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30 Aug 2023
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Property Management

Travel during the active years of the COVID-19 pandemic was definitely a sensitive topic. With regulations and shutdowns, there was a drop in vacation bookings and available rentals during the height of the pandemic for most of the short-term rental industry. The Outer Banks, however, was a little bit different. In fact, because of our unique location, somewhat isolated lifestyle, and the beach (which is open, outdoor, and free) as our primary attraction, we saw more visitors to the Outer Banks during the hieght of the pandemic than we ever had. But as the pandemic becomes a distant memory, it is important for property owners to continue to think about the long-term effects of the pandemic on the vacation rental market. Keep reading for the top 5 post-pandemic changes to the Outer Banks short-term rental market.

1. Oversaturated Short-Term Rentals Market

While many areas in the United States saw a declaine in marketed short-term vacation renteals, the Outer Banks actually experienced the reverse. Alongisde a record number of visitors, the number of available short-term rentals also increased as new property owners saw the opportunity to expand their reach and increase profits. And while the number of visitors may have decreased closer to pre-pandemic levels, the number of available short-term rentals has not. What does this mean for your vacation rental business? It means that getting rentals is starting to become more competitive. In order to capture more repeat guests and keep profits high, it's essential to ensure that your property stands out from the rest. Check out our bi-monthly Property Management blog to get more ideas about how to keep your property competitive and encourage rentals.

2. Increased Remote Work Opportunities

While many companies have gone back into the office since the end of the pandemic, there are more companies than ever that have chosen to continue offering remote work opportunities. When it comes to your Outer Banks vacation rental, what this means is that there is still the possibility that people will be looking for a workation. It becomes more important than ever, then, to make sure that your property has all the amenities that people working while on vacation may need. This includes reliable internet service, rooms with desks or separate offices, and plenty of comfortable seating. Offering streaming services, libraries, and board games for your guests also adds to the appeal of your home, making it the perfect place to work and play.

3. Rebound of International Travel

As the tourism industry and the number of visitors to the Outer Banks starts to level out, it's important to keep in mind that the years following the pandemic are seeing (and are going to see) a fluctuation in terms of hot vacation spots. During the pandemic, rural and out-of-the-way vacation destinations were the go-to. And while that trend does seem to be continuing, the reality is that many vacationers are returning to more traditional vacation spots such as large cities while also opting for international travel. People are always going to love coming to the beach, there's no contest there, but in the post-pandemic years, vacationers now have more options and with the ongoing uncertainty of international politics and public health, many people are choosing to visit their dream destinations, just in case. What this means for your vacation rental business is that you have to be realistic about bookings. Acknowledge that Outer Banks vacation numbers are usually seasonal and will continue to fluctuate from year to year.

4. More Last-Minute Bookings & Deal Hunting

Going hand in hand with this ongoing unpreditability, vacationers are waiting until closer to their vacation date to book. Many vacationers are also looking for and waiting for deals, specials, and coupons. This means that bookings may not fill up as far in advance as they have in the past few years and sometimes, discounts may be required to fill certain weeks. Keep an open mind, don't panic, and be prepared to be flexible when it comes to rates. Learn more about Seaside Vacations' dynamic pricing model here to learn more about how we calculate rates and what you can do as a homeowner to maximize profits while offering affordable vacation options for guests.

5. People Want Niche Travel Opportunities

All of this also means that people are being a little more picky about where they go for vacation, so in order to attract people to your listing, it's more important than ever to fit into a niche and have the amenities that sets your home apart from the competition. People heading to the Outer Banks on vacation want to feel like they're in a completely separate world, not just staying in a house that could be their own. They're looking for luxury, quirkiness, or even themed rentals. Look for ways to make your rental unique and attract visitors who will want to come to your home year after year. Capitalize on creative names, arcade gaming systems, pools and hot tubs, and beach-themed decor. Visitors don't just want a vacation. They want an experience. And we're here to help you figure out the best way to get guests in your rental.


Sailboat from a Kayak at Sunset

We love property management on the Outer Banks and it shows. Family-owned and locally managed for over 30 years, Seaside Vacations goes above and beyond to make sure property management is Hassle-Free, meaning that we’ll take care of the details so that you can get back to taking care of the things that matter most to you. We'll help you make the most of your vacation rental! With our unique Property Coordinator model, we're here to help you successed.

If you’re not already working with us and you're ready to find out more about how we support YOU in your rental property business, request your Complimentary Rental Projection today! Simply fill out this form to receive a  commitment-free call from Michelle Russell, our Business Development Director at Seaside Vacations, who can answer any questions you may have about how Seaside Vacations can help you make the most of your Outer Banks vacation rental property.

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We'll see you at the beach.


About the Author:  Lauren is an Outer Banks local, mom, trained historian, and travel enthusiast. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with her nose in a book or cuddling with her cats.