Until recent times, the term, “short-term rental industry” has become somewhat synonymous with the likes of HomeAway and Airbnb. And it’s no surprise either. Airbnb and VRBO rentals across the United States alone have increased by 105% over the past 3 years, according to recent reports. In fact, the leading brand Airbnb, extended its reach into one of the world’s fastest-growing populations earlier this year (2019), when it launched an Arabic version of its website.
Whilst disruptive innovations have “set the tone” for a sector that shows no signs of slowing down, they have also, simultaneously, paved the way for many other start-up businesses. We don’t need to look far for an example; the well-known property management software, Guesty raised £35 million in Series C funding in March 2019, thanks to the growing market in the short-term rental space.
It could be argued that during the industry’s peak performance, everybody simply wants a slice of the action. However, of the many start-ups that are identifying opportunities (and in my cases, putting their money where their mouth is), what the successful ones have in common is that they’re all solving a problem.
As a business owner who works on 20% logic and 80% passion and gut instinct, it’s in my genes to seek out other purpose-driven brands. During my research into the current state of the short-term rental industry, I was immediately drawn to the businesses that have been founded off the back of a personal story or experience, and are operating to transform the sector, for the better.
For the good of the industry, of the economy; for the good of mankind! I’ve whittled my findings down to the top five brands who I believe are reinventing the short-term rental industry, either through innovative ideas or sustainable practises. Each of these businesses has been running for less than five years; though I believe that they’ll be the “ones to watch” over time. You can quote me on that.
Before we dive into the details, I’d like to thank the founders and CEOs of these businesses, who have taken time out of their busy schedules to personally share their story with me.
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