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Short-term rentals are no exception to the major shifts the world has witnessed recently. 

Hand-in-hand with the advancement of real estate technology, the industry has left behind old habits and replaced them with new, more efficient practices. 

Now armed with processes that streamline and improve operations and service, short-term rental businesses have gained newfound popularity and a surge in demand. So far this year, reports show demand is 27% higher than last year!

It seems the necessary changes the industry had to adopt to survive a global crisis have unexpectedly been the key to its success. But what has changed? What is now expected from your short-term rental guests? 

How have short-term rentals changed?

Who is staying 

Previously, the average short-term rental guests were families or couples on week-long or weekend vacations. Since people now have greater flexibility to reevaluate how they work, live, and play, this target market has expanded to include business travelers, remote workers, and digital nomads. 

What does this mean and how does this change what guests expect from rental accommodation? Firstly, those staying with the intention to work during their stay will be on the lookout for rentals with separated living spaces, and dedicated areas suitable for setting up a workstation. 

This, along with increased health awareness, has raised the standard expectation of short-term rentals; from how clean properties are on arrival to the service guests receive. Professionals, and now general vacationers too, expect an exceptional experience (think consistent communication and convenient check-in, stay, and check-out).

Extended stays 

With this shift in how people are traveling comes the change in how they’re choosing to stay in short-term rentals. As people take advantage of remote working opportunities we’re witnessing the average length of stay increase

To cater to these guests (who may wish to stay over 28 days) property managers should incorporate ‘home-like’ features, like smart home technology which many general households rely on in some shape or form. If it’s not a voice-controlled device, it’s a smart thermostat or a smart lock. Nothing wins a five-star rating quite like a guest feeling at home in your property and being able to treat it as such. 

Smart home tech amenities

What was a luxury is now a necessity; guests expect the same tech they have at home for convenience and comfort. Our Property Management Insights report found that 84% of short-term rental guests rate tech-enabled amenities as important (with 69% of these rating them highly important). 

The research also highlighted how guests are either familiar with smart locks and smart thermostats (59%) or interested in these features (19%). These findings suggest that properties adopting these tech features have the potential to increase booking conversion rates and improve the guest experience leading to those all-important five-star reviews. 

Tech toolkit that’ll help you meet rising guest expectations 

  • Property automation tools – Bring a new level of convenience to your guests’ experience in your short-term rentals. From contactless entry with smart lock solutions to optimized temperature for peak comfort using a Smart Thermostat HD. The best part is the benefits of such solutions go much deeper than what the guest sees – as a property manager you’ll benefit from streamlined team operations using smart lock notifications, complete oversight over the health of your HVAC and the use of energy in your properties, and much more.
  • Sensor monitoring tech – Reassure guests (and yourself) with IoT-connected sensors for water, HVAC, and noise monitoring – so issues can be caught before they escalate into costly damages and if anything does go wrong it can be efficiently handled with little inconvenience to anyone. With these tools, you’ll be able to seamlessly manage your properties from anywhere.
  • Optimized operations – Using home automation technology, like the tools listed above, can help property managers cut down costs and time, allowing a greater focus on what matters most: the guest experience. Whether it’s consistent communication guests are looking for prior to and during their stay, or a smooth running service, with optimized operations, you can trust that mishaps (like a property not being cleaned before guests check-in) are an issue of the past.  

As a property manager in a lucrative industry like short-term rentals, it’s vital to stay up to date with the current tech trends and guest demands. Tailoring properties to these can boost occupancy and reviews, but the real kicker is that these popular tech tools will optimize your business from its core for better revenue, better operations, and better retention. 

Interested in hearing more about our Smart Thermostat HD or our automated property solutions? Talk to one of our team members.