Maximising Returns with Short Stay Accommodation in the Serviced Sector

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
February 13, 2024

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Maximising Returns with Short Stay Accommodation in the Serviced Sector

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Dive into the world of short-stay accommodation, where comfort meets convenience for travellers seeking temporary stays. This sector, part of the expansive serviced accommodation industry, offers fully furnished properties for short periods, ranging from a few weeks to a couple of months. It's an enticing alternative to hotels, often more affordable and available through platforms like Airbnb, providing a unique blend of local living with the perks of service.

The serviced accommodation sector, a significant contributor to the tourism industry, has seen hotel businesses in the UK alone generate substantial revenue. It encompasses everything from simple bed and breakfasts to luxurious serviced apartments with hotel-like amenities in a self-catering setup.

Behind these offerings are the professional landlords, property owners, and realtors, the key players turning properties into profitable short-stay options. They're tapping into the growing demand for flexible, cost-effective accommodation solutions, aiming to offer not just a place to stay but a memorable experience.

As we explore this thriving sector, we'll uncover valuable insights for property professionals looking to leverage the potential of short-stay accommodation, highlighting the benefits for both landlords and guests in today's dynamic accommodation landscape.

Table of Contents

What Is Short Stay Accommodation?

Imagine having your own space, complete with all the comforts of home, but without the long-term commitment. That's the essence of short-stay accommodation. These fully furnished properties, available for anything from a few nights to a couple of months, offer an alternative to traditional hotel stays. Often found via online platforms like Airbnb, short-stay rentals cater to a variety of needs, from vacation getaways to relocation periods, often at a fraction of the cost of hotel rooms.

Difference from Traditional Rental Agreements

The world of rentals can be a maze, with traditional Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) locking you in for 6 to 12 months. Enter short-stay accommodation – the flexible cousin of traditional rentals. Here, you're not tied down; whether it's a spontaneous weekend away or a longer stay without the commitment, the choice is yours. Plus, the rental rates? They can soar above those of long-term lets, making every night count financially.

Benefits for Guests

Guests are turning to short-stay accommodation for a myriad of reasons:

  • Personalised Experience: Swap the cookie-cutter hotel room for a space that feels more 'you'.
  • Space and Privacy: Enjoy living areas to relax in, not just a bed to sleep on.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Save on extended stays by cooking your own meals and living like a local.
  • Flexibility: Your stay, your rules. Eat, sleep, and explore on your own schedule.
  • Value for Money: Large groups and families can make significant savings compared to multiple hotel rooms.

Benefits for Property Owners

For property owners, short-stay accommodation is not just about flexibility; it's a profitable venture:

  • Higher Prices, Higher Returns: The shorter the stay, the higher the price you can command, boosting your income.
  • Lucrative Business: Properties in prime locations can earn a month's worth of long-term rent in just a week.
  • Less Hassle: Forget the paperwork marathon of long-term lets; short stays are straightforward.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Adjust your prices to match demand and maximise your rental income.

In a nutshell, short-stay accommodation presents a win-win for both guests and property owners. It melds the convenience and service of a hotel with the freedom and comfort of home, all while offering the potential for higher returns to those on the supply side. Whether you're looking to explore new destinations or maximise your property's income, the world of short-stay accommodation is ripe with opportunities.

Key Markets for Short Stay Accommodation: A UK and AU Perspective

Exploring UK and AU Cities

The landscape of short-stay accommodation spans continents, offering a kaleidoscope of options for every kind of traveller. From the historic streets of London to the sun-drenched shores of Sydney, let's embark on a journey through some of the top cities in the UK and Australia, where short-stay accommodations are not just places to rest but gateways to unforgettable experiences.

A table containing short term rental performance metrics (median ADR, occupancy and revenue) for short stay accommodations in the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
A list of top performing UK and AU localities and their STR performance.

STR Data Insights

London, UK:

  • London’s short-stay sector shines bright, offering everything from plush penthouses to cosy apartments.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: £198.01 | Occupancy: 81% | Revenue: £58,541

Birmingham, UK:

  • Birmingham's mix of serviced apartments and traditional hotels cater to a wide audience.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: £125.96 | Occupancy: 46% | Revenue: £21,148

Nottingham, UK:

  • Nottingham’s accommodation scene is as varied as its heritage, with luxury and budget-friendly options.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: £123.71 | Occupancy: 55% | Revenue: £24,834

Manchester, UK:

  • Manchester’s vibrant culture is mirrored in its accommodation offerings, from chic apartments to classic hotels.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: £139.49 | Occupancy: 55% | Revenue: £28,002

Perth, Australia:

  • Perth’s market includes luxury escapes and practical apartments, enhanced by new regulations supporting short-stay providers.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: A$240.37 | Occupancy: 89% | Revenue: A$78,084

Sydney, Australia:

  • Sydney, a city of iconic views and hidden gems, offers a diverse short-stay accommodation market.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: A$340.40 | Occupancy: 74% | Revenue: A$91,942

Melbourne, Australia:

  • Melbourne’s culture of art and coffee spills over into its short-stay accommodation options, ranging from avant-garde apartments to classic lodgings.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: A$286.55 | Occupancy: 63% | Revenue: A$65,892

Brisbane, Australia:

  • Brisbane’s warm welcome is reflected in its range of accommodations, promising sunny stays to all visitors.
  • STR Insights: Median ADR: A$269.92 | Occupancy: 74% | Revenue: A$72,905

Each city presents a unique blend of opportunities and challenges for the short-stay accommodation market, influenced by local demand, regulatory landscapes, and cultural attractions. With STR data offering a snapshot of market performance, professional landlords, property owners, and realtors can make informed decisions, tailoring their offerings to meet the nuanced needs of each locale.

Whether you're considering expanding your portfolio into the bustling streets of Manchester or the scenic views of Perth, understanding the dynamics of these key markets is essential. Armed with these insights, you can navigate the vibrant world of short-stay accommodation, maximising returns while offering guests a memorable slice of local life.

Streamlining Operations in Short Stay Accommodation

In the competitive world of short-stay accommodation, success hinges on smart marketing, meticulous property management, and compliance with regulations. To capture the attention of potential guests, it's essential to showcase your property effectively on platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, using compelling visuals and descriptions. Engaging with your audience on social media and through direct email marketing can further elevate your property's profile.

Partnerships with local businesses can enrich the guest experience, offering unique deals that set your property apart. Moreover, investing in SEO and targeted advertising can boost your online visibility, attracting a broader audience.

Operational excellence extends to ensuring guest safety and adhering to regulations. Regular safety checks, including fire risk assessments and gas safety checks, are crucial for maintaining a secure environment. Staying updated with the latest regulations, such as the UK's Deregulation Bill of 2015, which allows short-term lets for up to 90 days without planning permission, ensures your business operates within legal boundaries.

Understanding local rules, especially in cities like London where short-term rentals exceeding 90 nights a year require planning permission, is vital for compliance. By mastering these aspects—marketing, management, and regulation—you can streamline your short stay accommodation business, ensuring both guest satisfaction and operational success.

Marketing Strategies for Short Stay Accommodation

Reaching the Right Audience

Unlocking the potential of your short-stay accommodation begins with a deep dive into understanding your ideal guests. Whether it’s business travellers seeking the convenience of a well-set workstation and lightning-fast broadband, or students in need of a cozy corner close to their universities, tailoring your offerings to match their needs is key.

  • Business Travellers: Prioritize essentials like high-speed internet, comfortable working spaces, and premium amenities.
  • Students: Focus on affordability, proximity to educational institutions, and study-friendly environments.
  • Competition Analysis: Stand out by analysing your competitors and fine-tuning your unique selling points.

Leveraging Digital Platforms

The digital realm offers a treasure trove of opportunities to showcase your property and attract bookings.

  1. Listing Platforms: Make the most of Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com with stunning photos and compelling property descriptions. Competitive pricing will catch the eye of potential guests.
  2. Social Media Presence: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not just social venues but powerful marketing tools. Craft profiles that highlight your property’s best features, location, and how to get in touch.
  3. Content Creation: Engage potential guests with captivating content on Instagram and TikTok. Use beautiful imagery of your property and its locale, peppered with hashtags to broaden your reach.
  4. Email Marketing: Keep in touch with past guests and attract new ones with newsletters that boast special offers, updates, or local travel tips.
  5. SEO: A well-optimised website can dramatically increase your online visibility. Employ SEO strategies by incorporating relevant keywords, ensuring your site is easy to navigate and filled with valuable content.
  6. Paid Advertising: Consider investing in Google Ads and social media advertising to extend your reach further.
  7. Partnerships: Collaborating with influencers or local businesses can open new avenues for marketing and bring your property to the attention of a broader audience.

Crafting a marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience and leverages the full spectrum of digital platforms can transform the way your short-stay accommodation is perceived. By embracing these best practices, you can ensure your property not only reaches its ideal guests but also provides them with an unforgettable experience, encouraging repeat visits and glowing recommendations.

Enhancing Guest Experience in Short-Stay Accommodation

Creating memorable stays in short-stay accommodation goes beyond just providing a place to sleep. It's about curating an experience that leaves guests singing praises and eagerly planning their return. Here's how to make your property stand out with amenities, services, and those all-important personal touches.

Amenities and Services That Matter

  • Comfort is King: A spotless, cosy room with a plush bed is your first step to winning hearts.
  • Luxury Touches: Elevate the experience with high-quality toiletries, cutting-edge in-room technology, and maybe a complimentary breakfast to start the day on a high note.
  • Thoughtful Extras: It’s the little things—like a book tailored to a guest’s interests or their favorite snacks waiting in the fridge—that turn a good stay into a great one.
  • Tailored Conveniences: For business travellers, a well-equipped workspace is invaluable. Families will appreciate the thoughtful addition of a crib or high chair.

Adding Value with Local Experiences

In today’s world, offering unique local experiences or themed rooms can significantly differentiate your property. Whether it’s through curated experiences that explore the local culture or special events that showcase what your area has to offer, these efforts can significantly boost your property’s appeal.

Personal Touches

  • Warm Welcomes: A personal note in the welcome pack or a surprise upgrade can make guests feel valued and special.
  • Consistent Excellence: Train your staff to maintain high service standards consistently, ensuring every guest encounter is positive.
  • Communication is Key: Engage guests before they arrive with informative emails or texts, setting the stage for a smooth experience.
  • Surprise and Delight: Look for opportunities to exceed expectations, whether through unexpected treats or personalised recommendations that enhance their stay.

By focusing on what truly matters to guests and adding that sprinkle of magic through personal touches and local experiences, you can transform your short-stay accommodation into more than just a place to stay. It becomes a destination in itself, one that guests will remember fondly and return to time and again.

Final Thoughts on Short Stay Accommodation Opportunities

The journey through the world of short stay accommodation reveals it as a golden opportunity within the serviced accommodation sector, promising lucrative returns for those ready to dive in. The compelling STR data from key UK and AU markets underscores the robust demand and growth potential, inviting professional landlords, property owners, and realtors to expand their portfolios with these flexible, guest-pleasing properties.

As the landscape evolves, leveraging insights on market trends and guest preferences becomes crucial to success. Now is the time to explore how short stay accommodation can enhance your investment strategy, offering a path to diversification and increased profitability. Embrace the future of hospitality by making short-stay accommodation a cornerstone of your property portfolio.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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Jules
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"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

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David
Account Manager

"I have a philosophy in life called keep it simple. I don't live to work, I work to live. This is the first time I've leased this property on Airbnb. A house allows me to have vision of all the revenue and all the expenses associated with the apartment. They work as a well-oiled machine. They strive very hard to keep both myself and the tenants happy."

Jules
Professional Landlord

"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

David
Account Manager

"I have a philosophy in life called keep it simple. I don't live to work, I work to live. This is the first time I've leased this property on Airbnb. A house allows me to have vision of all the revenue and all the expenses associated with the apartment. They work as a well-oiled machine. They strive very hard to keep both myself and the tenants happy."

Jules
Sales Director

"Honestly, if I didn't have Houst, I don't think I'd have this house anymore. With Houst's help, I can focus on my busy life while they manage my Airbnb listing. Guests call this place the 'magic cottage', and Houst makes it possible to share its special charm without any stress."

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