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AirDNA: Competition Heats Up in Greece’s Short-term Rental Market

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The increase in Airbnb and HomeAway listings in Greece have led to a rise in competition in the country’s short-term rental market, according to data presented on Thursday at the BnB Guest Conference in Athens.

“Word has got out among the Greek people that there is money to be made in short-term rentals and they have flocked to providing listings across Greece,” said Tom Caton, chief revenue officer at AirDNA, which records data from the home sharing platforms Airbnb and HomeAway.

Supply rises more than demand

AirDNA Chief Revenue Officer Tom Caton.

AirDNA Chief Revenue Officer Tom Caton.

According to the data, during off season December 2018 in Greece, available listings on the platforms grew by 21 percent to 72,144 compared to the same month in 2017 (59.379 listings). However, the average daily rate dropped by 17 percent to 126.44 euros last December and the occupancy rate fell 13 percent year-on-year to 46 percent of all listings (from 57.7 percent in December 2017). Moreover, revenue per available rental (RevPAR) declined by 28 percent to 58.28 euros in December 2018, from 80.68 euros during the same month in 2017.

This is competition coming, so this is not universal, but people made much less in general in Greece in December 2018 then they did in December 2017,” Caton said.

“Do not worry because this is overall… it is not universal at all,” Caton added as he went through the data which revealed that different parts of Greece did in fact see a rise in RevPAR in 2018.

The island of Lefkada was in the lead of the top five markets with RevPAR growth in 2018 with a rise of 167 percent last year, followed by Ermionida (+101 percent), Corfu (+73 percent), Glyfada (+45 percent) and Tinos (+42 percent).

Caton underlined that if a host is thinking of expanding his portfolio, it’s important to understand the short-term rental market.

“Understanding which markets are on the rise is very important because what is happening in these markets is that demand has risen far more than supply, where when we look at Greece overall, supply has risen more than demand in the country in December,” Caton said.

Referring to the top cities in Greece in terms of overall listing numbers, Caton showed that Crete is the number one destination for both Airbnb and Homeaway, followed by Athens and Corfu.

‘Professionalization’ is essential

During his speech, Caton underlined the importance of professionalism in the short-term rental market.

“More and more, people are experiencing what it’s like to stay in a short-term rental… The most important thing that came out of this research is how satisfaction tumbled 60 to 47 percent in just one year (2017/2018),” he noted.

“People’s expectations are really rising as why they should stay in a short-term rental,” he said, adding that the “real key” to success is for a host to continue offering a more professionalized product.

Caton advised Greek hosts to “listen very carefully” to the professionalization trend in the market.

“What you did last year, will not be good enough for next year… If you don’t improve your performance, the quality of your property, the quality of your listing, the quality of your pricing, someone else will move and improve ahead of you so you can’t rest on your laurels even if you had a great previous year,” he underlined.

“RevPAR is down in Greece but it’s not down for everyone, because if you’re competitive with your pricing, if you understand exactly who your competitors are in your neighborhood and how you can price better than them, understand what available supply is, understand the booking lead times, then you can outperform your competition and outperform the market,” Caton concluded.

Organized by Smart Press, the BnB Guest Conference aims to establish itself as an information hub for all those involved in the short-term rental market and to provide them the opportunity to offer better services and the chance to maximize their benefits.

GTP Headlines was a media partner to the BnB Guest Conference.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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