State of the Short-Term Rental Community Survey: Independent property managers still make up the majority of the market


Although the short-term rental market seems saturated with full-service property management companies with thousands of properties in their portfolio, new survey results provide insight into another type of property manager: The rentalpreneuer.

More than 4,500 short-term rental managers participated in the 2022 State of the Short-Term Rental Community Survey, conducted by Rent Responsibly and the College of Charleston, which was a first-of-its-kind research initiative to create stronger and more harmonious short-term rental communities everywhere.

The survey results revealed that despite the growing presence of national vacation rental management companies, the short-term rental industry is still mostly made up of small businesses, entrepreneurs and hobbyist hosts. Of the owners who responded to the survey, 70 percent owned just one short-term rental. More than half of all property managers who responded oversee 10 or fewer properties.

Futurestay was founded to empower those independent property managers to build, grow and optimize their business through simplified operations and powerful automations.

"The results underscore the importance of our mission to help independent property managers succeed in a competitive industry," said Philip Kennard, CEO and co-founder of Futurestay. "The short-term rental has always been about creating opportunity for anyone, and we now have strong data to help us support the world's fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs."

Futurestay sponsored the survey as a Community Champion in hopes of uncovering more details about the challenges facing independent short-term rental managers and quantifying the ways short-term rentals enrich communities.

In addition to unveiling the profile of today's short-term rental manager, the 2022 State of the Short-Term Rental Survey incorporated in-depth interviews with local municipalities across the country to identify gaps between the rental industry and local governments.

The survey results showed that although property managers can feel suppressed by laws and regulations surrounding short-term rentals, government officials want to see the short-term rental community succeed and hope to partner with managers for compliance and enforcement.

Rent Responsibly, a Futurestay Business Essentials partner, was founded in 2019 to help short-term rental managers advocate for themselves while also collaborate with local governments to solve common challenges.

Other survey findings

Many independent managers started renting their property out of necessity to supplement income or cover the maintenance costs of extra property, like an inherited home. The survey respondents who own and manage a short-term rental indicated they rely on their short-term rental income for an average of 56% of their income.

Nearly 70 percent of surveyed managers said they have a positive relationship with the neighbors of their properties, and 80 percent reported receiving zero complaints from neighbors or other community members because of activity at their rental in the past year. When complaints did arise, the vast majority were related to noise.

Independent short-term rental managers aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and do the work: Half of all survey respondents manage every aspect of their business without the help of employees or contractors. Just 10 percent of survey respondents had outsourced all operations to outside help.

Airbnb and Vrbo are the most popular sites for independent short-term rental managers to list their properties, with 82 percent of respondents listed on Vrbo and 71 percent on Airbnb. Less than a quarter of all survey respondents offer direct bookings for their property through their own website.

Download the full 2022 State of the Short-Term Rental Community Survey for free from Rent Responsibly to learn what else 4,500+ property managers shared about their businesses and the challenges they face.

What it means for independent property managers

Although independent property managers outnumber the large full-service management companies, the competition on booking platforms has grown more intense. With larger budgets to spend on advertising and more staff resources to spend on optimization and communication, properties managed by national companies can be at an advantage on listing sites like Airbnb and Vrbo.

There's good news for the rentalpreneuers: Solutions like Futurestay level the playing field and empower independent short-term rental managers to  match the professionalism and presence of even the biggest rental companies.

With a simple dashboard, easy onboarding and an affordable pricing structure, Futurestay makes the short-term rental industry more accessible to homeowners and independent managers.

Not only does Futurestay provide tools to help the busy property managers save time and automate manual tasks, but the Operating System™ equips them with the tools to turn their side hustle into a trusted and established brand.

A few ways that Futurestay helps independent managers save time and grow their business include:

  • Built-in dynamic pricing that allows property managers to automatically update their nightly rate across all listings to match current demand.
  • Industry-leading integrations that allow property managers to connect to their Airbnb account in seconds to import existing listings and distribute them across other major booking platforms.
  • Smart communications, including automated noise alert text messages, that can be scheduled within the dashboard.
  • A free drag-and-drop website builder that opens the door to direct bookings. Because Futurestay's Booking Engine is already connected to Google Vacation Rentals, the free website also helps managers expand their reach and boost occupancy.

To learn more about how Futurestay helps independent property managers save time and make more money, book a demo with the Activation Team or log in via Airbnb to explore the power of the Futurestay Operating System™ instantly.


About Futurestay

Futurestay pioneered the first operating system designed to empower rentalpreneurs with the connectivity and automation previously out of reach for everyday people running short-term rentals. Building on its promise to help rentalpreneurs succeed at any stage, Futurestay is so much more than a platform, offering anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a room to rent the chance to learn, earn and grow at every stage of their rentalpreneur journey.

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