Dominating the UK Vacation Rental Market


The vacation rental ecosystem in the United Kingdom is crazy competitive and getting even more competitive every year. According to the Airbnb Annual Citizen Report, some regions have seen 80% year-on-year growth in the amount of listings going up. So how can a short – let manager get through to guests amidst all the noise?



Airbnb continues to grow at an exponential rate in the UK while the market still remains’s international stronghold. In short, vacation rentals in the UK are everywhere.

With all of these options for guests it is hard for short – let managers to stand out and be successful in the super competitive market.


          The UK is also a growing travel hub. 8.4 million guests used Airbnb for accommodations in the UK last year alone. Despite this huge market for vacation rentals, the average host only made 3100 on Airbnb last year.

          According to the latest Airbnb Citizen Report, the average UK host gets just under 10% occupancy. To compare, some property managers in other places of the world are unhappy when they are at 70% occupancy. It has never been more difficult for UK short-let managers to be profitable let alone grow.


London is the most competitive region in the UK by far. Accounting for one third of the UK’s total Airbnb listings, London has become extremely chaotic for any short-let manager to work through. In response to this there have been major regulations that have taken affect which limit how much a London vacation rental manager can do. 

Despite these market characteristics, vacation rental hosts have not been deterred from opening their homes to guests on booking websites. Some boroughs are growing at an exponential rate. One borough has grown over 4000% in just 3 short years. 

These factors have made the London vacation rental market extremely saturated. Airbnb hosts get 9% occupancy on average. This alarmingly low occupancy rate does not allow for much profit to be made by any host or short-let manager let alone make a living off of it.



So how does a short-let manager get an edge on their competition and be successful in an ultra saturated market like the UK or London? You have to get creative. 

  With a combination of using intelligent business strategy, really understanding the market, and utilizing the latest technology to your advantage a short-let manager can succeed in the many saturated markets like the UK.



There are plenty of free resources that you can use to better understand your market. A couple good places to start are AirDNA, Airbnb’s Annual Citizen Report, and Inside Airbnb. 

Airbnb’s Annual Citizen Report is a high level gauge of the activity that has gone on in your region over the past year. Airbnb is very transparent with their data compared to other booking websites which is a huge positive for all hosts on their platform. On the citizen report you will be able to find information on your regions growth, the occupancy rates, revenue being generated, and general Airbnb updates that affect your region. This is a good gauge on the general health and competitive level of the market you are in.

With AirDNA and Inside Airbnb you can start to get into more detail and really start to understand your market at an expert level. These databases list every listing in your area and give you the important metrics you need to make the right decisions on how to be successful in your competitive market. 

The other booking websites like are very secretive about their data and don’t share any of it publicly. This can cause problems for short-let managers when trying to make informed decisions on how to be successful on the booking website. A way to work around this obstacle is to take general statistics from and make educated assumptions based off of them. For example: if you know gets 2.7 times more traffic than Airbnb in the UK (which is public knowledge) and Airbnb has 223200 listings in the UK then you can assume has 2.7 times that with over 400,000 listings in the UK.



Now that you have all this data on your market you can now start to make informed decisions based off of the data you collected. Rather than making decisions off a series of guesses and gut feelings you now have data to back up the decisions you make. 

Market research findings will allow you to develop strategies that you know will work and resonate with guests in a way your competition is not. For example: If you find that in your region there is an uptick of travellers for work at a certain time of year it would be a good idea to make partnerships with the companies sending their employees. This is common practice for hotel chains which means it is a proven strategy in the travel industry. The Fairmont even rents out a whole floor to corporate partners. 

Research findings can also inform you on what your competitors are doing in terms of listings details. Using this information can help you make your listings stand out among all the other competitors.


There are plenty of tech tools at a short-let manager’s disposal that can provide a lot of value to any vacation rental business. Some of the most popular tools are pricing tools. These tools scan every local price around your listing to figure out the best price for your listing. These tools ensure that you are leaving no money on the table. Some good softwares for this are PriceLabs and RoomPriceGenie. 



Many property managers are now saving countless hours by using a property management software to automate portions of their vacation rental business. In order to stay at least on pace with the competition a property manager must be using a property management software.

A property management software has the ability to sync all of your listings to one calendar to manage all in one place. More powerful property management software automates the entire booking process including payment processing and fraud detection. You will never need to login to a booking website again, everything can be managed on the software. 


Getting more bookings means that your listings need to be exposed to a larger audience than before. A great way to do that is by investing in a channel manager. A channel manager takes one listings and puts it on as many booking websites as you want all at the same time. This service exposes you to multiple booking website audiences to get more bookings all while syncing every booking website listing to one calendar.

This also allows you to not rely on just one channel of income for your properties. This is especially great for locations in cities such as London, UK where Airbnb sets a 90 day cap.


Getting a powerful software that is both a channel manager and property management software with advanced automation tools is mandatory in this ultra saturated market. Consider using BookingAutomation, industry standard vacation management software.

Automating the operational tasks mentioned and making intelligent and thoughtful business decisions is key in prospering in competitive vacation rental markets such as the United Kingdom.



Valuable Strategies for Vacation Rental Peak Season


The most important time of year for a vacation rental business when a large chunk of annual profits can be made is vacation peak seasons.

When the annual increase in flow of vacation goers begins your vacation rental business needs to be prepared and running as efficiently as possible. The vacation rental peak season can be a stressful and hectic time for owners of vacation rental businesses and property managers alike so we have compiled a list of helpful tips that will help you make the most out of your next vacation rental peak season.

To improve performance during vacation rental peak season, vacation rental property managers must look for ways to increase efficiency while still advertising all properties and managing the increasing flow of bookings.

We are here to help you grow as a vacation rental business. To help you do just that during peak season we have compiled a bunch of successful strategies. These are strategies used by the vacation property management pros and can be found below.



Peak seasons are different depending on many factors of your vacation rental properties. The country, region, season, popular local activities, and more. It is imperative to know exactly when your peak season is and the driving factors behind the peak season in order to exploit the massive influx of bookings.

For example, if you own a vacation ski lodge next to a popular ski resort in British Columbia, Canada your peak season would be the winter months and would correspond with traffic at the ski resort. On the other hand, if you own a property next to a beach in Cape Cod your peak season would be directly related to the summer season as there are more vacation goers during that time.


 Miniature peak seasons can occur during events such as large conferences, local festivals, holidays, and more related short term driving factors. Be sure to put those in your calendar to take advantage of those times. Setting your vacation rentals apart from the rest can be as easy as appealing to vacation goers coming for those special events and holidays.

Strategies used for large peak seasons can also be used for these mini peak season as well. Keep your local mini peak seasons in mind and utilize these strategies to gain from those as well.


If your listings are located in a tourist hub like Barcelona for example then there are no high and low tourism seasons the flow of bookings stays consistent throughout the year.

Staying competitive in a tourist hub has its own challenges requiring you to constantly be creative and fresh to differentiate from competitors. Creating a dynamic marketing strategy based off what types of people come at certain points in the year is a good place to start. This can be done by tracking where people are coming from at different times of the year.

Looking through customer records may help you make better and more informed decisions on where to target at certain times of the year. For example, Europeans tend to book vacations at different times of the year then Australians do. Keep demographics in mind when creating a marketing strategy.



In order to make the most out of your peak season preparation is going to be needed.


Your property needs to really stick out from every competitor during the peak season since you won’t be the only vacation rental owner in your area looking to capitalize on the peak season.

When trying to differentiate from competitors a good place to start is to see what the other vacation rental listings are doing in preparation for the peak season. A little competitive research can go a long way when thinking of new ways to be different.

You may find that you need to take new photos, give some special offers, or buy some small extras for the property. Any improvements you do in preparation for vacation rental peak season will go a long way.

If your guests are coming for a specific activity, why not offer a coupon to that activity as an incentive to sign up? This could be the driving factor behind why a guest booked with you rather than a competitor.

All properties should be available for rent the whole peak season. This means that it is imperative that no projects are done throughout the whole peak season. Shutting a property down for a couple days during vacation rental peak season can cost a lot of money and can even drag on longer if any delays come up (which they do).

Try to do projects in the slow vacation rental season and when there are no special events or holidays so no money will be needlessly lost.


Use the platform that you have built over your vacation rental property management career to your advantage. During the time leading up to your local peak season take the opportunity to contact past guests to remind them of your awesome vacation rental listings and offer incentives for them to book.

If a past guest is not planning on travelling there is a good chance they know someone that is planning to book a vacation rental listing. Leveraging past vacation guests either for referrals or for return visits is a powerful tool that you only have access to.

You can reach out to past guests by sending out a newsletter or if you want to be more personalized and get better results reaching out to past guests via a nice email is always a good idea.


In order to gain as much as possible from the peak season a vacation rental property manager must be as efficient with their resources as possible. This is where automating tasks and updating processes can make a big impact.



A great way to get as many bookings as possible during peak season is by getting a vacation rental channel manager. A vacation rental channel manager can put all of your listings on multiple channels at once which opens your vacation properties up to new audiences. Vacation rental channel manager’s are proven to get more vacation rental bookings and in some cases can boost reservations by 80%.

If you are interested in testing out a channel manager for free, BookingAutomation offers a free trial. Click here to try.

A powerful vacation rental channel manager has API/XML access to 40+ vacation rental websites including Airbnb,, and TripAdvisor. API/XML access is a strong connection that allows for the exchange of information both ways between each platform. In short, that means that your all listings can seamlessly be put on all the main vacation rental booking websites at the same time without having to worry about overbooking.


Automating vacation rental property management tasks is key in performing efficiently in the peak vacation season. There are plenty of different ways tasks that can be automated.

Some tasks that can be automated include sending out automated messages to commonly asked questions, room assignment to cleaners, and updating your booking calendar. Many activities that are done as a vacation rental property manager can be completely automated so you can focus on growing your business.

All of these tasks can be automated at the same time on a vacation property management software (PMS). A vacation PMS can serve as a control center for everything related to your vacation rental property management business. You can learn more about a vacation PMS here.

Automating guest welcoming tasks can also be a huge time saver. Buying a Google Home or an Alexa to welcome your guest can be a really nice touch. Buying a smart lock to exchange the key is also a big time saver as well.


With this information we hope that you will make the most out of your upcoming vacation rental peak season.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would just like to chat! We are always interested to see what you have to say.