With the COVID-19 outbreak this year, there were restrictions placed on nonessential businesses and travel all over the world. This led to a 50% decline in the bookings of short-term rentals during March and April this year compared to the previous months. Around 85% of the existing bookings were canceled as well. The pandemic has certainly reshaped the industry and here we have listed 5 things that have evolved during this period.
More Renters and Landlords Will be Embracing 3-D, Virtual Tours And Virtual LeasingWith social distancing measures being taken all over the world, more renters and landlords will be embracing 3-D virtual tours and virtual leasing options now. These tours have already been a source of convenience and efficiency for the landlords as well as prospective renters and will become a preferred choice now. They will help avoid the need for staging viewings unnecessarily and both renters and landlords will be able to follow the government restrictions in place.
Urban Short-Term Rentals Will Become Long-Term Rentals
Nobody is going on a vacation at the moment. Weddings, events, seminars, conferences, concerts, festivals, and even family reunions have been canceled. A little short term rental analysis shows a reduced demand for such properties. That’s certainly a challenge for the STR owners who want to keep their properties occupied and make a steady income. Instead of keeping their rentals vacant for a longer period during the pandemic, they’d prefer converting them into long-term rentals.
Cleaning Will Become Ever More Important In The Rentals
Just think of doorknobs, door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, laundry rooms, restrooms, common areas, stair railings, mailboxes, and more – all the surfaces that are touched frequently will need to be cleaned regularly to keep them safe to touch even during the pandemic. Stricter cleaning rules will have to be implemented and cleaners and janitors will have to wear masks, gloves, coveralls, etc. Disinfectants will have to be used even on brushes, rags, and equipment used for cleaning.
Rents can be expected to decline right till the end of this year, at least. With not much influx of the potential renters seeking short-term rentals, and supply going higher, the decline in rents is pretty obvious.
According to the short term rental analysis done by the experts at propertyguard.io, the STR hosts had the biggest disadvantage during these tough times. There’s lots of criticism on Airbnb and various other STR platforms like HomeAway and VRBO that they didn’t respond to the crisis quickly enough. There wasn’t any clear policy on tackling the situation with a large number of hosts facing last-minute cancellations when the pandemic started. Many who made their livelihood with these short term rentals didn’t have any alternate options available and they had to live with the situation. Such hosts may still have to face the situation for some time in the future with a travel ban in most countries still in place.
The short term rental landscape has changed a lot over the first half of 2020 and we have to learn to live with the new normal. Things aren’t getting back to how they used to be anytime soon.