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Lisbeyond’s Key Takeaways from VRWS 2023 in Barcelona

On the 3rd and 4th of November, our co-founder Maud and Head of Property Management, Rita, attended the annual Vacation Rental World Summit. This year it was hosted in Barcelona at the Maritime Museum, a beautiful and unique location for an event like this. In this blog we share our key takeaways from the summit, what is happening in our industry, what are the trends, what to keep an eye on? Read on and find out!

The Vacation Rental World Summit (VRWS) is an annual event that brings together top industry experts and key players in the global vacation rental industry. Over the course of two days, we had the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, network with peers, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and strategies shaping the vacation rental market.

The State of the Market

One of the key takeaways from VRWS 2023 was the positive outlook for the vacation rental market. In a presentation by AirDNA it became clear from their data that demand for vacation rentals has finally returned to pre-pandemic levels, with shoulder seasons becoming increasingly important. The summer is not the only high season anymore. Months such as May, June, September and October have proven to provide steady occupancy and ADRs as well.

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Jamie Lane, SVP of Analytics & Chief Economist at AirDNA

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Looking at the top 50 European cities, demand remains below 2019 levels in some of them, or has risen above this in other cases. Porto is an example of this last situation. Demand staying behind 2019 levels in other destinations (Lisbon included) can be attributed to a combination of factors, including ongoing supply constraints (ie. properties that went out of the short-term rental market during the pandemic and did not return) and regulatory challenges.

Interestingly, budget properties and smaller units, such as studios and one-bedroom apartments, are experiencing the least decline in occupancy, indicating a strong demand for affordable accommodation options.

Overcoming Regulatory Challenges

Regulation has been a hot topic for politicians and policy makers in the past year(s) and has kept the vacation rental industry in alert. The discussions at VRWS highlighted the need for a unified narrative and collaboration among industry stakeholders to address these challenges effectively. For us at Lisbeyond, understanding the local laws and regulations is crucial to operate successfully. Therefore we work closely with our lawyers, local associations such as ALEP and AHRESP and other property managers in Portugal, to assure we share useful and correct information. We also call upon all our property owners and partners to join the before mentioned associations, to support them with the subscription fee, stay informed and make sure we all unite to find collaborative answers for the challenges for the market.

The deputy of the European Holiday Home Association, Viktorija Molnar, also spoke about regulations on European level that we should keep an eye on. Namely, a new regulation on short-term rental data collection and sharing. This proposed regulation, which is expected to be adopted by December 2023, aims to provide justified data about the short-term rental market in Europe and ensure transparency and compliance within the industry, and go against fraud. This regulation will mostly impact the way data is shared by booking platforms and property managers within all the member states of the EU.

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Viktorija Molnar, European Holiday Home Association

The Power of Technology

Technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) continue to play a significant role in the vacation rental industry, enabling property managers to streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and drive growth. Lisbeyond has spoken to various partners, it was great to see them in person and talk about specific topics that relate to our business. We met with Beyond Pricing, who explained more about their renewed dashboard with market insights that can show how our portfolio is performing in comparison to similar listings, with many metrics to explore. There were various door-lock providers such as Nuki, HomeIT and Teedee, who showed us potential solutions for our property owners, who all have specific cases for their entrances. And talks on automation and the use of AI showed how to make a difference for guest communication and daily operations, whilst always making sure there is a human hand assuring the quality and setups – we do not want to appear as robots to our guests of course!

Environmental Responsibility

Environmental compliance emerged as an important topic at VRWS 2023, emphasizing the need for property managers to prioritize sustainability and promote environmentally-friendly practices. It is not about if you need to be environmentally compliant in your business, but about when this will become mandatory. At Lisbeyond, we are serious about integrating environmental responsibility into our daily operations and business practices and we are working on implementing changes towards this goal every day.

Networking and Collaboration

One of the most valuable aspects of VRWS 2023 was the opportunity to network and collaborate with peers and industry professionals. Lisbeyond had the chance to connect with other property management companies, such as Homematch, Smartavillas and Smiling House, and exchange ideas and best practices. Also the talk of Richard Vaughton of Rentivo, on the future of the market shifting to mid-term rental concepts more and more, was very insightful.

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Richard Vaughton, Rentivo Director & Co-Founder

Besides presentations and talks, there were daily round table discussions with other attendees. The facilitators provided discussion points on topics such as guest experience, automation, quality, growth and operations, to which the table needed to explore solutions and improvements. Interactions like these allowed Lisbeyond to broaden its network, explore potential partnerships, and gain inspiration from other successful players in the vacation rental industry.

Looking Towards the Future

Attending VRWS 2023 provided us with a bunch of inspiration and new ideas for Lisbeyond. It was a reminder to regularly evaluate goals and adapt to industry changes. By continuously staying informed about market trends, embracing technology, and prioritizing sustainability, Lisbeyond aims to keep improving and maintain a dynamic mindset to adapt to changes in the market.

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Maud Mosterd, Lisbeyond Co-founder

Maud and Rita returned back to Lisbon tired – because let’s be honest, two full days of talks, networking and discussion is a whole endeavor – but very satisfied, ready to put new ideas to practice in the next months and year to come. Next year we will be attending the summit again, and we are even more excited since the VRWS 2024 will be held in our “home base”, in Porto!

LisBeyond is always here to help, and also to answer all your questions, so if you have any ideas on a topic you would like to read, feel free to contact us only a click away.

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