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Winter Travel Report | Cabin Vacation Rental Trends

The interior of a winter travel cabin in Colorado.

With places like Colorado on the map, the best vacations aren’t always during the summer. Each year, noticeable trends emerge, leading to pivotal opportunities. While some developments may be fads or outliers, it’s still essential to consider them. One type of accommodation is undoubtedly more prevalent during the winter months: cabins.

Why Winter Cabin Rentals?

If you’ve ever had a chance to stay at a cabin during the winter—especially in the mountains—you’ll quickly understand the appeal to travelers. Nostalgia and new experiences are a winning combination for creating the perfect vacation, getaway, or retreat. Everyone knows holidays like Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and Christmas are popular times to book a stay. But other winter holidays like Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day pose another opportunity for those hoping to have a little more fun before the snow melts.

For some, the thought of a cabin may conjure visions of a one-room dwelling with nothing to heat it besides a fireplace. These days, it seems the only thing that makes a cabin a cabin is the rural setting. And that’s good news for short-term property owners. These rustic accommodations need not be small log hideaways to classify as a cabin, meaning you can garner more looks with another description at your disposal. Here are five trends to think about during winter when deciding what to emphasize in your listing.

  • January is still the most popular time to book a cabin vacation, as evidenced by a spike in searches to start the year. Travel resolutions play a significant role in this trend.
  • Guests booked for more than 20 percent longer this winter than last year. People have grown accustomed to extended stays.
  • In addition to longer visits, guests are also booking larger cabins that can accommodate more people. Multi-family vacations and group outings increased by over 30 percent compared to last year.
  • Thanks to remote work and company holidays, people are checking in earlier and leaving later. Think about it. If an employer or business allows a day off on Friday and Monday, why not maximize a getaway by strategically using vacation pay?
  • Vacationers are seemingly enticed by unique lodging options such as The Fox A-Frame. Sometimes even just having a unique name is enough to catch a potential guest’s eye.

Something More than a Property Management Company

When you partner with Effortless Rental Group, you can have peace of mind in knowing you’re getting more than just a property management company. Not only do we provide top-tier service, but we’re also always keeping our ears to the ground when it comes to the latest trends and developments in the short-term rental space. Our goals start with going above and beyond to give you the highest return on your investment. Check out our services page to find out more, and don’t hesitate to reach out when you’re ready to list your property!

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3 Crucial Concerns for Short-Term Renting During Large Events

A group of vacationers have a casual get together at a short-term rental during a national event.

Massive events significantly impact short-term rental owners in an age when many consumers value experiences over possessions. Conventions, sports championships, and even natural phenomena like meteor showers and the northern lights are a huge draw for those hoping to witness something unforgettable. As such, it’s not a bad idea to pause to reflect on some of the things we need to consider when playing host to various enthusiasts.

Uphold Your Standards

Over the last decade, short-term rental owners and management teams have become highly professional. No longer are the days of posting a property online to lure would-be guests. With this newfound respectability, guests expect a higher standard—as they should. 

Maintaining a high level of quality and high-touch service is critical for every aspect of the guest experience, from bedding to amenities. Just because we allow people to hold gatherings doesn’t mean we’re providing a party house.

Set Firm Rules

Setting firm boundaries goes hand in hand with upholding high standards. Still, if you aren’t making those rules apparent, you’ll be sharing the blame for anything that may go wrong. Communicating the house rules is imperative for your property’s and guests’ safety. Make sure everyone reads and understands the regulations before stepping into the home.

Love Thy Neighbor

Rules and standards aren’t just for your benefit but also your neighbors. Large-ish gatherings can lead to elevated noise; understandably, the neighbors might be opposed to such an environment. Depending on your situation, providing your contact information for those living directly adjacent to the property might be beneficial. 

Let your neighbors know what you have in place to prevent an adverse situation and how you’ll take care of one if it arises. A noise monitor can help prevent things from escalating to a call from the neighbor.

Short-Term Rental Management by Effortless Rental Group

Being assertive about the standards of your property doesn’t mean you’re a killjoy. After all, a positive guest experience is paramount to our success. Still, protecting your business and your guests from an unnecessary mishap is an effective way to ensure the desired outcome for everyone. 

When you entrust your property with Effortless Rental Group, we’ll reinforce your standards and take the busy work out of ownership. Our hands-on approach is second to none, and we pride ourselves on delivering excellence to guests and owners alike.

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A New Strategy for the 2023 Short-Term Rental Market

A close-up shot of a chess game—a metaphor for short-term rental market strategies.

Although the visible effects of the pandemic seem to be subsiding, it’s understandable that many vacation rental property owners have many questions heading into 2023. This summer’s occupancy rate did take a slight dip, but that doesn’t necessarily mean demand has diminished. However, many may not consider that occupancy rates can fluctuate not only because of demand but also supply. Rates are affected by the overall number of short-term rentals, not simply how many heads are in the beds. In other words, as the number of available vacation properties increases, the occupancy rate decreases, even if the number of people renting remains the same or goes up. As a result, we’re developing new strategies for the 2023 short-term rental market.

Navigating the Post-Covid Rebound

The days of pent-up high demand are gone. All markets have opened and are in a post-Covid rebound. The game we’ll need to play in 2023 is occupancy. Although we see less overall demand than we did amid the pandemic, the desire to travel hasn’t diminished. The primary way to ensure increased occupancy rates is by offering the best options.

Increasing Occupancy for Short-Term Rentals

It’s no secret that travelers have more choices than ever. To ensure that we are one of their primary considerations, we’ll need to leverage time and ensure our prices align correctly to win early bookings. First, we’ll set a far-out premium to gather revenue before the regular booking times. As we enter those standard booking windows, we’ll want to be aggressive with daily rates and potentially undercut the market by five percent, leading to higher occupancy and increased revenue for you.

Homes typically have empty calendars at the beginning of the month, and we’ve seen the fire sales that can occur when the market holds higher rates for too long. We believe that by partnering an aggressive pricing strategy with robust marketing techniques, we’ll come out ahead in a highly competitive business space.

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Le Labo & Public Goods For Your Vacation Rental Guests

Vacation rentals in Lower Highlands (LoHi) Denver that provide fine bath products & consumables to enhance guest stays.

Intentional. Informational. Impactful.

These are just a few commonalities Effortless Rental Group shares with our partners at Le Labo and Public Goods.

Here at Effortless, we are constantly working to level up the guest experience. Every opportunity is met with an abundance of consideration and a thorough assessment to determine if it will do just that.

When today’s partnerships were yesterday’s prospects, the same due diligence was put forth; yet, the decision to join forces with both was a no-brainer.

There is a worldwide emphasis on sustainability in today’s consumer culture. A 2021 study revealed over one-third of global consumers were willing to pay more for sustainable products. This demand has many companies scrambling to catch up with companies that know sustainability is not trendy, but timeless – companies like Le Labo and Public Goods.

Le Labo

Bath products for Vacation Rental Guests staying with Effortless Stay at Espadín LoHi

Often described as “intoxicating,” Le Labo’s collection of pure, clean fragrances lend themselves to artful irony and the joy of being pleasantly surprised.

Founded in 2006 by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Rosch, their manifesto states the soul of a fragrance comes from the intention with which it is created and the attention with which it is prepared. 

Their intention to create soulful fragrances and evoke emotion through the sense of smell was elevated by the attention towards clean ingredients and ethical preparation. All products are free of parabens, preservatives, coloration, and animal products/testing.

When our guests are greeted with Le Labo’s sensorial bath products, they know Effortless Stay & Espadín LoHi put their wellness above all. Plant-based, genderless, claimless, cruelty-free products that make you feel good and smell amazing.

The unique, sensorial adventures when in Colorado should be boundless – the sight of fresh snow caps on mountain peaks, the taste of crisp local brews, the sound of your favorite song played live at Red Rocks. Let Effortless Stay & Espadín LoHi contribute to your sensational experience. While you’re here, you can even check out one of Le Labos’ exclusive locations.

Public Goods

Products for Vacation Rental Guests staying with Effortless Stay at Espadín LoHi

Founded in 2017 on the pillars of simplicity, sustainability, and affordability, Public Goods aims to empower consumers by “providing healthier, more informed choices easy and accessible to all.”

Public Goods provides online storefronts that align with an individual’s needs, along with a wholesale option for businesses or groups in need of products in bulk. No matter the quantity of the product purchased, the quality of the experience from start to finish ensures satisfaction and proves to be a cure for consumer fatigue.

Sustainability is achieved in each stage of the supply chain. Production highlights include bottles made from sugarcane, biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic, and tree-free paper products. For every order placed, a tree is planted, making every shipment carbon offset.

Chris Beens, Head of Partnerships at Public Goods, understands the importance of product diversity and design, which is crucial to Effortless’s mission to make all guests experience one without compromise.

Products are made with ingredients that any guest can use. All products are designed to enhance the space they are in, not detract from it. The wide array of essential products that are already available is expected to get even more comprehensive.

Effortless understands the modern-day traveler’s sacrifice of leaving pieces of home behind and alleviates it by placing Public Goods products in every property. You’ll never feel like you’re living without at an Effortless Stay at Espadin LoHi – you may even find a new favorite essential to introduce to your home.

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Homes & Villas by Marriott International

We’re extremely excited to announce that qualifying premium & luxury Effortless Rental Group vacation rentals are now available on Homes & Villas by Marriott International.

What is Homes & Villas by Marriott International?

Homes & Villas by Marriott International is a home rental offering from Marriott International, comprised of a curated selection of premium and luxury rental homes cared for by a select group of professional management companies.

At its core, Homes & Villas by Marriott International provides consistency and quality, evaporating the anxiety currently associated with choosing home accommodation and giving guests the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company with the very best in loyalty benefits.

What does it mean that Effortless Rental Group’s homes are featured on Homes & Villas by Marriott International?

Effortless Rental Group is one of the select professional property management companies who have been vetted and approved to feature their homes on the Homes & Villas platform. This gives Effortless Rental Group and their homeowners, access to the following:

  • Marriott’s 145M+ Marriott Bonvoy™ Members
  • Marriott’s distribution channels and marketing opportunities
  • Brand affiliation with Marriott – if a house qualifies for the Homes & Villas by Marriott International program, that indicates a certain level of safety security and design
  • Homes will have a more significant presence on our site as opposed to others, due to the number of homes we curate per destination.
  • Property performance data and, if need be, guidance on property improvement plans

How can I see if my home would fit into HVMI?

Before you can join Homes & Villas by Marriott International, you have to be managed by one of their select professional property management companies – like Effortless Rental Group! Effortless Rental Group is well-versed in the type of homes that are likely to be accepted into the program and can discuss the potential fit of your home with you.

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Dana Lubner featured on STR Success Stories Podcast

Effortless Rental Group’s very own Dana Lubner was recently featured on STR Success Stories where she had a virtual chat with Julian Sage (of Short Term Sage) about her personal story and how she joined her family to help grow Effortless to what it is today.

Dana also discusses how she was involved in not only growing the business but how to scale at a healthy level while also keeping the quality of the service they wanted to offer for their clients and guests. She talks about how she was able to help Effortless speed past the growing competition in Denver & what it takes to market and brand your short term management company. Dana shares what it is like working in an advocacy group hired by companies like Airbnb & VRBO and their efforts to drive initiatives forward with local regulators.

Check out the full podcast episode with Dana HERE!

Don’t forget to follow Julian and his entire podcast series Short-Term Sage HERE!

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Return on Rentals: A Virtual Event

Return on Rentals (ROR) is a virtual event with property managers speaking on technology and trends – putting you in the know and position you to win even in this uncertain time.

Meet property managers facing many of the same challenges you are and learn about products and systems they are using to keep their profits at their peak.

ROR is for you if…

You want to maximize your properties profits
You’re ready to be inspired
You miss connecting at conferences
You want to learn about new products, talk directly to the vendors, and hear the real story from PMs that have seen how they work

ROR is all about Return on Rentals.

The Return on Rentals event will showcase a variety of notable speakers covering a wide range of topics.

Visit the website here for more information.

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Lubner and Landau – Podcast Series for Vacation Rental Host Advocacy

Dana Lubner and Matt Landau have been strong voices & leaders in the short-term rental industry. Both have been seeking more immediate ways to address current advocacy challenges in the space and drive forward some of the standards showcased in last year’s Good Neighbor Summit; a collaborative event that brought together Denver’s local vacation rental hosts and focused on ways to shape positive reform of unfair short-term rental regulation.

We’re extremely proud that our own Dana Lubner is joining forces with Matt Landau (VRMB) to “shift the narrative” and showcase the good side of the local hosting community. The new podcast will feature vocal participants: from public affairs and policy experts to leading vacation rental managers, as well as neighborhood advocates. The topics covered will be game-changing for the short-term rental industry!

For more information check out Short Term Rentalz post here.

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The Future of Short-Term Rentals (in Question?)

Effortless Rental Group is Colorado’s most trusted hospitality provider, specializing in short-term rental and boutique hotel management.  Helping investors locate new real estate opportunities in short-term rental markets, using analytical data, and industry knowledge.

It’s no secret that short-term rentals have been a hot topic whether promoted, maligned, or somewhere in between.  This alternative style of accommodation has evolved into an industry disrupter and is fast becoming the preferred choice of travelers young and old.

Airbnb and Vrbo rentals across the United States have increased by 105% over the past three years propelled by a new wave of travelers looking for more unique and affordable hotel alternatives. Between July 2018 and May 2019, Airbnb added more than 1 million listings.  For comparison, Marriott added 46,101 new rooms between July 2018 and March 2019.  Seeing the outsized returns that short-term rentals generate, U.S. real estate investors both big and small have jumped into this new asset class purchasing 1.8 million properties with the intent to earn short-term rental revenue in 2018 alone.*(AirDNA)

On March 13th, the travel sector was gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Effortless Rental Group saw 87% of reservations cancel in a matter of hours as travel came to a standstill. Shortly after this new reality set in, we noticed a change in booking behavior, with guests reaching out for longer than the average 3-day stays.  This may be due to the fact that short-term rentals are perceived, and proven, as safer than hotels during this pandemic.  A new breed of traveler has been born; one that includes frontline workers, those looking for cozy quarantine spots, and most importantly, travelers who want to avoid a crowded hotel lobby at all costs.

After stay-at-home orders were lifted and businesses began reopening, there was a big uptick in demand.  Weekend getaways are now turning into week-long getaways, guests are even deciding to book for a month or two, now that “work from home” opens the opportunity to work from anywhere.  Travelers are wanting to escape city life to visit a nearby drive-to destination. This type of travel is expected to continue through 2021.  

Since the pandemic began, the percentage of bookings on Airbnb within 200 miles has grown from a third in February to more than 50% in May. Travel in a post-COVID world is shifting “from airplane to car, big city to small location, hotel to home,” Chesky said in an article from the LA Times.  Airbnb’s newest marketing strategy is “Getaway, without going far.  A journey close to home is just the break you need”.  We’ve observed this within our own booking data as a majority of guests reside in state.

Traveler needs are changing and that is nothing new to the short-term rental industry.  Although COVID-19 has created extraordinary circumstances, we’ve always demonstrated our ability to adapt and meet guest expectations.  Proactive communication of cleaning procedures reassures guests and helps demonstrate the full value of the services provided to them. 

Shifting travel expectations and behaviors present an opportunity for investors.  When stacked up against hotels, professionally managed short-term rentals often win out in cost, size, amenities and quality.  These advantages are historically amplified during economic downturns, making short-term rentals the most attractive option over the next year and beyond.

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Rent Responsible & Free Lodging Program #FindTheHelpers

While there still may be uncertainty ahead, one constant we can count on is the good nature of human beings during difficult times.  

The opportunity to provide accommodations to those in need has given us at Effortless Rental Group a way to bring light to a dark time for so many. Our friends over at Rent Responsibly have been on a beautiful mission to #FindTheHelpers.

As they outline on their website:

While we may not be able to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel yet, there are countless STR hosts and managers who will be bright spots along the way, stepping up to help others like never before. 

Every effort to help and every act of kindness matters, from delivering groceries to elderly neighbors, to donating cancellation fees to cleaning staff, to housing medical staff for a local hospital.

We’re here to celebrate the people of this community and show the world what we’re all about our passion for caring for others.

We are right there with you Rent Responsibly and are honored you reached out for an interview about the Free Lodging Program we are offering those in need.

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