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A Return to Hotels: A Wake-Up Call for the Short-Term Rental Industry

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The Shift to Hotels Reflects a Demand for Reliability – Time for STR Brands to Rise to the Occasion

By: Brad Greiner, CEO of Open Air Homes and OpenAiRE Brokerage

The Resurgence of Hotels: Strong Number and High Nightly Rates

In late 2022 and early 2023, the hospitality industry witnessed a remarkable shift back to hotels. With robust numbers and elevated nightly rates, this trend is more than a transient fluctuation; it is an unmistakable signal to the short-term rental (STR) sector. Travelers are increasingly opting for the predictability and dependability of known hotel products over the often erratic and unreliable experiences found in some, if not most, Airbnb listings.

A Demand for Consistency: Lessons from Hotel Success

The resurgence in hotel popularity reflects a fundamental human desire: the craving for consistency. People want to know exactly what they’ll get when they book accommodation. The “crap shoot” nature of some Airbnb experiences, coupled with online outcries over subpar stays, has stirred a longing for the reliability that established hotel brands can offer.

Marco Place by Open Air Homes

Open Air Homes: An Example of Excellence in the STR Space

In the midst of this shift, companies like Open Air Homes stand as beacons of quality and reliability. With a remarkable 4.9+ star average on Airbnb, earned over a decade in business, we exemplify what travelers are seeking. Our consistent commitment to excellence aligns with the expectations set by reputable hotel brands.

It is worth noting that our industry is more difficult than a hotel chain.  Hotels often save a few identical rooms on the side, in order to move guests if and when there is a problem in their hotel room like no hot water.  However, with homes, each one is unique, and companies like ours often have to troubleshoot in real time, requiring us to even be more on top of our operational game than hotel chains. 

Learning to Love Hotels: Appreciating the Competition

The trend back towards hotels is not only logical but also commendable. At Open Air Homes, we appreciate and admire the hotel industry, especially for shorter stays. Their commitment to quality service, reliable experiences, and operational excellence serves as a model for what the STR industry can and should aspire to achieve.  

The hotel industry greatly suffered over Covid, with people opting to choose a private home for their safety and health.  But now that the new normal is here with Covid, hotels have surged, and while we welcome the competition, it is nonetheless a wake-up call to our industry. 

A Call to Action: Building Hospitality Brands within the STR Space

Now is a pivotal moment for the STR industry. The shift back to hotels is a wake-up call and an opportunity. It’s a chance for companies like ours to shine, setting a new standard of consistency, reliability, and excellence that rivals that of the hotel industry.

To truly encourage people to continue booking homes, we must ensure that each guest’s experience is akin to checking into a reputable hotel brand. This means an unwavering focus on operational soundness and guest satisfaction. It requires building hospitality brands within the STR space that people can trust, time and time again.

Conclusion: Embracing the Challenge, Shaping the Future

The renaissance of hotels is more than a trend; it’s a lesson and a challenge to the STR industry. It’s an invitation to evolve, to set higher standards, and to create memorable experiences that travelers can rely on.

At Open Air Homes, we embrace this challenge with optimism and determination. We see a future where a larger portion of the STR industry is synonymous with quality, consistency, and satisfaction. We believe in shaping this future, guided by the principles that have made us successful and inspired by the lessons from the hotel industry.  We aim to be leading the way, not as the largest STR company in the business, but with a consistency in positive reviews that rivals the best hotel companies in the world. 

The time to act is now. The opportunity to redefine the STR landscape is here. Let us seize it, let us elevate it, and let us create a new era of hospitality that celebrates the uniqueness of homes without sacrificing the reliability of a trusted brand.

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