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Agents, short-term rentals offer you a unique opportunity

Everyone knows the feeling of taking one last look at the hotel room before you and your family or friends leave your vacation destination, soaking up all the memories made. Well, now, most travelers are doing this with a whole house they had all to themselves, thanks to the evolution of short-term vacation rentals

There’s a real opportunity for real estate agents to include this into their business. Working with a real estate agent to find the best living opportunity is the only way employees of tourist towns can maintain a work-life relationship with the cities they have poured their hearts into.

My advice to any agent living close to a tourist town is to get into the action and help the locals. You may just become a hero.  

The popularity of short-term rentals has increased tremendously with the growth of booking platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo in some of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations. The global vacation rental market in 2021 witnessed around 280% growth 2021 compared to 2020.

Second, homeowners are hopeful of getting a bit of an ROI on their vacation homes when not being occupied by their families. As a $74 billion industry, the uptick of travelers fuels the economy for all types of tourist towns. However, the influx of homes being occupied by vacationers – or left vacant for most of the year – harms the town’s housing markets. 

And as I partake in my first vacation in about three years in the beautiful town of Vail, Colorado, I thought it would be interesting to look into some similar cities in the Centennial State. 

Airbnb listings rose 50% between 2019 and 2022 due to the opportunity for remote work at many corporations, limiting small towns’ housing supply and sending rent to skyrocket for local residences.  

Two-thirds of 2020 home sales in Steamboat Springs, Colorado went to newcomers who did not work in the Rocky Mountain counties. In June, the Steamboat Springs City Council passed a ban on new short-term rentals in most of the town. 

The debate is whether the short-term rental maintains a vacation town’s leading force for their economic prosperity. It brings people to town, generating business and revenue for the city. 

Stricter laws have been enforced in larger cities such as Denver and Boston. For example, a ban on renting out properties that aren’t the owners’ primary residence has become regulated. 

These towns are facing a tough choice and the struggle to find the perfect balance of supporting the lodging industry to excel in their economy while limiting it to keep the locals (and employees) in the town. 

Service workers have migrated out of living close to their towns and finding more affordable housing in neighboring towns. 

If you live in one of these vacation areas, there is real opportunity to build a niche where you can help people get into short-term rentals and vacation rentals.

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