Annual Florida Vacation Rental Report 2021

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2021 Trends Report on the Short-Term Vacation Rental Industry

In 2021 the vacation rental industry in Florida and worldwide exploded! There was a rush to book self-isolating property units during the pandemic and as the pandemic restrictions lessened. This huge surge in demand increased occupancies never seen before. Cruise lines and large resort hotels were less desirable destinations in 2021 in the state of Florida. The traveler shift towards vacation rentals not only increased occupancy but also rental rates. Vacation rentals in 2021 were the premier accommodation choice.

This report showcases how the industry in Florida evolved with new demands we faced together. The continuing effects of the world-wide pandemic goes beyond annual financials and transformed the way we do business as Florida short-term rental industry stakeholders. Unique to 2021 the traveler profile continues to morph into new consumer behaviour driving different requirements and new amenities, in turn forcing hosts to provide what this new guest wants.

2021 Florida Rental By Owners Statistics

Website Traffic

Let's delve into Florida Rental By Owners 2021 statistics starting with the website traffic growth. The key performance indicators (KPIs) in relation to website traffic goals were exceeded in 2021. FLARBO continues as a leader in the Florida, U.S.A. vacation rental industry in attracting and converting travelers into booked guests for subscribers. Based on


Our hosts are attaining their goals with the Florida Rental By Owners advertising marketplace. Website traffic hit over 1,833,000 million visits.


Florida travelers love using Florida Rental By Owners easy interface and search functionality. Our unique Florida-centric approach to vacation rental types matches travelers to the ideal property types that they're looking to book. Website unique page views hit over 8,076,000 million impressions in 2021.

Website Visitor Profiles

In 2021 the average age of the FLARBO website visitor searching for vacation rentals was 45 to 64 years, making up 42%. Although this group shows a higher disposable income for travel and bookings we saw more growth from other age groups searching for Florida vacation rentals. Younger traveler groups with more flexibility to travel while working increased. The age ranges from 25 to 44 years made up 34% of website visitors.

Statistically, the ratio of male to female website users had little change year over year. There was predominantly female website visitors at 61% versus male at 39%. This parallels industry findings that women are the vacation planners and coordinators within traveler groups. 

Popular Search Locations

Florida entices many travelers to visit different cities and low key villages all over the sunshine state. There were many popular search locations in demand by vacation rental travelers seeking a Florida vacation in 2021. The popular search locations for Florida vacation rentals were predominantly coastal regions. Travelers continue to seek out care-free, wide-open spaces near the ocean as well as the central Florida theme parks.

High on the search list are Florida locales like:

ClearwaterFlorida KeysDisneyKissimmeeLongboat KeyAnna Maria Island
Fort Myers BeachOkaloosa IslandNaplesMadeira BeachDestinMarco Island
Panama City BeachTreasure IslandEnglewoodCape CoralDaytona BeachCocoa Beach

Popular Vacation Type Searches

Florida Rental By Owners is a vacation rental listing site that specializes in targeting travelers search criteria for popular vacation types. In the year 2021 Snowbird and long term searches continue to dominate with early retirees, digital and family nomads working and learning remotely. Who wouldn't want to work, play and stay in Florida for part of the year? Interestingly many Florida travelers searching for a vacation rental on Florida Rental By Owners wanted beachfront, beach view and beach houses as their priority for search. Florida has one of the largest coastal shorelines in the United States to meet this demand.

We saw a higher search for Last Minute Deals in 2021 as many Florida travelers were looking to benefit from a last minute getaway.

As we saw in the past trends Pet Friendly and Large Groups were also on the high search functionality followed closely by Luxury Rentals.

Florida Rental By Owners Inquiry Growth for the Year 2021

FLARBO's strong focus on high demand vacation types and changing traveler avatars as well as continued development of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), advertising and marketing strategies led to increased inquiry growth since initial launch in May 2017. In year 2021, Florida Rental By Owners inquiries and booking requests increased 46% over the previous year. This was a fantastic accomplishment showing that Florida Rental By Owners is one of the premier vacation rental listing sites for the state of Florida.

Integrations 2021

Florida Rental By Owners continues to provide property management software integrations through channel manager partnerships. Our partnership with industry giant NextPax provides a streamlined automated and enhanced experience for property manager subscribers. API Integration provides flexibility for professional managers who need communication between software to automate listing details, availability calendars, dynamic pricing, record guest contact details, automate messaging, as well as answer booking requests and inquiries. Property managers have found implementing a Book Direct strategy into their business model substantially increases their profit margins. FLARBO currently offers over 20 property management software integrations through NextPax's channel integration. More integrations are planned for 2022.

Price Comparison Platform Booking Fee Increases

Booking commissions for hosts and travelers are on the rise across multiple rental platforms giving both stakeholders pause. The following commissions are charged per booking on the larger online travel agencies, many have increased or moved from the traveler fees towards the host commissions:

  • 15% commission fee - plus 3% credit card processing fees
  • Airbnb was 3% to hosts and 14% traveler commission fee - plus 3% credit card processing fees
  • VRBO 5% commission fee - plus 3% credit card processing fees
  • TripAdvisor 3% commission fee - plus 3% credit card processing fees
  • Florida Rental By Owners 0% commission fee

Book Direct Strategists are on the rise. Interesting trends from 2022 is the rise of Book Direct strategies that professional vacation rental hosts and property managers are adopting. Florida Rental By Owners is proud to provide a seamless book direct solution to the vacation rental industry. FLARBO's business model drives all booking inquiries directly to the property host allowing them to process their own reservations within their own payment systems.

Property Manager Example:

The image below on the left shows the gross rental profit of a property manager with no Book Direct strategy. The example on the right shows the same property manager with 50% of their bookings originating from a Book Direct strategy.

Property Manager with 100 properties annually grossing $8,840,000 per property ($2,000 per week - 85% occupancy) Adding $442,000 dollars to the manager's bottom line!

Host Example:

Second property homeowners are also finding benefits of incorporating a Book Direct strategy which saves on average 10% of the reservation amount from commission fees paid to large OTAs (online travel agencies). Savings are significant whether you are a single property owner or hold several short term investment properties.

Host with 5 properties annually grossing $88,400 per property ($2,000 per week - 85% occupancy). Adding $22,100 dollars to the host's bottom line!

Consumer Behaviour Trends in Short Term Rentals

The consumer behaviour and ensuing new traveler avatars from the pandemic continued into 2021 and will do so for 2022. These newer consumer behaviours and ensuing traveler avatars are here to stay for the future putting added stress and demand on the current rental supply.

Booking Strategies for New Avatars in the Vacation Rental Industry
Newbies turned Loyalists 

The pandemic resulted in a record number of new guests into the vacation rental space a year ago and now those guests are here to stay.

According to Breezeway's 2022 operations report "71% of travelers who had booked a vacation rental home in 2021 plan to do so again in 2022"

Travelers perception of vacation rentals as a safe choice for accommodation continues to drive up demand for the rental market. Communication is key to ensuring these guests are well acquainted with your rental company, property and servicing them throughout their stay.

Hosts can think about incorporating better communication and service into their hosting cycle. Professional hosts are working on average with four or more tools and third party software in order to effectively communicate and manage guests stays.

Digital Nomad Avatars Here to Stay

The world moved away from brick and mortar offices and schools to 'work-from-home' and 'web-learning' environments which continued throughout 2021. This work from home model continues into 2022. Savvy hosts understand the need to showcase high speed wifi ratings as well as outfit their homes with working spaces in order to attack these digital nomads and longer term guests.

Home Schooled Families, including Pets

The rise of home schooling has created a new guest avatar. Home-schooled families that work remotely don't have to follow school schedules to travel. Keep in mind that many families on the move travel with their pets. A recent U.S. Census Bureau's American Housing Survey reveals "the share of households with pets is at 68%." Hosts can increase revenue by permitting pets in their properties by charging pet fees.  Pet premiums can help increase rental rates up to 30%.

Large Groups, Weddings and Events

Many families for the last 2 years had to put their travel plans on hold including weddings. Not only is travel back with a vengeance but weddings will also be a big draw to vacation rentals as patient brides and grooms awaited their big events. Groups that are hosting events at vacation rentals can also increase gross profit with extra fees.

House Partiers & Takeovers

The absence of nightclubs, bars, and supper clubs opened up the eyes to event promoters relating to vacation rental homes as a base for their events. Takeover events have become a nuisance for local cities and law enforcement. Hosts should be aware of and search for any "Takeover Events" that are advertised on social media in order to protect their properties. Events took place along the Panhandle coast cities and Miami during 2021 & 2022 Spring Breaks. Hosts should review their event policies (min age, max. occupancy, events allowed, damage deposits) and educate their booking agents to suspicious bookings (ie: renter booking a home with a residence in the same city for a 1 night weekend stay). Digital technology can help deter over-occupancy and parties with video and monitoring noise, cell phones, etc...

2021 Demands for the Vacation Rental Industry

Demand for Vacation Rental Technology Continues

Pandemic safety protocols, as well as a new generation of vacation rental guests, have increased the demand and requirement for new technology. Instant booking options on all booking platforms including business websites is expected as well as on the ground technology such as keyless entry, noise monitors and size of party monitors. Hosts should ensure their property listings are up to date in terms of rates and calendars to ensure the highest success for bookings.

Price Comparison Shopping for Vacation Rentals

Price Comparison and Book Direct demand continues to rise. Continuing world-wide economic pressures have increased household costs. This leads travelers to comparison shop for the best price. T average American traveler is more price-sensitive than ever and is discovering that more options are available to book Florida rentals.

VRBO has ended the cap on traveler fees and Airbnb continues to shift the commission strategies worldwide causing hosts to try and recoup the fees. Travelers have become more aware of the hidden fees they are being charged on rental platforms and shop prices of rentals on different sites. A book direct site like Florida Rental By Owners gives hosts a competitive edge to gain more direct bookings.

Traveler Behaviour in 2021 and 2022

Domestic Travel Skyrocketed in early 2021. The opening of more international borders increased demand on Florida vacation rentals in the first 2 quarters of 2021. The fall season seems to be slowing down a bit as U.S. travelers are looking to visit beyond their borders as well as take stock as signs of an upcoming recession and further inflation loom. 

Longer Stay Demands

The pandemic caused a lot of early retirement as well as remote working. This along with the regular snowbird long term season has caused a huge demand surge for monthly and seasonal vacation rentals in Florida. This is causing a huge backlog of travelers trying to find monthly stays from December to April 2022. Florida Rental By Owners, a regional book-direct listing site, continues to experience a huge increase in longer stay searches year-over-year from March to September 2020. A whopping 135% increase in searches for vacation rentals offered for one month stays or longer. Don't rule out longer stays specifically for urban market recovery.

Traditional Seasons Return

Where seasons were blurred in 2020 with remote work and learning took place. The return to a normal school season means that the Florida vacation rental seasonal cycle has returned. The majority of families are planning some kind of vacation travel this year but seem to be booking in the tradition school holiday periods.

2021 Vacation Rental Report Wrap Up

The year 2021 was a fantastic one for the Florida vacation rental industry. Higher demand allowed hosts to increase rental rates and revenues. The short term rental industry in Florida continues to flourish in a volatile economy as travelers look for low-risk, predictable and trusted options.

Most Important Considerations for Booking
  • price
  • location
  • cleanliness and safety
  • reviews
  • amenities

The most important item on their list continues to be price. Hosts understand as more changes arise in larger online sites inflating prices that they have to diversify their marketing and offer direct booking options to maintain and gain bookings.

The good news is that many of the challenges in traveler behaviour of 2021 when analyzed carefully can be converted into opportunity and ultimately the building blocks towards a stronger future of the vacation rental industry as a whole.

Florida Rental By Owners' continued growth in 2021 of website traffic and booking requests makes it the trusted, preferred choice for property managers and hosts to take control of their direct bookings. Perfect for short term stakeholders looking for guests to fit the unique vacation needs of Florida travelers. We have exciting plans for 2022 with new software developments and partnerships that will help Property Managers and Hosts increase their bookings. 

Are you interested in advertising your Florida vacation rental on a Book Direct listing site? Explore our multiple subscription levels for any budget. No commission fees mean owners and managers increase their gross profit. Taking control of the reservation booking cycle helps more owners and managers close more sales. All traveler contact details are revealed in each booking inquiry and quote request. Find out more on our List Your Property page here.

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