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The way people work and live is changing. The lines continue to merge between the office and the home, and our patterns of behaviour are changing too. Our experience of the pandemic has opened our eyes to the possibilities of home working and has created a more flexible approach to where we work.
A recent survey by short-term rental booking platform, Leavetown.com found that 81% of respondents think they will continue to work remotely post-pandemic at least part of the time – with 45% agreeing that they will continue to work remotely most of the time. As we emerge from the pandemic crisis, it’s clear that the trend for remote working is here to stay.
What this highlights is that some of us have made the leap, mentally, from office to remote working. Regardless of how this plays out over the next few years, there will be a new breed of digital nomads wanting to rent short-lets and work in locations all over the world. We are no longer tied solely to one place. For example, in practice this means that those who can do so will rent short-lets or turn-key properties in London one month, moving to Bali the next and so on.
Some workers may also demand short-lets once a month as they drop in and out of locations to meet with remote teams in ‘hub’ office spots then go back to their own homes. The possibilities are varied now that remote working has become accepted practice in some companies – a recent Financial Times article describes how businesses are coming up with creative solutions to fill the void of the office lease for instance.
The result of these accelerated changes is an increased demand for more flexible accommodation from remote workers. At Jetstream, we are increasingly seeing a pattern of property investors looking to shift their assets into this lucrative short-term rental sector and capitalise on the growing demand from those adopting a work-from-anywhere lifestyle.
The short-term rental sector is notoriously operationally challenging – marketing and distribution, revenue optimisation, channel management, guest communications etc. Proptech platforms are enabling investors to access this market more easily and efficiently, streamlining the process, increasing ROI and diversifying their property portfolios. Companies currently performing well in this sector are those leveraging tech to offer guests flexible, short-term accommodation but with brand-like, hotel amenities – such as Mint House, Sonder and Kasa.
Look at Orion Haus as an example – the largest multifamily, home-sharing management company in the US. It recently added ten buildings to its portfolio and has signed more than 8000 pre-lease agreements. Orion Haus properties enable residents to flex their apartments as and when they like so they can even sublet whilst working or living away from home. Building owners also benefit from the arrangement with an increased ROI. This kind of proptech enabled approach is groundbreaking for owners and investors – opening up a whole new world of possibilities.
Despite the time-consuming nature of short-lets, investors with little prior experience are now empowered to succeed in this space thanks to tech solutions automating many of the pain points involved. One key strategy is for owners and managers to hand over the responsibility of operations and services of short-let properties.
Partnering with an experienced, tech-enabled, guest-facing 24/7 professional hospitality solutions provider is a great way of operating more efficiently and cost-effectively. By handing over essential processes such as channel marketing, distribution and guest communications to all-in-one tech platforms, owners and managers can be sure that these are in hand.
We see this in action at Jetstream, when investors want all-in-one proptech solutions to take responsibility for the whole guest journey, from bookings to guest screening and responding to guest needs as well as ensuring content and pricing is optimised for conversion across all the largest global short-term rental marketplaces.
The upshot is that investors can get involved easily, harness the innovative tech on offer and increase their revenue opportunities.
In 2021, 88% of managers plan on differentiating their business by increasing or optimizing their tech stackBreezeway
Short-term rental tech stacks
None of this would be possible without the rise in tech adoption across short-term rentals. Managers are using operational tech solutions as the norm, building their businesses to deliver contactless, seamless stays for guests (particularly relevant for our remote workers). A recent survey from Breezeway found that “in 2021, 88% of managers plan on differentiating their business by increasing or optimizing their tech stack”.
Digital native travellers and workers require keyless entry and smart home tech solutions as standard, and owners want guest screening checks in place to protect their properties. To meet these varied expectations, streamline operations and reduce financial risk, owners and managers can now take advantage of the innovative platforms to realize fully the potential incremental revenues available from flexible rentals.
Getting “teched up” is an essential part of making this sector profitable for investors. As we all continue to live and work more flexibly, I think that the short-let market will attract new investors as well as new guests in the future. Furthermore, staying nimble as a property owner is vital to keep up with market changes. Tech solutions enable investors to keep pace with guest needs, flexible living trends and operational challenges.
When tech is combined with high-quality, no-strings-attached accommodation, people can truly experience the benefits of living flexibly and owners or investors can really maximise the potential of their assets.
Mike is the founder and CEO of Jetstream, a unique technology solution that empowers owners and managers of short-term rental properties to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.