Location: Old Billingsgate, London
Our mission since 2013 has been simple; to help homeowners and estate agents maximise passive income streams on their properties across Airbnb and similar platforms. In order to stay at the forefront of the industry, and to provide our clients with only the best and most up to date advise and technology, we attend a variety of international short-let and short-stay events throughout the year.
The Short Stay Summit, last week, was another exceptional event where we spent time with colleagues from Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, and met new friends at Altido and AIPEX and Extenteam, Hospiria, and Avantio to list just a few!
The Short Stay Summit Europe is a chance for us to learn about the latest trends in the industry, speak with vendors of services crucial to the service we provide for our clients, and share best practices.
What follows is a distillation of some of the talks we found most relevant and some of the vendors that we found to be providing something that piqued our interest.
“Pay as you go” living
One of the most intriguing fireside chats was the one on “Pay-as-you-go” living. The title is catchy, but a little misleading as we are paying as we go! It soon became apparent that “Pay-as-you-go” line is connected to the flexibility inherent in mobile phone contract of the same name.
The rental property industry has some catching up to do, and the technology exists to make this happen. No longer should you be tied to a long-term-rental especially when there is a growing market of renters requiring more dynamism in their contracts.
Examples were given of students being away from their digs for the summer, digital nomads coming to a location to do business in a location. Something, Altido have had in their business model for a while now.
The drag on this dynamic rental model will be regulation. It was a common theme for most chats that regulation is the drag on innovation. Which is frustrating for the renters out there.
My personal bugbear about the rental market is that renters credit rating is not recorded by the credit agencies. Thus, placing another barrier to ownership in the way. This is something I know Shahad Choudhury was working towards.
AI was a topic that was brought up in virtually every chat. It is difficult to avoid, or maybe I should say it is unwise for a business to avoid. One of the few “speeches” at the conference was given by Dana Young of AIPEX really shone a light on the rapid evolution of AI over the past few weeks. A good example of this was that Dana had to re-write his speech that he’d penned a month ago. Such is the speed of change.
His demonstration of having ChatGPT search for the best AI apps for short-let property managers was truly mind boggling. The original AI called in another AI when it found its initial results to be too general. I truly felt we were going down the rabbit hole here. He intimated that the biggest impact AI may have is on the search engine. That you could enter emotional/ephemeral wants like “I want a beach styled London city pad “then what ever search engine has the best AI will take you straight to the property. This could have a great impact on the democratisation of the short let rental giants like VRBO, Airbnb and Booking.com. And empower the small property manager to attract more direct bookings.
Our pain is accounting…
There were a multitude of vendors the majority of which were tech based. It would have been easy to be overawed without having an idea where you feel your business needed strengthening. We were looking specifically at channel managers, insurance/deposit handling and accounting.
Our pain in accounting is that when using a business such as Airbnb to market your property, their fee is taken prior to the money hitting your account. This confuses traditional accounting systems.
We haven’t used their services yet, so don’t know if they are our goldilocks solution. But, either way it’s good to know this innovation is out there and likely to grow.
Damage waiver, covering your property…
We met up with our old acquaintance, the industrious Humphrey Bowles at the Super Hog stand. They are doing interesting things in the world of short-let insurance. We were especially interested by their damage waiver to cover minor accidental damage by guests. It’s a way producing a rainy-day fund to cover our unexpected costs in any part of the business.
We use Guesty as our channel manager, but this was certainly the place to see the competition and we will certainly be investigating the pros and cons of our current service against Hospiria, represented by the knowledgeable Richard Bridger and Avantio All in One.
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss your personal requirements for letting your property in the coming year, please do get in touch. You’ll be impressed by our knowledge, reassured by our personal service, and delighted with the results we deliver.