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Round-Up: Airbnb Launches Housing Council, SkyRun and TravelNet Form Alliance, Joivy Triples Turnover

Round-Up: Airbnb Launches Housing Council, SkyRun and TravelNet Form Alliance, Joivy Triples Turnover

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For local inhabitants and businesses, the disaster is also economic. Florida is a big travel market. With great beaches and world-famous attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, the state attracts many families who book a vacation rental for their stay. Cities like Orlando and Kissimmee usually rank high in market size for vacation rental revenues.

Airbnb Launches Housing Council in Commitment to Address Housing Affordability Challenges 

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • Airbnb has announced the formation of the Airbnb Housing Council, a new initiative aimed at addressing housing affordability challenges and increasing the housing supply.
  • The council will be chaired by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former mayor of Baltimore and ex-President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and will feature leading independent housing organizations and experts.
  • The council’s objectives include advising Airbnb on innovative policies, partnerships, and initiatives to help communities grow their long-term housing supply, identifying new ways to work with cities on short-term rental policies, and informing Airbnb on housing supply and affordability policy frameworks and research.
  • The council will also build upon Airbnb’s recent housing efforts including a $3 million donation to the San Francisco Foundation, support for a successful statewide ballot initiative in Colorado, and over $1.4 million in donations to national and local housing advocacy organizations since 2022.

About Airbnb Housing Council:

  • The Airbnb Housing Council comprises a diverse group of leading housing experts and advocates including Honorable Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond, VA; Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities; Nikitra Bailey, Executive Vice President of the National Fair Housing Alliance; Sara Bronin, Director of the National Zoning Atlas; and many others.

Uvika’s View:

  • Airbnb, one of the largest players in the STR domain, has often found itself under the microscope for its perceived role in reducing the affordable housing supply
  • This criticism has led to strict regulations and even outright bans on short-term rentals in some cities. Airbnb has sought to counter this narrative by releasing studies and data emphasizing the economic benefits of its platform for local communities.
  • However, as urban travel returned post-pandemic, the company had to face another challenge: ensuring an adequate supply of rentals. To address this, Airbnb focused on attracting occasional hosts and promoting its private rooms category, aiming to maintain a robust supply in urban markets.
  • This context explains why Airbnb is now looking to proactively shape the discourse around its impact on affordable housing availability. 
  • By working within existing legal frameworks and advocating for regulations that benefit both short-term rental operators and long-term residents, Airbnb aims to position itself as part of the solution rather than the problem.
  • Yet, it’s crucial to note that Airbnb’s press release leans heavily on the narrative of housing underproduction as the primary cause of affordability challenges. While this is undoubtedly a significant factor, it doesn’t paint the full picture. 
  • In many urban tourism centers, a major facet of the housing crisis is the conversion of potential long-term housing into short-term rentals, often driving residents out of city limits due to unaffordable prices.
  • Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Airbnb and the Housing Council navigate this complex issue. Their actions could set important precedents for the STR industry and have far-reaching impacts on housing policies and affordability. 
  • Ultimately, the goal should be a balanced approach that allows for the growth of the STR market while also ensuring the availability and affordability of long-term housing for residents.

SkyRun’s Tech-Forward Leap with TravelNet Solutions

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • SkyRun Vacation Rentals, a leading property management franchise, has entered into a strategic partnership with TravelNet Solutions, a top property management software developer.
  • This collaboration comes after SkyRun reported a record-breaking year of franchise expansion.
  • The partnership will equip SkyRun franchisees with TravelNet’s Track Hospitality software and TrackEcommerce Booking Engine, enhancing services like distribution and optimization, guest communication, digital marketing, and strategic pricing.
  • SkyRun also plans to revamp its online user experience starting in 2024, integrating Track with a redesigned SkyRun website for a more consistent digital brand experience and simplified booking process for over 1,200 properties.

About SkyRun:

  • SkyRun combines local short-term rental ownership and management advantages with the efficiency, technology, and support of a national brand, through its franchise model.
  • The company manages over 1,200 homes in 40+ independently owned locations.

About TravelNet Solutions:

  • TravelNet Solutions has been providing integrated software and marketing solutions for the hospitality industry for over 21 years, helping hospitality professionals scale up in a dynamic market.

Uvika’s View: 

  • What sets SkyRun apart is its unique position as more than just a marketing platform; it is a full-fledged property management company and franchise. 
  • This partnership not only reinforces its technological prowess but also provides the company with a distinctive advantage. SkyRun can now meticulously test and refine all systems integrations before rolling them out to franchisees, ensuring a seamless experience for both property owners and guests.
  • TravelNet Solutions, on the other hand, has an expansionist mindset embedded within the company’s DNA – always seeking opportunities to broaden its horizons and increase its market share. 
  • If it’s to achieve its ambitious goal of becoming a unicorn company within this decade, we can expect many more such alliances to be on the horizon.

Joivy Reports Tripling Turnover in Two Years

Key Takeaways for Vacation Rental Managers:

  • Joivy, a leading European residential solutions platform, saw its revenue triple in two years to €110 million in 2023, propelled by strong demand for quality short-term rental products and rising rents across Europe.
  • The company’s growth was remarkable in Italy, with turnover increasing by 70%, and even more spectacular across the rest of Europe, where it surged by 140% from 2021 to 2023.
  • 2023 marked a significant milestone for Joivy as it unified DoveVivo, ALTIDO, and Chez Nestor under one brand, managing a portfolio valued around €2 billion, spread across 50 European cities.
  • Joivy served approximately 2,000 owners and hosted over 200,000 customers in 2023, managing a total of 4,000 assets varying from single flats to entire buildings and student residences.
  • For 2024, Joivy plans to expand its services in Italy, the UK, Portugal, and France, aiming to capitalize on the burgeoning coliving sector and short residential market.
  • Joivy has identified five key trends for 2024: new regulations on short-term rentals in Portugal and Scotland, a boom in coliving in London, impact of the EU’s Recovery Fund on student housing, increased focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, and continued digitalization and innovation in the sector.

About Joivy:

  • Joivy is a platform that merges several leading European residential companies into one comprehensive entity. 
  • The brand’s mission is to provide an array of living solutions, accommodating various individual needs and durations – from brief stays to mid and long-term rentals, with a portfolio of 4,000 units spanning across 50 destinations.

Uvika’s View:

  • Joivy’s strategic move to consolidate its brands—DoveVivo, ALTIDO, and Chez Nestor—reflects a broader trend in the short-term rental industry, where brands are pooling resources to fortify their market positions.
  • This approach is indicative of a shift from isolated business units to an integrated model, providing a comprehensive suite of services for property owners and investors across various rental durations.
  • This consolidation enables the company to navigate the fragmented short-term rental sector more effectively, creating a one-stop-shop for a broad spectrum of clients.
  • Joivy’s exponential growth, tripling its turnover in just two years, is undeniably impressive. However, to gain a comprehensive understanding, Year-over-Year (YoY) comparisons would offer a clearer perspective. 

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