary housing in a growing workforce of migratory workers, like travelling nurses, construction crews, and disaster response teams. Our users play a critical role in making the communities and cities they relocate to thrive, added Amin.

In Zumper’s survey of monthly renters in 2022, 12.3 per cent of respondents said that they use short-term rentals for nomad life, while 35.2 per cent said that they use them to accommodate a temporary gap in housing – by far the most common use.

Of those surveyed, 21.3 per cent of monthly renters said that they use short-term rentals for work travel, particularly in the case of travelling nurses or those whose job is location-specific but at multiple locations.  

Rounding out the use cases were people scouting locations before a move [19.4 per cent] and students who did not want to commit for an entire year [8.1 per cent].

In Zumper’s 2021 survey, almost 50 per cent said that they are not sure where to even find monthly rentals, suggesting that there is a need for a ‘go-to’ platform that caters to these types of renters.

By expanding inventory to now offer short-term options, Zumper is aiming to directly addresses renter pain points by giving consumers the flexibility to find their ‘forever’ or ‘for now’ residence.

Zumper’s short-term listings can be booked at no additional fee to the guest, and conversely, landlords can now opt to list their properties short-term to meet demand with the ability to advertise their short-term and monthly rentals in front of Zumper’s 178 million annual visitors

Anthemos Georgiades, co-founder and CEO of Zumper, said: “With the traditional short-term rental industry, fees are too high and consumers need to look at a multitude of different websites to find the right listing. We want to build the most comprehensive rental platform that enables our renters to easily find the best short-term, monthly or long-term rentals with a product designed for today’s far more flexible world.”

Zumper’s short-term product has been designed and built to: 

  • Deliver a larger selection of choice 
  • Aggregate inventory from multiple short-term partners 
  • Offer a digital rental concierge to help find tailored listings that meet a renter’s needs
  • Provide tools like saved search and alerts to put the renters in control
  • Allow for an all-in-one seamless app experience

It was first revealed in June that Zumper was planning to offer short-term rental owners and managers a dedicated experience to advertise their vacation and monthly rentals on the platform.

Zumper is also integrating with leading channel managers, including BookingPal and Rentals United.

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