Australia's COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is accelerating rapidly in the latter half of 2021 to enable permanently ending lockdowns and re-opening travel across the country.
As of early August 2021, over 13 million doses have so far been administered nationally, and experts are forecasting New South Wales restrictions could ease from late August if current state vaccination rates continue.In the last week starting August 1st, New South Wales' 7-day vaccination rate has exceeded the 69,000 daily target required to hit restriction easing restrictions by the end of the month.
7-day NSW vaccination rate daily trend
The Australian Airbnb and short-term rental market has been dynamically evolving over the last 18 months, with one of the key trends being the surge in bookings and demand for short-term accommodation as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Taking lessons from 2020, here's what property owners considering short-term rental should be planning now to get ready for re-opening in 2021 as vaccination numbers climb and Australia transitions to post-lockdown rules.
Secure future bookings with a current open calendar
Guests are planning ahead and booking dates in advance for the spring and summer peak travel seasons.
Average nightly rates for booked stays at MadeComfy properties are trending higher over the next few months, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland where guests have pre-booked their Christmas and summer holiday accommodation at rates above $350 per night.
MadeComfy booked average nightly rates July - December 2021
While restrictions are in place, short-term rental bookings are still occurring for a range of guest markets allowing accommodation for essential and exempt travel reasons.
Daily new bookings for MadeComfy properties have remained relatively consistent throughout July and the start of August, due to the above as well as bookings for future travel dates after restrictions are expected to ease.
New bookings daily trend for MadeComfy properties (July - August 2021)
Here are some of the top reasons we're seeing for guests booking MadeComfy short-term rentals even while travel restrictions are in place:
Guests transitioning between residences: with a booming property sales market and interstate migration, we're finding more guests than ever requiring flexible accommodation from a week to several months as they look for a new place to live or wait out the settlement period on a new property sale.
Flexible short-stay accommodation during home renovations: a renovation and construction boom in 2021 is resulting in more enquiries for self-contained and fully furnished accommodation that is ready to move into and be a 'home away from home' for families that hotel accommodation is unsuited for.
Relocation for essential work: exemptions for workers in the construction, medical, essential retail and other industries are continuing to require flexible, short-term rental accommodation for staff moving between jobs and for specific project work.
Start planning your short-term rental strategy
If it's your first time putting your property on the short-term rental market, it's worth initiating a conversation with a professional Airbnb management company as soon as practical to start the process of getting your property ready to list, open your calendar and secure your first bookings - as this process can take some initial set up time.
Below are some of the key requirements you'll need to tick off, and are ideal to start now so your property is ready for re-opening booking enquiries for spring and summer 2021:
Finish off maintenance tasks and renovate where necessary
As with any rental property, everything should be in proper, safe working order - from light switches to door handles. High quality, recently renovated properties achieve significantly higher premiums on the short-term rental market and key areas include living rooms and kitchens that can achieve a 'wow' factor from guests.
Furnishing for short-term rental
Short-term rentals are fully furnished properties with everything a guest would need besides their own clothes and personal items.
In addition to large furniture such as beds, a sofa and dining table, you will also need to have accent pieces set up such as wall art, throw blankets and other soft furnishings so the property feels complete with a coherent interior design style.
This process can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to organise and complete for unfurnished properties, and MadeComfy can provide assistance and advice to maximise earning potential.
Getting your listing ready
Once your property has been fully furnished and stocked with necessary essential items, you'll need to plan some time for the following to take place (which MadeComfy takes care of during our onboarding process):
1) Setting up a property access system
For example, using a lockbox or mailbox combination lock so that guests can check-in at a time convenient for them and without requiring in-person contact.
2) Professional photography
Allow a day for professional photography to be taken of all rooms and highlighted areas of your property, which should also have been properly cleaned and staged beforehand.
3) Creating your booking website listings and calendar syncing
An attractive title and useful, easy to read property description is key to standing out and attracting bookings.
As part of our professional short-term rental management service, MadeComfy sets up your listing and calendar syncing across all major booking platforms including Airbnb, Booking.com, Homeaway, Wotif, Expedia and Stayz with professional copywriting.
So don't leave your set up to the last minute, start getting your short-term rental strategy ready now so you're not missing out on re-opening bookings and pent up travel demand once restrictions start easing.
Ask a short-term rental expert: Submit your question to the MadeComfy team below.