Proof that vacation rentals are a huge segment of the industry is confirmed with analysis showing there are a staggering 115,000 vacation rental companies worldwide.
The study by rental technology provider Hostfully draws on a number of reports and market sizing initiatives, including those from PhocusWire sister research powerhouse Phocuswright.
Hostfully estimates that the 115,000 figure is broken down regionally to around 60% of rental firms being based in Europe, 23,000 in the U.S., and 20% elsewhere in the world.
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In the U.S., for example, Phocuswright estimates that 44% of second homes are professionally managed and the American Housing Survey believes somewhere in the region of 25%-35% of second homes are used as sources of additional incomes.
Piper Jaffray forecasts that growth in the U.S. for rentals has been at a modest rate of 10% between 2014 and 2017.
Breaking it down
Hostfully calculates from its analysis around 70% of global vacation rental companies own between one and 19 properties.
Around 10% have a tally of more than 100 units in their portfolios, with 20% covering the 20-99 property range.
This equates to around 104,000 companies in the small (one to 19 properties) and medium (20-99) segments.
Read Phocuswright's two landmark reports for vacation rentals
In terms of how rental companies are organizing their technology provision, Hostfully argues that they need to spend more on software than hotels to manage operations, distribution, pricing, etc.
It says: "This is because of the exponential variety across different units and locations that vacation rental companies manage compared to homogeneous hotels."
The analysis found the average commissions paid to booking platforms is around 10% (Airbnb at the low end with 9% and Booking.com at the high end with up to 18%).
Channel managers attract around 8% in commission from rental companies, the research found.
Guess communication tools and property management software account for just 5% of their annual revenue spend.
Hostfully estimates that rental companies that are managing more than 100 properties account for 80% of the technology and channel commission spend.
* The full Hostfully report is available here.