The Uber Effect: Independent Vacation Rental Professionals Can Learn From Car Sharing


Whenever I take a car service such as Uber or Lyft I make it a point to talk to the drivers and listen to their experiences.  Much has changed over the past few years. The car sharing market has gone from the oversold “full time” employment to “get your side hustle.”

There are many parallels to what vacation rental professionals have experienced. None more glaring than pricing, in metro areas in particular. I noticed the car sharing prices are going up to the point where pricing is comparable to that of the traditional taxi. The formula for success is to underbid (drastically) the market, re-brand the category, and then increase pricing.  However, the drivers are no longer seeing the economic gain once promised.

We see the same thing playing out in some markets (primarily urban/metro) where airbnb has not only undercut OTAs, but also hotels.  In some cases, by over 50% of the nightly rate. This is not sustainable and highly susceptible to economic changes. Be leery of anyone trying to control your’s a losing proposition.

3 things to consider:

1) If you are a branded vacation rental professional, promote your brand at every opportunity

2) Focus on the value you deliver to your guest  

3) Never let your guest forget who you are… and the value you deliver

Don’t get caught up in the pricing game...the pendulum is about to swing the other way.