How professionalized are short-term rentals?

Vacation rental data shows unprecedented demand sweeping the sector. As the tendency towards longer, self-sufficient trips and bleisure travel have fuelled the vacation rental fire, questions resurface about how standardized the rental experience is. How do they compare with hotels for example, and how often a trip is managed by a professional property manager. So how professionalized are short-term rentals?

Read on for a deep dive into the professionalization of short-term rentals across world regions and cities, and the the overall trends since 2018.

How professionalized are short-term rentals across world regions?

Our first chart shows the % of supply managed by professional property managers in each world region.

The pies show that this number varies substantially from continent to continent. Considering the 2 more established markets of North America and Europe, Europe is 12% behind its transatlantic neighbour. And, while Oceania and Asia are comparable just behind North America, the vast majority of South American inventory is still managed by private local hosts.

How professionalized are short-term rentals across cities?

The disparities don’t end there. In the following sections we compare cities across the global regions, where we see some substantial differences.

European cities

Europe first, and Barcelona sits a cut above the rest in terms of professionalized inventory. London, Madrid and Lisbon are all comparable at around 50% of listings managed by property managers.

Milan, Paris and Florence all remain closer to a third, while Berlin falls below that proportion.

US cities

The first observation around US city professional percentages is that they are interestingly very comparable to top European cities.

While Boston and San Diego are most professionalized, Chicago, New Orleans, NYC and Austin all join London, Lisbon and Madrid around the 50% mark. LA, San Francisco and Atlanta all have a greater proportion of private hosts than professional property managers.

Rest of world cities

As we’d expect, there is greater disparity across other global cities. While Sydney boasts similar levels of professional property management as Barcelona, Beijing sits under 50%, while Bangkok and our Latin American representatives come in much lower.

Professionalization is growing throughout short-term rentals

So, we have an good idea of the professional share across different cross-sections of the vacation rental industry, but a critical question remains – how is this changing over time?

In the interactive line graph above, we can confirm that all global regions are seeing an increase in their professional supply share year on year.

South America may have the lowest professional contingent, but along with Asian inventory, it shows the greatest degree of professionalization since 2018. Asia, which was second lowest in professional supply 6 years ago, finds itself second highest in February 2022.

This trend of professionalization in vacation rentals is mirrored across cities also. See European cities pictured above, with every location seeing significant change except Milan. Paris has seen professional share grow by 12%.

As traveller demand broadens in home-stay style short-term rentals, the line between the 2 experiences is blurring. Hotels are moving to apart-hotel inventory and adapting their hotel-based products, while players in short-term rentals are seeking to provide a more standardized, professional service. There are ramifications and challenges where this trend is concerned, but ultimately, professionally managed short-term rentals are growing month on month.

At Transparent, we track 35 million vacation rental listings globally, for insight into supply, rate, demand and property manager behaviour. As hospitality sectors converge, our recent acquisition by OTA Insight positions our clients to excel with complete data and strategic visibility.

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