US Short-Term Rental Outlook: What to Expect in 2021 and Beyond?

US Market projection

By The Smartbnb Team

May 2021 data show that short-term rentals recorded month-to-month increases in occupancy in many markets worldwide. Interestingly, short-term rental occupancy levels were significantly higher than those reported by hotels in each market.

According to the US short-term rental outlook report from AirDNA, short-term rental (STR) demand in the US is exceeding all expectations in 2021. In April 2021, demand (nights) has surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since February 2020.

So what does the future hold in store for the STR industry and short-term rental hosts? Let’s take a look at AirDNA’s vacation rental insights to find out.

What Are the Expectations for STR Industry?

AirDNA team outlined three scenarios: optimistic, baseline, and pessimistic.

AirDNA_US STR Forecast

Baseline forecast

Listings: Continued new unit growth — but not enough to match travelers’ demands. We’ll see urban listings recover to 2019 levels in 2023.

Length of Stay: Hybrid work models allow people to work remotely more often, and extended trips become the norm.

Demand: STRs retain gains against hotels and in-destination markets — though urban markets won’t see full demand recovery until summer 2022.

Rates: Strong demand and limited supply enable most hosts and investors to consistently increase their rates.

Optimistic forecast

Listings: Surging demand sparks hundreds of thousands of new hosts and supply accelerates to meet demand.

Length of Stay: The majority of workers remain remote most of the time, and one- to six-month mid-term stays remain popular.

Demand: Flexibility extends peak travel periods, and STRs take more market share against hotels; global vaccination rates increase, and inbound and urban travel accelerate.

Rates: In the best of scenarios, new supply can’t keep up with demand, and operators indefinitely raise rates.

Pessimistic forecast

Listings: Supply growth stalls due to surging demand for single-family homes outside big cities, increasing home prices, and reducing investment.

Length of Stay: Workers and students have less remote flexibility, and mid-term stay lengths return to pre-pandemic levels.

Demand: Americans begin venturing overseas before foreign guests can travel to the States, resulting in less demand in destination markets and big cities.

Rates: Demand simply doesn’t meet expectations, and increased host and hotel competition result in lower rates per unit.

Still, it’s clear that the STR industry has shown resilience and the ability to adapt and move forward and will continue to build on its exponential growth.

What Does It Mean for Short-Term Rental Hosts?

As you see, we can expect that the STR industry will continue growing despite undeniable challenges. Its future is bright with more opportunities for you as a short-term rental host to grow your business, which means more bookings, more revenue, and a lot of work every day. 

That’s why a smarter approach to running your STR business is to rely on technology solutions like Smartbnb that streamline your business. With Smartbnb, hosts can automate their processes and make them more efficient.

Smartbnb allows you to connect multiple accounts on Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo and manage all your listings hassle-free. Our tools will save you tons of time organizing your operations for maximum results.

A simple and efficient channel manager

Manage your Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo accounts in one window and collect direct reservations.

We also offer integrations with the top pricing tools that help you publish smart pricing to multiple channels and protect you from double booking with instant calendar synchronization across platforms.

You can manage your team on one platform and set rules to let our system assign tasks to your team members automatically. You can be sure you always reach your team via email or text/SMS every time there is a new job coming up. 

With Smartbnb, you can automate most of your messages to improve communication with your short-term rental guests and build better relationships with them. You can use our best messaging templates and apply shortcodes to make them personalized.

Our system allows you to set automated answers to your guests’ questions that belong to specific categories to ensure your guests get accurate information faster. This way, you can increase your chances of getting 5-star reviews.

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Remember, today, technology is not a “nice to have” but a must-have for any STR business looking to stay relevant and competitive. Tools like Smartbnb will help you simplify your hosting routine and impress your guests, delivering the ultimate guest experience.

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