Lynn Smith, MPH, MCHES(R)
What Makes a Successful Short Term Rental? Part 1
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Ever wonder what makes a “successful” short term rental? I wondered that too…and am still working on it. 😀
When we decided to embark on this journey, we had no idea what we were doing. But after several months of research during the “flipping” part of the renovation, I scoured the internet and podcasts for the best resources I could find.
The internet did not disappoint!
Of course we wanted to make this a financially successful business, but we knew from the get-go that we had to keep people & guests as priority number one. I mean, when you offer someone a place to sleep in exchange for money, you have created a business and there are responsibilities that come along with that.
One statistic to keep an eye on is OCCUPANCY. Occupancy is defined as the number of booked days divided by the number of bookable days (blocked days ignored).
In Oklahoma City, there are currently 973 active listings, as of 12/3/2021 according to Wheelhouse, a dynamic pricing tool.
For OKC, that 973 number includes all properties (apartments, entire homes, rooms, etc) and any/all number of bedrooms.
In OKC, over the last 12 months, the average occupancy for ALL STRs is about 50%. The STRs that are an ENTIRE HOUSE with 2 bedrooms is 33%.
We started our business, Pro Familia LLC, in 2021 and offered rentals at The Lodge #1 beginning in March, 2021. Since then our average occupancy has been 72%.
In October, 2021, we opened The Lodge #2 (which happens to be next door to The Lodge #1) and have been at 100% occupancy.
When I compare how our business is doing against the average in Oklahoma City, I feel pretty good. It’s validating to see that what we’ve been doing is “working” and we have the positive guest reviews to back it up!
Of course there is room for improvement. There’s ALWAYS room for improvement. (It’s important to stay humble in this industry as you’ll never be able to get it always right and when you’re dealing with humans, everyone’s expectations run the gamut.)
Here are some things I plan to work on over the holiday break, so we can start 2022 with positive changes:
- Review our dynamic pricing tool & settings
- Analyze our numbers for the property and see if we can create creative pricing strategies to increase bookings during the week - Use this past year’s experience to better plan for our market’s high/low season
- Create better incentives for guests to book during normally “low” seasons
- Reach out to local realtors and insurance agents and make them aware of our properties
- Offer competitive pricing that better align with the guest sales cycle to try and reach guests booking further in the future
- Open our calendar out further into the future
I‘m sure there are more ideas out there, but this is a good starting point.
Curious about dynamic pricing? It is amazing! We really love Wheelhouse and you can get $10 credit by using our link: https://www.usewheelhouse.com/u/account/register?referrer_id=e8OyR
Are you a STR host already? What tips and tricks do you have for increasing your occupancy?
Thinking about starting a STR of your own? Does it all feel a little overwhelming? Let us help you! Send us a message and let’s schedule a free 30-minute consultation to talk more about it.