The Evolution
The Evolution of Short Lets and Air bnb

The Evolution of Short Lets and Air bnb

The Evolution of Short Lets and Air bnb

In 2020, while the hospitality industry declined to 0% occupancy rate, the occupancy of short lets and short-term rentals rose to almost 75%. Short-term rentals have witnessed blooms at various times but it has existed all through history. From the times of inns, to cottages and Lekki short lets. Discussed below are the various stages of short lets. 

1: Good Samaritan Inns

The popular good Samaritan parable can be closely associated with the evolution of short-let apartments. According to the parable, a traveller was robbed and left by the roadside. A Samaritan passing by saw him, provided aid and took him to an inn. He also pays for his treatment. Although inns did not operate in the typical manner short let apartments do, short-term rentals can be perceived to evolve from it. Inns were mostly used by travellers and it provided accommodation, feeding, short or long-term lodging for occupants. There are ven stables for travellers. In the same manner if you are travelling from Abuja to Ekiti, you can stop at Lagos, get a short let, park your cars and be on your way the next day.

2: Cottages and VRBO

Cottages date back to history, they were applicable in various regions and times. From mediaeval Europe, English cottages to Colonial America, cottages were a widespread concept. Typically, cottages were considered residential dwellings in a more rural setting. In the 19th and 20th century, they became very popular amongst urban dwellers looking for more relaxed rural accommodation during vacations. People began renting and owning cottages as a form of vacation home. 

Overtime, this form of accommodation seemed very unnecessary to many. Especially David and Lynn Clouse. They did not understand the reason for owning or renting vacation homes that are dormant all through the year. In response to the perceived problem, they founded VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) in 1995, they allowed homeowners to list their properties for short-stays, they also connected individuals who needed short-term accommodations. Coincidentally, it was during the dotcom bloom and as such, they created a simple website that connected homeowners to people looking towards short-term accommodations. 

3: Air bnb

Since 1995, VRBO has had an interesting journey of growth and acquisitions. Lurking in the background was a major competition that was offering air mattresses in the founder’s apartment. Coincidentally the business was named ‘Air Bed and Breakfast’ (Air bnb). In 2008, three founders named; Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk started Air bnb with a simple goal of providing travellers with accommodation. The company significantly grew, acquired funding and positioned itself as a global leader. 

The success of Air bnb made them a global influencer and they significantly reshaped the current realities of hospitality and accommodation. This made it easier for travellers to find accommodation that was exclusive and personal. The company expanded overtime and diversified to enhance the overall traveller experience.

4: COVID – 19 

The pandemic had a significant impact on various businesses, as for short-lets and  short-term apartments, the impact was rather positive. Businesses were shut down, the hospitality and travel industry  took the biggest hit during the pandemic. At the inception of the pandemic, short-let companies witnessed a decline in bookings and cancellations, due to travel restrictions. As we edged deeper into the pandemic, there was a shift from international to local travel. This led to an increase in short-let apartments  in rural areas as opposed to busy cities. The increase in remote working also made short-term apartments very attractive to workers. Upon easing travel restrictions, guests would rather have private accommodations as opposed to hotels, thus causing a surge in preference for short-let apartments. A short let company in Nigeria recorded a 75% increase in bookings due to the pandemic. 

5: The Future

The concept of short lets have been around for a while now, however the dynamics in modern usage are still undeveloped. There will be better regulations to further address issues surrounding the interests of the host, communities and the guest. Better technology will be better adapted to handle the dynamics surrounding bookings, smart homes, apartments and listings. Where will you be in the future of short let apartments? What better way to start preparing for the future than buying a landed asset today. Take advantage of any of our products by sending us an email to get started.

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