With the holidays fast-approaching, real estate owners and property managers in Australia and New Zealand are looking to adapt their business models to ensure higher portfolio returns this summer. That’s why we held a virtual event featuring Guesty’s own Yoav Tourel, Managing Director, APAC; Kellen Kruse, Head of Real Estate at AirDNA; Evian Gutman, Founder & CEO of Padlifter; and Ranna Zheng, General Manager of Landnest Real Estate, to discuss how property management companies can incorporate short-term rentals into their existing portfolios to reach their revenue goals during this high season.
Setting the stage, Yoav presented our data showing promising signs of recovery month-over-month in Australia’s short-term rental market. In October, property management companies across the region saw a 12% increase in reservations from the previous month, bringing the reservation volume to the highest it’s been since March. Yoav then shared how key players in Australia’s real estate industry are realizing the benefits of short-term rentals and weaving them into their portfolios with the help of technology to streamline operations.
Through data collected by AirDNA (a leading analytics platform providing global insights for the vacation rental industry), Kellen revealed the latest travel trends that have emerged in Australia and New Zealand due to COVID-19, such as last-minute bookings and higher average nightly rates. He then went on to list the most lucrative destinations for short-term rental properties this season, highlighting drive-to locations outside of metropolitan cities. For those real estate investors looking to diversify their portfolios, Kellen mentioned AirDNA’s free property calculator, Rentalizer, that shows the revenue breakdown and earning potential of every destination around the world for vacation rentals.
Up next, Evian, Founder and CEO of Padlifter (the largest marketplace for vacation rental service providers), provided a snapshot of the increasingly popular Build-to-Rent model from a real estate perspective. He emphasized how these build-to-rent properties are attracting modern-day travelers through the implementation of keyless systems, smart home technology, shared spaces, and built-in amenities such as gyms and cafes. With 30,000 new build-to-rent units in Australia being created every year, he explained how real estate developers can take advantage of this opportunity by jumping on to this growing trend and even upgrading their own properties with technology and hotel-like service to drive bookings.
Wrapping up the event, Ranna shared actionable tips on how to maximize revenue when implementing different lengths of stays based on her experience at Landnest Real Estate, a real estate agency that successfully leveraged short-term rentals into their existing portfolio. She provided insights on which seasons offer the greatest revenue potential for short-term rentals vs. long-term lets- stating that the colder seasons in Australia are ideal for longer-term stays while summer seasons are best for short-term stays. Ranna then dove into best marketing strategies when it comes to advertising short-term rentals compared to traditional real estate methods, such as utilizing short-term rental booking channels like Airbnb and VRBO to promote listings and offering higher discounts for extended stays.
As always, we invited those tuning in to contribute questions throughout the virtual event, which we then addressed in a Q&A session following the presentation. Here are some highlights (edited for clarity):
Q: Any relevant tips to help property management companies and real estate developers navigate their way out of the pandemic?
Evian (Padlifter): I suggest asking for referrals to attract new guests as these types of customers tend to convert more readily, are cheaper to acquire when it comes to marketing costs and are more likely to become repeat customers. It’s also recommended to analyze your target audience and create buyer personas to better understand the individualized wants and needs of today’s travelers. Lastly, it’s important to focus on improving your tech processes with efficiency top-of-mind, helping you save time and streamline operations (for example, automating repeat tasks).
Q: How can real estate developers use data to gauge the value of a new acquisition and improve short-term rental returns?
Kellen (AirDNA): Data can help you understand future booking trends and consumer behaviors to make better business decisions in the long-run when experimenting with different lengths of stays. For instance, prospecting the ideal location when buying real estate is key, so using real-time data to figure out the top destinations to invest in for vacation rentals will bring in more guests and ultimately improve your overall cash flow.
Q: What should property management companies expect to see this holiday season?
Ranna (Landnest Real Estate): We expect this holiday season to be better than ever as people are craving travel. With the uncertainty of travel restrictions, property management companies should expect to see a surge in last-minute reservations, so make sure to train your staff and prepare your properties accordingly.