Between April and August 2018, more than 500 Property Managers from around Europe answered the European Vacation Rental Survey 2018 promoted by Transparent and its Partners. Transparent has analyzed all their answers to build this Report and provide the best insight currently available on the activity of Property Management in Europe.
Vacation Rentals: 1 industry, 2 markets. The Vacation Rental Industry comprises two distinct markets, urban and leisure, with different dynamics and opportunities. Our survey found that the urban markets are younger (6 years vs. 12 years), faster growing (33% vs. 8% growth rate), more likely to employ a fixed rent model (15% vs. 8%), and more reliant on the major channels for bookings (83% vs 57%). As such, Urban and Leisure markets should be considered separately when benchmarking and evaluating market or investment opportunities. This study breaks down business models, channel distribution and growth rates by market type, country, and PM size to help readers understand the dynamics of their markets of interest.
Technology-enabled disciplines – revenue management, distribution, connected home – separate large from small property managers.
To quote William Gibson, “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” While technology-enabled disciplines can drive PM performance, adoption varies widely. Larger PMs tend to use more technology than smaller PMs. For example, each size cohort of PMs has greater usage of PMSs and Channel Managers than the cohort below it. We also found the highest adoption of daily pricing updates (33% vs. 18% of all other) and data purchasing (30% vs. 11% of all other) in the largest cohort. This adoption matters because these technology-based disciplines have the potential to drive performance on a per-listing basis. In total, this study provides adoption rates for seven key technologies.
By contrast, operational disciplines, such as cleaning, maintenance, or key handling, show limited efficiency gains with scale. The largest PMs employ just as many staff per listing mid-sized property managers.
The largest PMs are able to best leverage data and technology-enabled practices. Not surprisingly, they have shown the highest growth rates in our data.
Distribution is a two-horse race; can anything change these dynamics? PMs rely on 3rd party distribution to fill their listings, and the leading two platforms control 60%. While PMs plan substantial increases in their marketing spend – especially among the largest PMs – it’s an open question what, if anything, will change these dynamics. This study looks at the current channel mix by country, PM size, and market type to understand where the distribution market remains the most in flux
Known unknown: how will regulations impact the sector? As the industry matures, some regulation is inevitable. PMs seem to recognize this and most want to be good citizens (88% of them deem adhering to regulations to be important or very important). However, regulations are a major source of uncertainty and concern for property managers (more than 65% of them worry that new regulations will harm their businesses).
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