I’m Alex, co-founder of Hosthub, and this is our first blog post.
Both my co-founder Petros and me are vacation rental owners besides IT professionals. We realized early on that by listing our properties on multiple channels (Airbnb, HomeAway, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, 9flats, Wimdu, etc) we were doubling and even tripling our revenue. However, when you are listed on multiple channels, whenever you get a booking from one of them, you have to visit all the others and update the calendars so you don’t get double bookings. We set out to find a service that would do that for us (they’re called vacation rental channel managers), but found none that combined a) ease of use b) reliability and c) affordable pricing. That’s when we decided to build Hosthub.
However, we wanted to corroborate our findings with market data. Again, we couldn’t find any market research on the issue of channels managers and how satisfied their users are, so we decided to run our own survey. Using an amazing survey platform called Pollfish, we managed to gather 1200 responses to our poll from vacation rental owners and managers from all over the world, but mainly US and Europe.
The results where what we expected, and then some!
We will show you all the results below in detail, but for now, you can keep 2 figures as key takeaways:
- Listing on multiple channels increases revenue by 2x – 3x (some even replied 4x!).
- 85% of respondents would be interested in a calendar synchronization tool that will sync all their channels in real time with 100% success.
It was clear that there is a large need globally for a service like Hosthub, that can do the job reliably and affordably.
In order to make the survey results easy to read, we have split the presentation into 4 sections. You can click on each link below to skip directly to that section.
Lets look at them in more detail:
Section 1: Demographics
We targeted a global audience of vacation rental owners and managers, with a 70% bias in US and Europe respondents, since those are the continents with most listings on vacation rental sites like Airbnb, Booking.com, Homeway, etc.
As expected, the average vacation rental owner is married with kids
|18 – 24||6.75%|
|25 – 34||35.55%|
|35 – 44||29.69%|
|45 – 54||18.07%|
|living with partner||11.97%|
|prefer to not say||2.46%|
|Six or more||1.76%|
|Prefer not to say||1.88%|
They have had an average to high education, and most have a job besides renting their properties. Their annual income is above average.
|Employed for wages||56.21%|
|Unable to work||2.69%|
|Click here to see a map of income levels per country|
|Prefer to not say||6.57%|
Section 2: The questions
We wanted to keep the questionnaire simple and concise in order to not tore our respondents but also get a complete picture of the market. We started out with more than 25 questions and managed to narrow them down to the following:
- Are you a vacation rental owner or manager?
- Do you list your properties online?
- How many properties do you list online?
- How many channels do you list on?
- Which channels are you listed on?
- Since listing on more than one channels, how many times has your income increased?
- Do you currently use a channel manager?
- Which channel manager are you currently using?
- Does your channel manager manage real time, 2-way sync of your bookings with ALL your channels?
- Would you like to be listed on more sites/channels?
- If you do not list your property(ies) online, why don’t you?
- Would you be interested in a calendar synchronization tool that would update ALL your channels with 100% success, even if it only updated your calendars/bookings?
Section 3: Key Takeaways
Before delving into the charts and graphs let’s have a look at the main takeaways of the survey:
- Three quarters of respondents are owners, the rest are managers
- Close to 40% does not list online yet – this means room for growth
- Most list 2 or more properties
- 65% list on 2 or more channels
- There is no one channel that stands out above the others – pie is equally divided
- Listing on multiple channels increases revenue by 2x – 3x (some replied 4x)
- About half of the respondents use a channel manager. The other half either needs one now or will need one soon.
- 3 channel managers share 56% of market, the rest is divided between 10-15 other players
- 45% of respondents who use a channel manager, say it doesn’t work as it should.
- 85% of respondents would be interested in a calendar synchronization tool (like Syncbnb) that syncs all their channels in real time with 100% success
Section 4: The results
We analysed all 1200 responses in excel and created pivots for each answer that allowed us to segment the replies based on demographics or replies on other questions, thus allowing us to get a very good idea of each segment’s behaviors and opinions. We then created charts for each pivot, and selected the most representative to include in this report.
Question 2: Do you list your properties online?
Question 3: How many properties do you list online?
Question 4: How many channels do you list on?
Question 5: Which channels are you listed on?
Question 6: Since listing on more than one channels, how many times has your income increased?
Question 7: Do you currently use a channel manager?
Question 8: Which channel manager are you currently using?
Question 9: Does your channel manager manage real time, 2-way sync of your bookings with ALL your channels?
Question 10: Would you like to be listed on more sites/channels?
Question 11: If you do not list your property(ies) online, why don’t you?
Question 12: Would you be interested in a calendar synchronization tool that would update ALL your channels with 100% success, even if it only updated your calendars/bookings?
This Survey is ongoing and we will update it whenever we find significant changes. It is also the catalyst that launched Hosthub (formerly Syncbnb) since we could confirm our own findings that there is a great need for a calendar synchronization tool that is easy to setup and use, can manage all sites and channels and not just a few, and is affordable for all, and not just vacation rental managers. You can try it out for yourself by signing up here.
We would love to discuss the results with you, so please write any comments or opinions below and help spark the discussion!
Alex from Hosthub (formerly Syncbnb)