Timing is everything. When it comes to buying a second home, that time is now.
Demand for vacation rentals, also known as short-term rentals, has skyrocketed since last year, spurred by travelers wanting to avoid contact with strangers in shared hotel spaces. Now, with the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, more travelers are penciling in future getaways. Consider these figures:
- In a recent Vacasa survey of U.S. travelers, 59% said they plan to take a vacation in spring 2021. Plus, 52% said they would stay in a vacation rental more often in the future.
- A recent National Association of Realtors survey found there was a 16% increase in second home sales in 2020.
What does this mean for you, an agent with residential experience? Now’s the time to get in on this increased demand for second homes being purchased as vacation rentals.
Here’s what you need to know.
Who buys vacation rentals?
Our latest Vacation Rental Buyer Report—surveying more than 700 people actively looking to purchase a second home—offers a clearer picture of today’s buyers. Surprisingly, they’re mostly middle-class, spanning all ages, with a combined family income below $150,000.
To help you better attract and serve them, Vacasa identified three main potential buyers:
#1: Dream Planner
These buyers are looking for a future retirement home (and long-term investment) in their favorite vacation spot. They lean on local experts to guide these purchases.
Wants: Rental income to offset costs, and diligent home protection and care.
Worries: Complex financials and lack of operational support.
#2: Affluent Professional
Usually from a dual-income household, these buyers are cash rich and already own a primary home. They seek a vacation rental to diversify and build equity.
Wants: One local partner to help with both buying and renting out property.
Worries: Hassle of permits, taxes, and keeping tabs on local regulations.
#3: Savvy Real Estate Investor
These buyers purchase second homes to diversify their robust investment portfolio. They seek properties with good earning potential and are willing to invest in upgrades (like hot tubs) to boost nightly rates.
Wants: A knowledgeable agent to find a deal on a high-earning hidden gem.
Worries: Lack of financial transparency and perceived instability of vacation rentals.
What do second home buyers want in a real estate partner?
As our latest report found, today’s buyers want agents who are equal parts data experts, vacation rental authorities, and business advisors.
But the top trait they look for? Local market insights (according to more than 60% of buyers surveyed).
If you’ve built up expertise in your primary market and surrounding vacation rental markets, you’re steps ahead. This makes it easier to diversify and offer the knowledge buyers want.
How can I easily transition to include vacation rentals in my business?
The smartest move is to learn from the experts. Vacasa created the Vacation Home Certification Course for agents like you, where we break down vacation rental trends and opportunities. You’ll also learn how to help clients find the right property and set them up for success.
Another smart move: partnering with a vacation rental manager invested in you and your clients’ future. As North America’s leading full-service vacation rental management platform, we created our Expert Agent Network to provide agents with an advantage when working with second-home buyers. Agents in our network gain exclusive access to data-driven tools and resources, such as detailed income projections. Plus, it’s completely free to join.
With travel rebounding and demand booming, seize 2021 to venture into vacation rentals.